Gone are the days when being a shopaholic meant haunting brick-and-mortar boutiques for great but unnecessary buys. Purchases can now be made easily through online selling platforms and social media specialty shops that have propagated the Internet in the past few years. Although this can be considered a convenience for most, this kind of ease-of-access can also be a danger for those who can’t seem to stop spending–a habit that can quickly turn into an addiction, which can cause serious monetary issues.
In order to keep your finances in the green, you’ll need to acknowledge the fact that yes, these flash sales and one-day promos are very tempting, but you always have the power to say no. Once you understand this, you’ll be able to control your spending better. To back you up, here are a few tips that you may want to try in order to keep yourself from burning your Paypal account.
1. Identify your needs and wants.
If you’re thinking about making an unplanned online purchase, you may want to pause and consider if it’s something that you need or if it’s just something that you want. If you identify it as a want, it means that the purchase can wait. Give yourself a few days to think about it, and if you’re really into the item, arrange your finances in such a way that it won’t leave a big hole in your budget.
2. Plan your expenses.
Let’s face it: Your budget for the next two weeks after pay day is rarely followed. However, planning your expenses is like creating a road map that will help you see where exactly you are financially, without guessing or wondering where all your money went. With a budget, you’ll be able to gauge if that tent set you found on sale is a logical purchase, or if you’re just making an excuse to buy something that you’ll never really use.
3. Unsubscribe from all mailing lists.
If you’ve actively been registering on online stores the past couple of years, chances are, you have more promotional mailers than personal email messages in you inbox. Words like "SALE" and "FREE" can really reel you in, so it would be best if you delete them before you even open them–and don’t forget to unsubscribe!
4. Only look at online stores when you need to buy something.
Curbing your craving for online shopping doesn’t mean that you have to totally abandon it. You can always surf your usual haunts if you’ve already unsubscribed from their mailing lists, but do your best to visit only when it’s necessary for you to make a purchase. As online stores don’t pay rent, there’s a bigger chance that the items that you need are priced better.
5. Get off your seat.
The best way to get over constant online shopping is to actually get up and unplug. Shut down your computer, delete all shopping apps from your phone, and have yourself a night out with friends. Yes, you’ll still be spending a bit, but at least you’re not doing so for a random thingamajig on sale, but for people that actually matter.