With Amazon Prime Day just around the corner, addiction experts have warned that the day of discounts could be damaging to those who struggle with compulsive shopping habits.
While there is nothing wrong with treating ourselves now and then, spending more money when you’re stressed or buying something you don’t need to make yourself happy can signify shopping addiction.
As part of a recent report by Private Rehab Clinic, Delamere, the addiction specialists have shared their tips on reducing compulsive buying behaviour if you’re worried about your or a loved one’s shopping habits on Amazon Prime Day.
Suppose you’ve found that the temptation to splurge and delete certain online shopping apps is increasing from your phone or other devices. When you remove the opportunity for one-click buying, you can limit the impulse to shop, all while saving money.
Online shopping may feel like a fun way to unwind in the evening or on your lunch break, so it’s essential to eliminate all temptation. You can do this by installing a blocker app on your computer or phone so that you can’t gain access to specific websites.
Or you can set a screentime limit on your phone so that you can’t access certain apps during your ‘trigger times’.
Set limits on your credit and debit cards
Credit cards have many benefits, including earning users rewards and helping them build a credit history and security. But when used recklessly, they can become a source of debt, stress, and temptation for those with a shopping addiction.
Cancelling credit cards will help you gain control over your shopping habits and limit any compulsive spending. Start by paying off any outstanding debt on your credit card. For some people cancelling credit cards is not an option, so alternatively, put a spending limit on them.
Unsubscribe from emails
If you are more tempted to spend money when you see sales emails pop up in your inbox, it’s time to click ‘unsubscribe’. Brands will often promise one-time offers enticing you to purchase more goods. Remove yourself from the mailing list, limiting your exposure to ‘special offers’ and cutting back on your spending.
Replace shopping with a new hobby
Once you remove shopping from your day-to-day life, boredom might arise if you don’t have things to fill your time. It’s essential to find healthy and fun activities to help stop you from slipping back into old habits and from having a distraction when you have the impulse to shop.
Baking, walking, painting, and learning a new language or sport are just a few ways to try a new hobby without breaking the bank.
Keep on track of your money
You may not be completely aware of how much money you’re spending and what triggers your compulsive buying behaviour. You can find patterns in your spending by keeping track of your outgoings. Identifying where these shopping triggers come from can help you to avoid certain situations where you would be motivated to shop.
You can download apps like Yolt or Plum to help you keep on track of your spending.
Set saving goals
Identify realistic goals you would like to achieve. Whether that’s taking a trip to your favourite city, donating more money to charity or setting aside money for a new car, if you have a goal you want to accomplish, this will remind you how important it is not to be spending. Whenever you feel the urge to buy something, take a moment to think about your life goal.
Change your environment
Our environment plays a massive role in our behaviour. To curb your shopping addiction, consider your current surroundings and see how they could influence your spending. While we don’t have complete control over our environment, we have some control over certain aspects of our lives, for example, the places we visit.
Start by creating ‘no visiting zones’ for places you want to avoid, such as shopping centres, stores and other settings that tempt you to shop. You might also find temptation in reading magazines, and newspapers, watching television shows or scrolling on social media, so eliminating these from your environment is important to recovery.
Seek professional help
Opening up and asking for support from loved ones and professionals may feel challenging or unsafe due to addiction’s shame and social stigma. But having a strong support system around you can make the recovery process more manageable.
Professional support will help you identify the root cause of your problems, identify potential triggers, and help you develop coping mechanisms to help you or your family.