When I was cleaning out my closet a couple months ago before I quit my shopping addiction I came across a shirt that still had tags on it that I forgot I had bought a while ago. And when I mean a while ago, I mean well over a year. How could I have forgotten that I bought a shirt?! I was excited that I found this new shirt to wear but then I also felt ashamed that I had this shirt that I bought and forgot about. This wasn’t the first time either. Unopened makeup palettes, planners that I never used, stickers I bought just because they looked “pretty” but I never used them.
I wonder how much money I wasted over the years buying things just because I wanted to. Not only was I wasting money, these things were also taking up space in my house causing clutter which wasn’t making me feel very good.
When someone usually talks about a shopping addiction they’re usually joking. In reality, having a shopping addiction is no joke. It’s a real condition, also known as compulsive buying disorder.
Having a shopping addiction can be debilitating. Many people who suffer from this disorder cannot go one day without it affecting them.
Once I realized I had a problem, I decided that I needed to take action before it got worse. Read below to find out how to quit your shopping addiction.
Unsubscribe from Store Emails
Several times an hour I would receive email alerts on my phone. Most of these emails were from stores advertising their sales or coupons. They usually say something along the lines of, “ending soon!” or “ending at 11:59 pm tonight” which makes you have this sense of urgency to have to hurry up and take advantage of this sale. You didn’t plan to buy anything from this store and you don’t really need anything from there either but you end up buying because of the email.
Schedule out a couple hours and go through your email. This might be a task you’re dreading to do but you’ll feel so much better about it afterward. Click on a store’s email and then click the unsubscribe link. Once you’ve done that search for that store in your email account and delete, click select all to delete all the emails that came from that store. Repeat that process for each store within your email account until all stores or sales emails are gone. You’ll feel great about having a cleaned up email account and I bet you’ll have a huge decrease in the number of email alerts you receive now.
After doing this myself I no longer miss important emails, huge win!
Delete Store Apps
Go through your cell phone and tablet if you have one and delete any and all store apps. Those apps are just temptation for you to pull up and start browsing which often leads to buying. Also, many of those apps have annoying alerts and notifications for sales and coupons you don’t need. Deleting those unnecessary apps will free up space on your phone and also reduce the clutter which will make you feel much better. Plus if your phone is anything like mine, you need all the space you can get.
While you’re deleting those apps you should also unsubscribe from any store text alerts that you might have signed up for. Not only will it reduce the number of texts you receive (and that might save you some money depending on your cell plan) you will not know that Kohl’s is having another sale and you can get 20% off which will help you with that shopping addiction.
Don’t go shopping
This is easy. Just don’t go…or pull up that store’s website. When I had my shopping addiction I would just go to the store for no reason. I would tell my husband that I was going to the mall to look around and then come back with bags full of things I really didn’t need. If I had just stayed home I wouldn’t have wasted the money and accumulated those things I didn’t need.
This also goes for websites. I would browse websites for hours coming up with things I had to have. Not only did I waste hours of time that I could have used to be productive or spend time with the family I wasted money and accumulated more things I didn’t need. Check out Focus Me if you need help with blocking distracting websites to help you overcome your shopping addiction or to just help you stay focused and be more productive.
Make a list and stick with it
Don’t think shopping problems don’t happen in the grocery store. They do more often than not. I used to go to the grocery store and buy the things I needed off the top of my head. Many times I bought more than I needed to, bought junk like cookies, or forgot things which made me have to go back and repeat the process.
I then ended up making a list to take with me to the grocery store. It helps to have a small notebook that you can carry around with you so that you can write down things you need to buy before you forget. I ended up remembering everything that I needed but I also bought some things that caught my eye which my pocket nor my pants needed.
Now I have to be strict with myself and stick to my list and vow not to buy anything that is not on the list. If you’re having a hard time sticking to this try allowing for only one item to be bought that’s not on the list under a set amount of $. But ultimately you should try to stick with just the items on your list.
Do you wake up in the mornings and scroll through your Instagram feed viewing beautiful pictures of someone’s new rustic dining room table that you all of a sudden have to have or that girl’s new leather boots? Are these people adding value to your life other than showing you things that you don’t need to buy? If not, unfollow them.
Just like unsubscribing from store emails, unfollowing social media influencers will help shield you away from the constant advertisements you’re seeing every day. It may be hard at first to unfollow those people you’ve become used to seeing every day. Instead, search for accounts that can provide value to you.
Envision how you want your life to be. Maybe you’d like to free yourself from all the clutter from your shopping addiction, follow people who showcase minimalism to inspire you. Want more motivation in your life? Follow a motivational speaker! You’ll start to see the impact of viewing these type of accounts instead of the ones trying to get you to purchase something.
Join a no spend challenge
No spend challenges are great for encouraging you to not go shopping. If you have never heard of a no spend challenge, basically it’s where you don’t spend anything not planned for. Usually, it’ll be for a specified period of time, like a month. To find one just search #nospendchallenge on social media and you’ll usually find a few to participate in.
Replace your shopping addiction
Instead of spending your time and money on your shopping addiction try using that energy towards something positive. Go to the library and read some books. Start a hobby (not something that costs a lot of money preferably, that would kind of defeat the purpose lol). Some people enjoy crocheting, hiking, or volunteering.
Some hobbies could actually make you money. If you enjoy something like crocheting you could sell your creations on Etsy. Or did you recently read that KonMarie book everyone’s talking about lately and just decluttered a bunch of your things? You could sell the things that you don’t want anymore on eBay. Or like me, you could start a blog. Read my post to see how you can start your own blog for little to no money!