Six ways to curb your online shopping habit

Online shopping can be a blessing, but if it’s become a curse to your purse it’s time to take action!

It’s never been easier to buy online, particularly if you have accounts set up with all your favourite retailers. Sometimes it’s possible to make a purchase before can utter the words “credit card limit”. The adrenaline rush some people get from shopping creates a high that is similar to drug or alcohol consumption, and it can be just as addictive. And then there’s the guilt you have to deal with, knowing you’ve spent more money… and perhaps hiding it from a loved one. If you feel as though your shopping habit is turning into an addiction, read the tips below.

  1. Unsubscribe from retailer newsletters. You couldn’t possibly need another thing, but then an email arrives in your inbox announcing that your favourite retailer is having a half-price sale. It can’t hurt to have a look, can it? Well, it might if you end up making more unnecessary purchases! Take away the temptation and clear out your inbox at the same time.
  2. Get rid of all your clutter. Sorting through your stuff is time-consuming, which in itself could help to keep you away from the usual online purchases. But it could also serve two other purposes. First, it could make you aware of just how much stuff you already have. If you haven’t got space for everything you already own you probably don’t need anything new! Second, studies show that you’re more likely to make a purchase (and a more expensive one at that) if you’re sitting in a cluttered rather than a tidy room.
  3. Cancel your credit cards. This is a pretty strong way to knock the online shopping on the head. If you don’t want to go the whole hog, pass over control of them to someone you trust. Don’t forget to disconnect your credit cards from your online accounts, as most only need the security number to make a purchase after you’ve used the card once. And you know that three-digit number pretty well by now!
  4. Find a shopping accountability partner. This could be your partner, a close friend or a relative; anyone you can be totally open with. Before you buy anything at all – even the cheap, mundane stuff – run it past your accountability partner. This not only means they can advise on whether you should buy the items or not, but also forces you to take a step back from that compulsive buying mindset people can so easily fall into.
  5. Start saving for something you really want. This could be anything, for example a holiday, a new car or a garden makeover. a photo up somewhere prominent to remind you of your target purchase and create a budget of how you plan to save up for it. Picture yourself enjoying whatever it is you are aiming for. Then remember that every penny you save can go toward reaching that prize.
  6. Rejig your priorities. There is almost certainly something more important to focus on than the odds and ends you’re currently browsing. Perhaps your kids need your attention. Maybe your spouse needs a hand with dinner. It could be that a neighbour is in real financial lack. Or perhaps you just need to spend more time in prayer or reading your Bible. Put your device down and ask God to show you what you should be spending your time on instead. He will almost certainly give you a new perspective and help you knock the shopping on the head if you’re willing to make a few changes.