Are you a shopaholic?
How many of you can answer this question within a second? I have asked some of my friends, some admitted, “Yes! I am, and I struggle a lot to get rid of this addiction.” Some of them who are ‘surprisingly’ a shopaholic but don’t want to tag them as a shopaholic and some are highly confused. Various studies share the fact that most women love shopping; for some of the women, shopping is a part of their routine life. Some women like to shop for clothes; some are freaky about cosmetics, some love to go for home décor or cutlery; in fact, these days women love to spend on gadgets also.
Who are Shopaholics? Are You One of Them?
Their funda for shopping is:
Shopping is an art. I am an artist. Respect please!
So, now the question is — Define Shopaholic! Over-all, people who are addicted to shopping can’t control their urge to shop and spend money in a blink without giving a second thought are “Shopaholic.” Hardcore shopaholic fails to judge their requirements, and they buy anything and everything which they want to own. They can shop anywhere – be it a Shopping Mall, Online Store, or Street-Shopping – they have a great ability to find out their requirements wherever they are.
Technology is assisting shopaholics in every possible way. Availability of the internet and mobile phones are one of the quickest and easiest ways to shop, in fact, they are a new platform for shoppers as what could be more comfortable than teleshopping or placing an order within a minute. Well, I really want to salute those women who can clasp their urge for shopping.
What’s the Role of Online Shopping for a Shopaholic?
I’ve been shopping all my life and still have nothing to wear.
I personally feel online shopping is playing a substantial role in women being compulsive shoppers. Either it is a big business profile or a local business, social media is a powerful platform for them to advertise their brand. Sometimes, I want to blame these hordes of online ads sated with insanely lucrative deals and discounts which can undeniably tempt compulsive shoppers. You can’t halt a shopaholic if she sees a highly discounted online ad popping up while she is updating or screening her Facebook or Insta account.
And on the top of it, the word “discount” rouses a shopper’s adrenaline rush leading her to browse the deal, wanting to buy and abreast rebelling with the dilemma — whether she should buy or shouldn’t! Sometimes it is so hard to fight your own emotions that a shopper starts to console herself — Oh! No! This is something I must buy. Ah! It’s so cheap… Don’t know I will be getting the same price next time. Thousands of emotions and questions surround a shopaholic, and to be honest, discounts are tough to resist. I am sure many of us can vouch on it.
Shopping is not Bad – Too Much of ‘it’ is Excruciating
Shopping is not bad but to over shop is a crime, your wardrobe is chock-full of clothes for various occasions, and you are crabby that you have nothing to wear. This is somehow is – ‘too much’.
You should know what is your necessity, and what’s must be your shopping limit and budget? To spend unnecessary is not advisable, one can’t waste her hard-earned money just to satisfy her yearning for shopping. So, if you are an impulsive and obsessive online shopper, and for you to resist your shopping appetite is intoxicating – though you love to shop but regret later, and seeking ways to put a full stop to your shopping addiction. Try out these given below ideas, suggestions or tips — whatever you want to label it.
1. Talk to your Family or Bestie to Overcome your Shopping Addiction
I sustain myself with the love of family.
If you are genuinely sorry for your shopping addiction and want to get over it, the first thing you must do is to talk to your family. Either you are single or married, you can discuss it with your spouse, parents, siblings or on whom you rely most, in such a situation, even friends are also a good advisor. They are your people, and when you seek out for help, they can be your best advisor. After talking to them, I bet you can come up with many ideas to cope up with your shopping addiction as they know you better than anyone. They know your strengths and weaknesses which can give them access to help you to heal from your addiction.
Try to implement this tip, as seeing you in trouble will make them upset too. And, secondly, you must do it for them as accept it or not your shopping binge is a pang of pain to them also.
2. Console and Comfort your Mind to Fight Back!
If you find, sharing your issues with your family isn’t so helpful, try this second option. Try to remember once again the efforts that your family has put on your first attempt in your struggle — don’t forget that time is precious, don’t let their efforts go in vain.
For this, try your best to control your mind and practice yoga or meditation to calm your inner mind as inner peace has its own meaningful role. Still, you find that you are compelled to shop due to lucrative discounts on your favourite dress or a luxury watch — first, take a break —questions yourself – is this really what you need? Or you don’t have any other priorities? Even after this, you are still forced to click that buy button – be your guide, try to console and comfort your mind by picturing the real image of your finances. Nudge yourself with one more chance to figure out your financial status with these below-given questions and points:
- What’s your monthly salary, routine expenses and unnecessary expenses?
- Compare your earning vs your expenses.
- List down your this month’s unwanted expenses.
- Check your credit card balance.
- Check how much money is left in your bank or debit account?
- Do check – Are you in some debt due to EMI schemes?
Similarly, there are numerous questions which you can ask yourself, who knows you can change your mind and rethink your decision! Even you have understood the consequences of shopping addiction; make sure to shut down the shopping window in your mobile or on your laptop. If you are shopping outside, leave the store immediately. Keep reminding yourself that you have enough of these at home, the only thing you need is to declutter and reorganise them.
3. Join Support Groups – One of the Proven Way to Combat Shopping Addiction
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
~ Helen Keller
Despite all previous effort you are failing to combat your shopping spree, try to join a support group. Joining support groups has a good success rate to fight with addictions. You can find many people there, struggling with their addictions. Listening to their stories can be a soul opener for you. Sometimes, we are so busy in ourselves that we miss looking around us, and when we see others in more pain than ours, it can change our complete mindset. In a support group, when you see people trying their best to fight their addictions, it can boost you to combat yours. Try these baby steps, who knows it can change your life.
4. Make a Promise and Challenge Yourself and Push Back your Addiction
Keep every promise you make and only make promises you can keep.
If still things are failing, challenge yourself, talk to yourself, figure out your weakness. If you are habitual of browsing your favourite shopping portal or visiting your preferred boutique quite often, try these baby steps:
- Promise yourself not to visit the website or shopping store for the next couple of days.
- Challenge your hyperactive shopping hormones with some genuine rewards.
- Keep on motivating yourself by reminding the promises you have made to yourself.
- Motivate yourself by reminding that you are a strong head women and materialistic things can’t conquer you.
- Rewind your life and think about what you have missed or missing due to your shopping addiction, pick them one by one and accomplish what you have left.
5. Revive your Forgotten Hobbies to Overcome Shopping Addiction
I have a nice office. I have a nice house… So I’m not denying myself some great things. I just don’t happen to have expensive hobbies.
~ Bill Gates
To manage your craving for shopping, discover some new ways to occupy your mind. Everyone has one or two hobbies which they miss due to the busy life, so here you got a chance to re live your hobby. People often say, “they don’t get time for their hobbies,”. But my point is – shopping also takes time, sometimes you browse 100 of dresses on an online portal and you don’t like a single of it. Have you imagined, how much time have you lost? Even if you go to an offline store in your city, count your travelling hours, and the hours you lose while selecting dresses. If you are not a shopaholic, it’s okay, but if you are shopaholic, must know this – you are wasting your time. So, give a chance to yourself to revive your forgotten hobbies; it can be a good distraction.
6. Allocate Budget for your Spending
To shop is easy, to pay the bill is quite a ‘thing’. Therefore, it is better to work in detail about your monthly and yearly expenses by making a list. Do the same as you do for your grocery shopping, all of us make a grocery list every month, in the same way, calculate your expenses and allocate budget for them. Try to inculcate a habit of saving; you can also get a piggy bank for yourself and do a little bit of savings.
Life is uncertain and who knows at what moment in time, you might need some extra cash for any unplanned events or expenses. And to save this extra cash you have to be planned when it comes to allocating budget for your spending. So, do allocate budget which will help you to get an idea on your expenditure further helping you to know the aftermath of extra and pointless shopping.
7. Lock your Credit Cards Somewhere Deep Down!
Credit card agreements run as long as 30 pages, and it’s 30 pages of largely incomprehensible text.
~ Elizabeth Warren
When you are trying hard to cope up with your shopping addiction, try to keep all your credit cards aside, I would say lockdown them in your locker and handover the keys to your family member. Due to the ease of sending payment, we often save our card numbers to online shopping sites or in online wallets. I would suggest just delete them from the saved card options. This will help you to pause your shopping splurge for a while, also will give you a chance to rethink on your decision. Yet, for some people, credit cards are a must due to their work preferences. For this scenario, they can lower down the limit of their credit card to a level which can forbid them to shop unnecessarily, as they know very well why they have lowered down the card limit.
8. Keep a Limited Balance in Your Bank Account
Internet banking is another way which online shoppers use to pay while shopping online, and the use of Debit/ATM cards is when you buy offline. Now, to overcome this issue, the only solution you need is to keep a minimum balance in the bank account which you frequently use for shopping.
If you have multiple bank accounts in different banks, avoid to activate all your debit cards or net banking accounts. Sometimes, there are emergencies when we need urgent money and keeping a low balance can create an issue. Well, in such cases, you can create Fixed Deposits, you can liquidate your FDs online anytime in your net banking account. Also, you can create 12 months, 6 months or 3 months Recurring Deposits, in case you have to pay your insurance bills or any other bills periodically. Spending money on extra shopping is not wise; in fact, if you have extra money, it is better to invest in mutual funds or equity shares.
9. Delete All Shopping Apps and Phone Number of your Preferred Store
I could have said this earlier, but I know this is not going to work if you rush towards it instantly at the moment when you thought to fight your shopping depression. This action only works when you are firmed on the above activities. For every achievement we have to take small steps. Hounding yourself once and for all will not take you anywhere. When you are attempting your best to tame your addiction by trying above-discussed courses of action, deleting all the shopping apps from your cell phones is undoubtedly going to work. At this point, when you are removing the shopping apps, you know very well what you are doing and for how long you are fighting for this ‘one action’.
Deleting apps during the very first day is an impulsive action. We all know when there is no thought behind any action, it is easy to forget and redo the same thing without any regret. Although to resist offline shopping is quite more effortless (when you have strictly followed the above-given tips), as for that you have to get ready and travel to reach the store or shopping centre. So, deleting the phone number of your preferred offline store is enough to stop you from going to shop.
Final Outcome of this Struggle
So, these were some tips which you must try if you are a tenacious shopaholic and want to battle your stress due to your shopping addiction.
Now, I have a confession to make — I was an uncompromising shopaholic, my persistence towards shopping was steady and versatile: I loved to buy gadgets, cosmetics, watches, shoes, clothes, home decors, kitchen gadgets, cutlery and whatnot. My friends called me an impulsive buyer and obsessive online shopper — that was a bitter truth. Even my family was exhausted with my shopping binge. But one day, it was a self-awareness call. I realised what am I doing? I am not spending wisely, and I am just spending without giving a thought.
Then the first thing I did was ask my family to help me out, taking all these above-given steps one by one; finally, I got myself stable. It’s not like that I don’t do shopping these days, I do – definitely do, and being a woman, it’s my right 🙂 but trusts me guys my shopping spree is in limit now. I have written this article with my experience; I have been successful also to overcome it, and now I can say a Big NO to this question — Are you a Shopaholic?