Compulsive Shopping: 4 Smart Ways to Avoid It

If you find yourself infected with compulsive buying disorder, do not wait until you finally find yourself out of control. Try these 4 tips to fight the urge of compulsive buying:

1. Determine Possible Reasons for the Behavior

Studies show that compulsive buying disorder may be secondary to much deeper underlying issues. Take time to reflect on what could be the possible reasons why you do such a thing. What after-feeling does it give you to buy compulsively? Do you find yourself with more worth if you are able to purchase stuff, even if you don’t actually need them? What do you feel if this compulsion is not met?

Some people do compulsive buying because they reportedly gain much self-worth everytime they do this; others feel in control while others feel relieved of the anxiety or the emptiness they’re feeling.

It is important to establish the deeper reasons for your compulsive buying. If you have a trusted friend, you can ask his or her help. Or, if you believe that you need a much more professional help, feel free to consult one. It is similarly important to realize and accept that you are indeed battling with this behavior in order for you to be open to possible help that can do away with the compulsion.

2. Think it over for a few more minutes before finally deciding to buy.

One of the simplest but most effective ways to halt compulsive buying is to give yourself time and space to evaluate and debate (if you need to) whether the purchase is indeed necessary or just another meaningless splurge and waste of money. You may even ask yourself questions like, “Do I need this thing?” “Do I have enough money left for the purchase?” When you learn to debate with yourself, you can find more reasons that may help you do away with the purchase.

3. Do not bring that plastic card when you go to the mall.

Bringing credit cards wherever you go will unconsciously give you the assurance that you can buy anything you want with just a swipe, and this will not help control your impulsivity when it comes to buying. Bringing cash instead will help limit your purchases; when you have none left in your wallet, it means you can no longer buy stuff. So another wise thing to do is to bring just enough cash for food or gas, or taxi fare, otherwise, the purpose of leaving the credit card at home will be useless.



4. Make a list of your expenses (not a mental list).

Keep a jot down notebook or a make a budget tracker and bring it with you always. List all possible purchases and the amount that you have spent for them. Seeing the actual figures you have spent will make you realize how much money you have left and that will help you control the spending activities since you are greatly reminded of the available funds you have left.


Most people who do compulsive shopping usually have their regrets after they are done with it, and there would be no point in being regretful as you can no longer undo what took place. These simple ways will help you minimize the occurrence of compulsive shopping; it may be a little difficult to do at first, but you’ll certainly appreciate yourself for doing so.

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  2. This is a very helpful article. I found another one about all of the causes and different types of compulsive shopping. Check it out!

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