How to deal with a compulsive spender? Have you developed a shopping addiction? Even if you’re in debt up to your eyeballs, can’t you seem to stop spending money? Is shopping causing you to feel guilty and unhappy, placing a strain on your personal relationships?
If you have any of these issues, you may be a compulsive spender. A compulsive spender, according to psychologist April Lane Benson, is someone who spends so much time and energy buying things and thinking about buying things that it significantly affects his or her life.
Stopping Overshopping LLC, based in New York, was founded by Benson to assist compulsive shoppers. “To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop” is her first book.
Spending compulsively can become a vicious cycle. Kit Yarrow, a consumer research psychologist, discovered that remorse led to increased expenditure. “People think, ‘Oh God, I have a problem,’ and things become worse,” Yarrow says.
For people seeking assistance, Yarrow and Benson give the following suggestions about How to deal with a compulsive spender.
How to deal with a compulsive spender?
Get to the bottom of the issue.
Despite the fact that compulsive spenders amass a lot of stuff, this isn’t the root of the problem. “Think about what you’re actually looking for when you go shopping.” “It isn’t the eighth pair of black boots or the latest camera,” Benson explains.
According to Yarrow, compulsive spending is a reaction to an emotional problem. The individual may be bereaved or suffering from anxiety, anger, depression, or another form of emotional distress.
According to Benson, these emotions, as well as fear, guilt, humiliation, doubt, and feelings of inadequacy, can lead to spending.
To gain control over your triggers, according to Yarrow, you must first identify them.
There is professional counselling available for compulsive spenders, as well as support groups for compulsive spenders. However, don’t discount the therapeutic value of simply talking about your problem with a friend. “Good friends may be excellent therapists,” Yarrow says.
Benson also suggests that compulsive shoppers find a “shopping support partner.” This person can offer encouragement and support to the spender while he or she attempts to break the habit.
You must pay in cash.
People tend to spend more money when they pay with credit or debit cards, according to Yarrow’s research. “Charging items causes individuals to lose touch with their money.” “They don’t look at it like money,” Yarrow explains.
When you have to pull money out of your handbag or wallet, spending becomes more real. That’s why she advises setting aside money from paychecks for bills right away and withdrawing the balance in cash.
Because you only have a certain amount of money to spend, you’ll be far less likely to go on a spending binge.
Keep track of your spending.
It doesn’t matter if you track your expenditures with your smartphone, a computer application, or a pen and paper; whatever works.
“It’s not so much what you’re putting down as it is the act of writing it down,” Yarrow explains. It assists you in becoming more aware of your spending and remaining dedicated to overcoming your compulsive spending habits.
Making lists, according to Yarrow, is extremely beneficial when attempting to stop a bad habit or establish a good one.
Meanwhile, Benson suggests assigning a score to each item you buy based on how important you believe it is. The higher the score, the more important the item is to you. When you examine your purchases, you’ll be able to discover how much money you could save if you removed the truly needless products.
Wait 20 minutes before making a purchase.
When you’re shopping and see something you truly desire, your body takes control and you can’t think rationally, according to Yarrow.
To avoid overspending, have the store clerk hold your item for 20 minutes. “Wait 20 minutes for your brain to reset,” Yarrow advises.
Make as many social relationships as possible.
According to Benson, compulsive shoppers are trying to meet their desire for social interaction via shopping. “However, you can never have too many things you don’t need,” she continues.
As a result, Yarrow recommends compulsive spenders to diversify their social networks and hobbies. Sports, clubs, charities, and book clubs are examples of these activities.
“You wouldn’t believe how much shopping is the heart of so many people’s social lives,” Yarrow says.
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