Have you ever looked at your monthly bills and thought, “only if I hadn’t spent so much this month!” Six in ten Americans admit that the reason they have debt is that they spend more than necessary on irrelevant items, writes Market Watch. Only about 10 to 12% say that their debt is caused by having insufficient funds to cover for their basic expenses.
According to Debtors Anonymous, a high percentage of the U.S. economy thrives on the 24/7 American compulsive shopping and Internet usage. We have become addicted to shopping, and it’s time to wake up. We must stop, breathe, and observe. We must learn how to say NO; but first, let’s see why we spend more money than we need and what we can do to stop it.
Many people overspend to avoid dealing with emotions. They run away from their inner feelings and decide to purchase additional items without thinking twice. Compulsive shopping makes them fulfilled; they believe it can help them forget about their problems. That’s right – it can. Unfortunately, it’s only temporarily.
Solve it! To avoid this feeling, keep a daily journal of your emotions. Take 10 minutes at the end of each day to write down your thoughts. Evaluate them at the end of every week; you’ll start making mindful decisions soon enough. If you do not know how, try to use some services, as assignmentholic.co.uk, A Writer or Aussiewritings.com to help you for the first times.
2. Instant Gratification
Immediate gratification refers to the inability to abstain yourself from temptations. The only thing that matters to a compulsive consumer is the instant pleasure that comes with shopping. They don’t think about consequences; and if they do, they don’t consider it.
When you want to do something delightful and gratifying, it is better to wait at least 30 minutes until you go for it.
Solve it! Next time you feel tempted to purchase an item, whether it’s clothing, food, or something else, reevaluate your decision. Then wait 30 minutes. Buy it only if you still feel like it.
3. When the Past Strikes Again
Many of our problems find their roots in our childhood years, including compulsive shopping! If you were poor as a child, always desiring something you could not have, it might show in your adulthood decisions.
Instead of buying only what is necessary, you unconsciously purchase unnecessary items to feel secure. Shopping in this scenario becomes a coping mechanism for fear of impoverishment.
Solve it! Do a thorough self-analysis of your past and notice what influenced you as a child. Confronting childhood fears is an incredible way to evolve and become conscious of your emotions, actions, and feelings.
4. Feeling Powerful
“Spending money is a sign of power for many individuals,” shares Gina Kristim, content writer at EssayGeeks.co.uk and Psychologist intern. “Buying something means owning it,” continues Kristim. “And owning it means having power over it.”
Unfortunately, this is how many people function. The human nature wants to achieve success, attain glory, and possess items. The subconscious is obsessed with getting more than it needs to expand its limits and transgress into the infinite. However, we should become aware of this feeling and wake up to the truth.
Solve it! Before leaving the house, make a grocery list. Don’t spend money on what is not written down. Take things step by step and have patience with yourself.
5. Feeling Worthy
Let me start by emphasizing this: You are perfect the way you are. You are valuable, loving, and kind. There is no need to shop to prove yourself this. Everything comes from the inside, remember that! You are beautiful outside because you are balanced inside. You are and always will be worthy, no matter how many things you possess.
Solve it! Meditate every day. Take 20 minutes each morning to breathe and look within. The changes you’ll see will be exquisite. You can find guided meditations online. Try them out!
6. Being a Follower
When your friends shop, why wouldn’t you, right? Wrong. When your friends shop, you can either enjoy other activity or confront them. Don’t follow the trend only because it’s cool. You can end up bankrupt or in an incredibly high amount of debt.
Solve it! When your friends go shopping, read a book or propose another activity. Explain to them that they mustn’t spend money to feel happy. Take them on a hike or go ice skating! Walk your dogs! Work out! Anything but shopping.
That 85% discount is not real. “The stuff is marked up from the original cost and then marked down to make people think they are getting a deal,” shares Rachel Gillett, writer at Business Insider. This is how things work.
Solve it! Next time you walk through the mall and see a deal, avoid it. Walk past it and ignore it, because it is not real. You are being ignorant by overlooking this argument. Discounts are not real – they are designed to make people buy more.
8. The Pursuit of Happiness
Many people shop compulsively because they lack happiness. As awful as it sounds, it’s true. They don’t spend enough time making themselves happy, so they must get happiness from an external source. Falling into this trap is dangerous.
Solve it! Ask yourself:
- How do you spend your free time?
- Do you make yourself gifts?
- Are you introspective, do you understand yourself?
- Do you make enough time for yourself?
9. About Your Personality
Sometimes, personality is to blame! Your priorities should be your needs, followed by the luxuries. For some people, things work the other way around. Find out your personality type to see if you are predisposed to compulsive shopping.
Last but not least, most people shop to cover for their insecurities. When we are not able to fulfill emotions of love, compassion, comfort, and safeness by ourselves, we choose to buy a new car, house, expensive jewelry, or a new wardrobe. Before making any shopping decisions, stop, breathe, think, write down, and learn how to say NO.
People buy more things that they need because they are damaged in one way or another. A happy, fulfilled person will own only the necessary. If you want to experience the feeling, become a minimalist for one or two months to get back on track. Good luck!
Watch this space for regular updates in the Opinion category.
I’m an aspiring marketing writer at Edugeeksclub.com and ResumesPlanet.com. I started out as a business college graduate and ended up working for impressive companies in Europe. I thrive on sharing quality information for both businesses and single professionals who wish to take their marketing game to the next level.