I AM A SHOPOHOLIC.
There, I said it!
And yes, I do feel a little lighter, a little happier. But then it might just as well be because I just went shopping.
But my cutting my credit cards or freezing them in my freezer is not going to help me. Nor is using my sister as my banker a sane option-why did I even do that?
However, I do now know that there are things other then physical ties (read; being bound in my room with ropes while being blindfolded) which can keep me from shopping over my budget.
Yet, no, they still cant keep me from shopping. That too I realize.
So, our concern here is, what are the 7 ways I am mentioning that can at least help keep our budgets intact? Well, here they are, easy and straight forward.
1. Go with a trusted friend-It always works. If I go with someone I am not comfortable with or whose opinion I do not trust, I end up overspending and buying things that I do not even get to make much out of later. An honest companion does not only make shopping fun but will keep you from making wrong choices and, in my experience, help you stay in your budget along with always making sure that you go with that which is best for you. So, pick your shopping partners carefully and try not to go alone. That little devil on your shoulder is loudest when you aren’t hearing others’ opinions.
2. Differentiate between your ‘instincts’ and ‘impulses’-I know you have heard this one before, that don’t do impulse shopping. Its therapeutic effects only are that short and you soon realize it was money and time wasted on something you might not even ever use. I know shopping is good therapy, but you don’t need to spend bundles of money for that. Sometimes a cheaper, satisfying buy on a fun trip can be just as effective. However, now and then you come across items that your gut says are perfect for you. Go with that instinct, its mostly right.
3. Don’t take out your angst on your credit cards-I know how musical those little sounds are at the check-out counter when your bill is being made and the clothes you wanted finally become yours. But, there is enjoying that sound and then there is craving the need to hear them just so you can forget all your deep, dark thoughts. Believe me, this is not going to help. Maybe for those few minutes it will. But then in a day or so, you will be back at the counter, listening to those sounds. Find other outlets; play sports, go clubbing, have drinks with your besties or just soak in a bubble bath and unwind with good music. If you are not tensed, or hyper-active when shopping the whole art of it is so much more soothing and productive. Hence, next time you go using your cards, stop and ask yourselves-do you really want what you are paying for?
4. Take out a good chunk of time for it-I have done some of my worst “shopping sprees” when I was hurried and hard-pressed for time. So, make sure you have time to think when shopping, or you will buy whatever your impulses push you to. Your brain wont even factor into the reflex arc going on.
5. Try to come back later-No, I am not saying come back tomorrow. That has never proved to be a good choice, especially if what I wanted to buy was on sale. But, you always can visit some other stores, go eat something or even wait a couple of hours before you buy something, especially if its expensive and you are already short on your budget. People agree that many times they buy an item and as soon as they step out of the store, they are regretting the buy. Or, that they didn’t buy it and once out of the range of its lustrous attractiveness they can see clear as day the cons of buying that item, the flaws in it. Just give your mind time to get over its glamour and see through the mists.
6. Wait for the sales to go on-I know this one is redundant and I know it can sometimes be out of your options, but whenever it is an option, go for it. And you will never regret your decision.
7. Wait for the end of the month-Golden rule, if you are short of money, you will be pressured into putting more thought in every buy you make. Plan your shopping trips at the end of the month when your budget is a little tighter. This helps you save up money all through the month via other sane decisions too.
Some of the ways to check your shopaholic needs mentioned above are those you hear everywhere, and some are not. My only hope is that they might prove helpful in some way or other to somebody out there. Before I sign out let me just add, shopping is fun and needs to relieve you of your problems. Don’t spoil it by overspending or making bad decisions or the next time you go shopping, some part of your subconscious will be liking the activity a little less and with time the activity might cause you more anxiety then you can imagine.
Cheers, and happy shopping!