Do you often feel the urge of shopping without necessity? It is estimated that currently, around 5% of people worldwide are suffering from Buying Shopping Disorder (BSD) or compulsive buying disorder. People who are addicted to excessive shopping are called shopaholic. Due to the surge of social networking websites and e-commerce platforms, lucrative promotional advertisements are inciting people to buy things they need or do not need. The ongoing pandemic can be a great opportunity to deal with this BSD. In this article, we are going to discuss some basic concepts about shopping compulsion and ways how to stop online shopping addiction.
Why is Online Shopping So Popular?
Three key factors play a great role in creating an online shopping addiction. Those are:
- People who want to avoid social interaction and prefer buying anonymously.
- People who like a wide variety of collection.
- People who enjoy instant satisfaction.
Key signs of compulsive online shopping disorder include:
- You are failing to control online shopping tendency even if when you really want to.
- Your shopping behavior is declining your savings and causing harm to relationships, and work.
- Your family members, partner, or friends are worried about your irrational money habits.
- You enjoy thinking or planning about shopping all the time.
- You get anxious, disappointed, or annoyed when you cannot shop online.
- Shopping online is the only thing that can make you feel better.
- The tendency of hiding purchased items from the fear of getting criticized for overspending.
- Feeling post-shopping guiltiness or regret.
- Spending little time to enjoy other things that make you happy.
- Purchasing things beyond budget even if you do not actually need or planned to buy.
Due to the pandemic situation, many people are stuck at home for several months. Physical meetings with friends and relatives are being discouraged for the sake of limiting the spread of the virus. Getting distracted from the normal pace of life, many people are facing diverse psychological and emotional problems, like panic buying.
Besides flocking to the supermarkets, people are shopping from e-commerce websites to hoard a bulk amount of grocery items and other products during the lockdown period. Some food items may get decomposed before consumption, which is a wastage of money and food during the COVID19 pandemic. To prevent such mishaps, you can prepare a grocery list considering your family size and necessity.
Identify Your Shopping Points
When you are trying to control your shopping affinity, it is quite essential to identify what provokes you for shopping. For instance, if you do excess shopping from any specific Facebook pages/groups or e-commerce website, then you need to block those pages or sites.
Besides this, you can unsubscribe promotional emails, and delete shopping apps from your Smartphone. Now you will no more get notifications from those online shopping points. Your shopping behavior can change if you can resist the temptation of returning to those pages or sites.
Find Your Shopping Triggers
What on earth is pushing you towards excessive shopping tendency? Some people tend to shop as a result of chronic depression; because buying goods can give them temporary happiness. While some other people do online shopping to kill boredom. However, the reason may vary from person to person. If you can identify your shopping trigger, it would be easier to deal with.
Find Your Own Entertainment
You can start a healthy habit like reading novels, gardening, watching movies, or any other creative hobby in order to divert your attention from online shopping. If you invest less time in browsing e-commerce websites or Facebook shopping pages, you will be less attracted to new items. It will not save your money but also improve your emotional health.
Pay in Cash
Most of the people, who use credit cards for online shopping, tend to buy excess things which they do not actually need. To harness your shopping spree, you can opt for cash on delivery (COD) instead of paying through credit card.
Track Your Spending
When you track where the money has been spent you can justify your own expenditure behavior. You can maintain an expenditure log for every month to compare the increase or decrease in your shopping trend. It will also remind you about the burden of expenditure or debt whenever you wish to buy anything you rarely need.
Tidy Up Your Wardrobe
If you love to buy new clothes every month and hardly wear those, then try this technique. When you take an attempt to organize the clutter of your wardrobe, it will make you remember that you already have nice, stylish clothes. It will certainly make you feel contained about your possession and diminish your tendency to buy more. You can repeat this process several times a month to get a better result.
Make Yourself Wait
The virtual world is always presenting money-spinning advertisements that bait people to buy things that they actually do not need. It is found that when people feel the urge of buying any product, the wish usually disappears within 24 to 72 hours. You can apply this trick! Before buying things make yourself wait for a while!
Save for Real Life Necessity
The famous American business tycoon Warren Buffett says “Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving.” You can choose a saving plan and deposit a considerable share of your earning to the bank every month. It will provide you long-term benefits like overcoming rainy days in job or business, sudden medical emergencies, securing the education of your kids, etc. You can spend the left amount to buy necessary things for you and your family. Then, you will hardly afford any extra money to shop for unnecessary things.
Remind Yourself Big Dreams
Each of us may have a long-cherished desire – like visiting abroad or grabbing a car – which is yet to fulfill due to lack of money. Besides this, you can plan big goals for your life achieving a degree, or study abroad. Now you can start planning for these desires and goals, which really matters to your life! If you remind yourself about these plans, your spendthrift behavior will naturally reduce.
Ask for Help
Shopping addiction can lead to financial insecurity, family disagreement, debt, depression, anxiety, etc. So far we have discussed several ways to curb BSD or compulsive shopping addiction. However, if you still cannot control your shopping spree you can consult with a psychiatrist for counseling.