When you love shopping, you can often find that your passion goes from somewhat normal to over the top in no time at all. Although you may feel like you have a hold on how often you shop, things can be a little crazy. Whether you find yourself hitting the stores every day, endlessly buying gifts for people, or making online orders multiple times each week, you might want to see if you can reign it in a little. But how do you go about doing that?
Sometimes, you can feel as if you don’t have a problem, or you could stop shopping if you really wanted to, but it isn’t always that easy. Shopping can be a true addiction, just like anything else. So, to ensure that you’re managing your urges to shop in the most efficient way, it’s time to take action. And if you need a little help in doing that, these handy pointers should start you off on the right foot.
Do You Have A Problem?
The first part of the process that you need to address is often the hardest. Even if you don’t feel as if your shopping is that problematic, you really do need to consider if you have a shopping problem. Being a shopaholic can seem like a lot of fun. But, those highs you feel when you’re swiping your credit card can often come crashing down when you receive the bills! So, to start managing your habit, be honest with yourself about your potential problem.
Work Out What You Spend
Next, you’re going to want to really face the music by looking at what you spend. Off the top of your head, do you know what you usually spend on your shopping altogether each month? Groceries, clothing, shoes, beauty supplies – all of it. Sometimes, you may feel like it’s just a few hundred dollars, but it can actually be shockingly a lot more. And now’s the time to find out.
Create A Budget
When you’re uncovered the amounts that you’re actually spending each month, it’s time to start setting yourself a budget. It’s important to do this based on what you earn, what you have to pay on bills, and what savings you need to make. Then, you can see what’s left to spend on shopping. If you have been spending more than what you earn, this step will be the most important of all.
If you find that you’re all too tempted to swipe your credit card all of the time, you might benefit from trying to use cash instead. When you have to pay in cash, it feels more real. When you have a set amount of money in your wallet, you definitely think twice before spending it. Because you can see it and feel it, you’re more aware than when it’s gone; it’s gone. So working with cash can often mean that you spend a lot more wisely.
Write Everything Down
Just like you went through your expenditure to find out just how much you were really spending, it may help you going forwards to start tracking what you spend. Not only should you record all of your shopping purchases, but everything from your rent and groceries to coffees and car payments. Tracking your spending can often be a great way to cut down. Not only can you be shocked by how much you’re spending, but you can start to control what you’re spending it on.
Set Yourself A Limit
As you start to write everything down, you should know what you’re roughly spending on what each and every month. Alongside having a budget, you might also find it useful to have spending limits. Say you have a $200 budget to shop with each month, why not then set limits on what that can go towards? If you find yourself continuously buying beauty products that you just don’t use, set yourself a limit of X amount of dollars that you can’t go over every month. It might sound restrictive, but it can help you to manage your spending well.
Have A One For One Rule
Another way to make sure that all of your purchases count, is to have a one for one rule. You may be tempted to buy that gorgeous dress that just caught your eye and looks great on, but you will think twice about doing it if you know that you’re going to have to throw something out that you already own. By committing to throwing things out whenever you buy anything new, it really does mean that you have to be 100% certain of the things you’re planning on buying.
Use Gift Cards
If you’re not keen on using cash, you might want to think about using gift cards instead. It may sound crazy, but when you load money onto a gift card, you really do have a limit. You can even choose your stores, visit Cards2Cash for ideas on what you can get so that you’re taking back more control of where your spend. And because you have a limit, you know that once you’ve spent it, it really is gone.
One of the ways you can really make sure that you’re taking back control of your spending it to be completely open and honest about it. Whether you have a problem or feel like you may have had one in the past, by telling your friends and family about it, you’re now held accountable. Being transparent with them means that you can no longer hide purchases, so you have to make sure that everything you buy is worth it and justified.
Cut Up Your Cards
This may not work for everyone, but if you really feel like you have a problem and you can’t get control of it, you might want to think about cutting up your cards. When you spend on credit cards or store cards, just because you can, you can often find that you get into debt super easily. But, if you cut up your cards, you can stop that from happening, or nip it in the bud before it gets any worse.