Here’s how to stop buying addiction.
You just can’t ignore that end-of-summer sale, right?
So you end up buying a bunch of things that you don’t really need.
And you feel guilty or stupid and you wonder how to stop buying addiction.
This video will help you (or keep reading if you prefer text).
It’s the story of my addiction and how I stopped it.
How I developed and stopped buying addiction
When I was 36, I had this idea, “Now that I look older, I should compensate for that with better clothing.”
I started shopping every Sunday.
I would spend 2, 3, or even 4 hours walking around a mall or shopping online.
That summer, I bought about 20 items of clothes and 5 or 6 pairs of shoes.
Way too many.
People around me recognized that my style improved.
But they also wondered whether I was overdoing it.
And I was!
I was blowing money.
Here’s what helped me break that habit.
Tip 1: Don’t make shopping habitual
I’m blessed with the ability to build habits quite easily.
If I do something long enough, my discipline kicks in and I’m compelled to go on.
But that includes bad habits!
That’s exactly what happened with my buying addiction: I made it a habit.
I put aside time every Sunday to hit the mall.
And when I was there, I was compelled to buy something because I wanted some results out of it.
So for me, the biggest part of the solution was to stop the underlying habit of mall or online shopping on Sundays.
Tip 2: Fight scarcity
One of my biggest personal challenges is the scarcity mindset.
I’ve had it since early childhood when my family struggled financially.
For example, when I try on a piece of clothing and like it, I’m so compelled to buy it immediately.
Otherwise, someone else would buy it, my mind keeps telling me.
One day, I ended up buying five items from a particular store.
Three shirts, one pants, and something else.
When I came home and tried the shirts on again, I realized they were too small for me.
I called the store to see if I could return the shirts, but I couldn’t because I already cut off the labels.
That’s when I came up with this rule: When I go shopping, I buy just one thing.
By concentrating, I am not distracted by shiny objects like items on sale.
Further suggestions from an addiction coach Cali Estes:
Make sure you have a list when you go into a store and buy only the items on that list.
You can also give yourself a time limit in stores.
Or take cash only. For example, if you’re shopping for clothes take only $100 with you.
Tip 3: Avoid stress that comes with expensive items
After one of my shopping sprees, I ended up with an expensive watch.
And now every time I realize I don’t have it on my wrist, I have this fear that I lost it.
I also bought an expensive leather jacket.
And now I worry that it might wear out quickly.
This is all stress that’s bad for my health.
I don’t want it.
And I use this stress to stop buying addiction: it’s a reframe about expensive things.
For me, they mean stress first and the pleasure of ownership second.
Tip 4: Adopt a minimalist lifestyle
Earlier this year, I moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
And it gave me a new perspective on buying things.
For one, I keep changing apartments because I want to experience different places.
And I don’t want to carry a huge load of clothes with me.
The cost of living in Canada is also higher than in my home country, Russia.
So saving money has become important to me.
That’s why I’ve been practicing a minimalist lifestyle.
The idea is to get out of the rat race of wanting more things.
If I always want more, I’ll never have enough.
I’d rather own fewer things, but take good care of them.
Say, I’d rather wash the shoes that I have to make sure they are clean than buy a new pair.
That process makes me appreciate them more.
And I become happier.
And no shopping addiction treatment is required.
How to stop buying addiction with coaching
If you need help beating your shopping addiction, check out my life coaching services.
Learn more here and then contact me.
It’ll be my pleasure and privilege to do a free clarity session with you.