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We’ve all done it before. You’ve had a tough day at work, you’re feeling stressed out, and so you go on a shopping spree to make yourself feel better. Many of us turn to shop to try and relieve stress, and while this may help for a short period, this habit can quickly lead to serious financial problems.
If you find that you’re constantly stress shopping, it’s time to take a step back and figure out how to break this cycle. Here are a few tips to help you stop stress shopping from ruining your finances:
What Is Stress Shopping
“Retail Therapy” is a term often used to describe shopping and is characterised by an unnecessary purchase to try and reduce stress or to improve your mood.
Stress shopping is a common habit because it works and has been shown to provide a mood boost. Stress leaves us anxious and out of control, shopping gives us this control back and gives us momentary distraction about the things we are worried about.
When Does Shopping Become A Problem?
The line between retail therapy and addiction is often blurred. Where treating yourself from time to time doesn’t cause any financial damage, compulsive spending can quickly get out of hand and ruin your finances
There are a few key indicators that your shopping has become a problem:
- You’re using shopping as a way to cope with stress or other negative emotions
- You’re spending more money than you can afford
- You hide your purchases
- Your shopping habits put a strain on your relationships
Tips to Avoid Stress Shopping
Stress shopping can be a slippery slope if one is not careful. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your shopping habits don’t become a problem
To avoid stress shopping, you should
Identify Your Triggers
The first step to avoiding stress shopping is to figure out what triggers your urge to spend. Identify the situations, emotions, or thoughts that lead you to shop. Once you know your triggers, you can develop a plan to address them.
Some common triggers include:
Make Shopping Less Accessible
If you find it difficult to resist the temptation of buying something, make it harder for yourself to do so. Giving yourself less access to shopping is an easy way to curb excessive spending.
While this isn’t always easy, there are a few things you can do to make it harder for yourself to shop. You can unsubscribe from store emails, delete shopping apps from your phone, and avoid places that trigger your urge to spend.
Set and Stick To A Budget
If you’re struggling to stick to a budget, it may be helpful to set a spending limit for yourself. Once you’ve reached your limit, commit to not spending any more money. This can be especially helpful if you find it difficult to resist temptation.
Having A Mentor Help You
Stress shopping is a common problem that can quickly lead to financial ruin. If you find it difficult to stick to your goals, consider enlisting the help of a personal finance mentor. A financial mentor from Ruffle Mentoring can help you develop a budget, stick to your spending limit, and provide support when you’re struggling. Find your professional finance coach with Ruffle today.