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Shop Too Much? Learn 5 Ways to Overcome a Shopping Problem

by on June 21, 2012

By Samantha Savory

The change in seasons, holidays and birthday festivities are just a few excuses that many men and women use to shop until they drop.  Trust me, all my friends know I love to shop and can easily become consumed by an all-day shopping extravaganza. Impulse buying or overspending can really happen to anyone!  But shopping all the time for things you don’t really need can wreak havoc on your budget and overall financial well-being. What’s more important? Buying a home as a long-term investment, saving for retirement, saving for a rainy day or having on the latest Michael Kors heels? Hopefully you said the first three and know to axe the new pair of heels. After admitting you have a huge emphasis on material items that has lead you to shop too much, it’s time to take a step back from your current financial situation and analyze what areas need to be corrected.

According to the Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft, Spending and Hoarding, about 5 percent of American consumers are serious compulsive shoppers. So let’s do the math; if there are over 350 million people in the U.S. that is nearly 7 million people who are ruining their personal finances by shopping too much. What makes this figure even worse is those shoppers who are married or relying on family members for financial support! That means they are wasting their loved one’s hard earned money.

Here are 5 ways to overcome shopping so much and help put more wallop back into your wallet:

1. Stop going to the mall – This is the first thing you need to program in your mind if you want to rid your out-of-control spending trips.  You are only feeding your bad habit and putting yourself in a compromising situation if you go to the mall or shopping stores.  Give yourself a goal to avoid all shopping malls, outlets and retail stores for a month.  If you are the type to go shopping when you’re bored or stressed, research another hobby that costs less and immediately make a change to your day-to-day activities! Your wallet will appreciate it in the long-run.

2. Get therapy – The Journal of Consumer Research estimates that nearly 25 million Americans may be compulsive shoppers. When shopping all the time really becomes an issue, talk with your family members and loved ones to see if they can help you cope and change.  If that doesn’t work, reach out to a counselor or therapist to help discover the real issue behind your shopping addition.

3. Don’t celebrate every holiday – On holidays like the fourth of July or Easter, tell yourself it’s not absolutely necessary to get another new red, white and blue outfit or pink and green dress. Don’t become a victim to the advertising world and resist the urge to splurge.

4. Get support from friends – Everyone has that cheap [or should I say frugal?] friend who only buys stuff when its 70% off sale.  Those are the people you need to hang out with!  Turn to your favorite frugalista when you feel the need to shop! Having a solid support system around you is the key to saving more and spending less.

5. Use PowerWallet – Set spending limit alerts in your PowerWallet and when you are approaching the limits you have assigned for yourself, stop shopping! Don’t let that little voice in the back of your mind convince you otherwise. PowerWallet can help you steer yourself in the right financial direction without requiring a lot of time or effort.  PowerWallet is super easy to use and is the best online money management tool currently in the market. There really is no excuse to not using it – it’s free and secure. On top of that, you could save money on items that you actually need, like groceries, with our PowerSaver deals and coupons!

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