Do you have an online shopping addiction and find yourself going over budget each month because you can’t control your spending? Read this article for some practical help and encouragement!
Guest post from Melanie of Sweet Frugal Life:
I didn’t used to have an online shopping addiction…
It all started before Christmas. There I was… feeling like a frugal queen… and then I decided to buy some of my kids’ Christmas presents online.
My first purchase was a set of PJs.
When I realized how easy and painless the whole online shopping thing was, I decided I needed to buy ALL of my Christmas presents online.
I mean, does it get any better than shopping in my pajamas while watching a movie?? Nope!
But wait, it got even better! The packages started showing up and were delivered right to my doorstep. It felt like Christmas every single day!
I thought I had everything under control until I just didn’t stop. All the gifts were bought, but I kept ordering items online.
For the first time in years, I found myself overspending, ignoring my budget, and buying completely on impulse.
I knew something needed to change.
I reached out to my Instagram support group for advice. Just as expected, they came through with a plethora of ideas to help me curb my online shopping addiction.
I started implementing these tips immediately and they really helped! If you struggle with an online shopping addiction, I hope these tips help you as much as they helped me!
7 Ways To Cure Your Online Shopping Addiction
1. Delete your credit card info from the store’s database.
One of the biggest draws for online shopping is convenience. Make it a little less convenient by deleting your credit card info from the store’s website.
I found when I had to manually enter my payment info at each checkout, it gave me those few extra minutes I needed to decide if I truly needed to make the purchase or not.
It hurt MUCH more when I had to manually input my credit card versus just pressing the “buy” button. It felt like actually spending money (go figure!) rather than clicking a button, and it made a huge difference in my spending.
2. Unsubscribe From Store Emails.
Let’s be real. Who can resist those flashy emails promising you “40% off” or “best deal ever”? Get those temptations out of your inbox by unsubscribing to each and every one of them.
It has been so freeing to not constantly have deals pushed at me every time I check my email, and this has been a big key to helping me cure my online shopping addiction. If I don’t know the sale is happening, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything!
And guess what! There will always be another sale… ALWAYS!
3. Implement the 48-Hour Rule
The 48-hour rule is the golden rule to quit impulse shopping.
It’s simple really. Do not buy any unplanned purchases until you have thought about it for 48 hours.
This 48-hour period gives you time to research to find a better deal or to possibly change your mind.
Most of the time when I stick to my 48-hour rule, I end up changing my mind and not making the purchase! It’s funny how just giving yourself some time to think will make something not look so tempting anymore — even if you felt like you had to have that item before!
4. Delete Shopping Apps From Your Phone
As mentioned earlier, the less convenient you make online shopping, the less likely you are to give in to the temptation.
If you have any shopping apps on your phone, delete them immediately. Apps make giving into an online shopping addiction quick and easy.
Make it harder on yourself and get rid of the apps!
5. Rely On A Support System
A good support system is a huge key to success. I am so grateful I had my Instagram support system to encourage me to quit online shopping.
I decided to open up to my Instagram followers and admit I had an online shopping addiction. This was scary to do (I am usually frugal!), but afterward I received so many wonderful messages full of encouragement, support, and advice.
Knowing that I had all of these great friends supporting and encouraging me was the push I needed to finally do something about my addiction.
Find yourself a strong support system — people who will challenge you, encourage you, and motivate you to stick to your spending goals.
6. Give Yourself a Reward
Rewards work great for my kids… and they work just as great for me!
I promised myself that if I could go an entire month without shopping online, I would treat myself to my favorite salad from my favorite restaurant (Café Rio).
This reward was in my mind constantly. Whenever I would get that temptation to click and buy, I remembered my salad and changed my mind. Go me!
If you’re struggling to keep to your goal, promise yourself a mini reward. Maybe you can get your nails done or treat yourself to a movie.
Just make sure it’s something that you don’t do very often so that it feels like a special treat. (Just remember to budget for your reward! ;))
7. Keep Busy
Online browsing is addicting and a fun way to spend time when you’re bored.
If you relate to this and feel like you might have an online shopping addiction, find a hobby that will prevent you from having this extra downtime.
This might be starting a new hobby, reading a new book, or taking up an exercise class. Do whatever it is you need to do to keep yourself off the computer.
I am proud to say that I am now a reformed online shopping addict! Yay me!!
I accomplished my goal of no online shopping for an entire month. And now that the month has come and gone, I can proudly say I still haven’t been shopping online. The addiction is gone!
I’ve heard it takes 21 days to break a habit and I am living proof of that.
If I can do it, you can too!
If you are struggling with an online shopping addiction, try to pick one or two of these ideas to implement in your life.
My hope is that these tips will help others cure their online shopping addictions, too!
Melanie runs the blog Sweet Frugal Life where she shares all things frugal. Her world was turned upside down when her husband came home unemployed five years ago. But it also shaped who she is today. She learned how to stretch every dollar, be content with less, and appreciate the sweet life they have. Melanie is now passionate about sharing these important life lessons with everyone else. She truly believes that being frugal does not make life any less sweet!
This is very helpful information. And I am so interested in making these efforts. My problem is, I work 40 hours a week, in front of a computer. The boredom (in between actual working) kicks in, and I start browsing. Almost, like I am looking for a way out. Mentally. Looking for hope. And that’s where the addiction really sinks it’s teeth in. I am addicted to hope. Side note, my job pays the bills, but it definitely is NOT what feeds my soul, sooooooo. That’s clearly the underlying issue here. Any advise is welcomed. Thank you! =)
Thank you for sharing your shopping addiction. My sister and I both share that problem. I appreciate the tips for quitting, that may be just what I needed. But, I just love getting packages in the mail. Receiving fat envelopes of stuff or boxes from Amazon with the smile just make me so happy. And the contents don’t even have to be for me. It could be for husband, dog, sister, it doesn’t matter. I just like getting those packages. And, I don’t use a credit card, I use a debit card so, when the stuff arrives, it doesn’t hurt because it has already been paid for. I think my problem is worse than yours.