Shopaholic? This One’s For You!


Personal finance 101 says, “do NOT purchase anything you can’t afford”.  It’s a simple concept that many people seem to have hard time applying.  In fact, this simple advise is what ruin people’s finance with insurmountable debt.  If you are a self-described shopaholic, here are some tips to help you avoid buying things you don’t need with money you don’t have.

1. Don’t go to the mall when you don’t have money for shopping . Don’t go to the food court “just for lunch.” Don’t take your dry cleaning to a shop in the mall. Don’t pick up your prescriptions at a drug store in the mall. Just stay away until you have money to spend.

2. Don’t watch shopping channel as a way to get your window shopping fix. It is infinitely more difficult to talk yourself out of buying a specific thing at a specific price when there are only 16 left and they’re going fast than it is to talk yourself out of not watching the channels at all.

3. Watch only recorded television where you can fast forward through the commercials. The budgets spent on television advertising are huge.  Advertisers spend millions of dollars on just a few minutes on certain air time and they wouldn’t spend that kind of money on advertising if it didn’t work.  Or better yet, stay off the TV, watching your favorite actor or actress with certain pair of jeans just might spark that shopaholic engine of yours

4. Do surf the Internet shopping web site, or  You’ll always find a reason to buy something and you’ll definitely find something you like on those sites.  Internet, just like TV is bombarded with advertising and your computer has record of what you’ve been shopping for online and it will slap it on your face as soon as you open your browser.

5. Don’t research your purchase before you’re ready to buy. If you plan to replace your car in three years, it is dangerous to have a subscription to Car and Driver, or to spend hours on the internet reading reviews and checking prices and deals on cars.  The same goes for washers and dryers, refrigerators and every other major purchase. There will be plenty of time to do the research when the time to make a purchase comes.

6. Throw the catalogs away before they even get into the house. When you pull a catalog out of the mail box, drop it immediately in the recycling bin. Don’t keep it around , with its imploring cover, begging you to peruse its special prices, new colors and fabulous designs .  Everywhere we go, my wife tends to pick up those sales brochure or catalog on the way out.  The only objective of those catalog is to sell, sell and sell.  Drop that catalog.

Do you find yourself walking around at the mall when you have no particular thing to buy?  Do you find yourself doing the same thing on computer?  Have you wondered why you’re so enamored with things?  Please share and comment below.

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