No matter what our financial situations may be, we all love to shop — even if we can’t really afford it. You just have to have that jacket because it matches that gorgeous pair of pumps you’ve never worn. So you purchase the jacket, only to get back to your closet and hang it next to three other jackets that would’ve matched those pumps just fine. Then you take a look at the gorgeous pair of pumps: round toe, platform, standard 4-inch heel, the exact style of five others in your closet. Why do we do this?
Overspending may seem harmless, but many go into debt supporting a habit Newsweek dubbed “shopaholism,” a common shopping addiction that can stem from boredom, keeping up with the Joneses, and depression.
Sure, shopping is therapeutic, but it can become a hobby to fill the void and escape feelings or situations we don’t want to deal with (i.e., the guy who broke your heart, the bully at school, or the spouse who leaves you feeling unappreciated). The problem: spending when you can’t afford the price tag. Here are a couple of tips to avoid over-shopping; your credit score and central nervous system will thank you.
1. Leave your credit cards at home.
This can be tricky if you tend to need lots of emergency funds, but consider going totally or at least almost plastic free. Leave your ATM card at home, and only take out money at your bank branch to avoid additional fees.
2. Shop with cash.
When spending cash, you visually see yourself handing over a handful of 20s, so it allows you to know how much you really are spending. When using a debit or credit card, it’s too easy to become indifferent to the funds you are spending. When the money is green and in your hand, you know you are literally spending your hard-earned cash and it may make you think twice before you let go of it.