That rush of caressing something new, that sweet sweet smell of an unused item, that’s all for you to infuse with your own scent, that sense of release that comes with knowing that something brand new is now all yours, is unmatched. Yes, there is also a certain thrill that comes with scouring through aisles in your favourite store, or pages on your favourite website, and spending your hard-earned money on that new, shiny thing (Because getting the same thing as a present is just not the same). So, you fill your cart with one, two, five, seven, fifteen items, swipe your card, and the next thing you know, you have too many clothes, and not enough money to last the month.Bam! You’re a shopaholic, and you don’t know what to do with this nagging bug that scratches at your soul, even when you have overspent your monthly shopping budget, and you barely have enough money to feed yourself for the rest of the month.
But, before you resign yourself to a lifetime of clothes-rich-cash-poor existence, try this eight step guide to curbing that shopping bug.
1. Close your eyes, and breathe
Every time you spot something that is irresistibly pretty, close your eyes, and take 10 deep breaths. Inhale deeply, and exhale fully.
2. Walk away
Open your eyes, and walk away, or switch to a different tab. Yes, that item you wanted is still there. You’re just taking a moment away from its shining beauty, to get some perspective.
3. If you feel like going back to it, before you do, ask yourself the quintessential question…
“Do you really need it?”
In all likelihood, if you do this repeatedly, you will soon reach a point where you are able to walk away from that crippling need of buying something you don’t really need. But, if it doesn’t work, here are some harsh strategies you can try to make sure you don’t have access to money you can burn.
4. Open a savings account.
5. Every month, calculate the amount you need for your rent, utilities, bills, PPF, or whatever is essential (And no, a 17th pair of moccasins is not essential, even if it’s in a blue you don’t have!), add 5% of your salary to it. Whatever is left, put it in your savings account (this is the money you spend).
6. Give your cheque book, and your card from your savings account to your mother / father / best friend / boyfriend / whoever you trust to not cave to your begging and pleading when you want to shop.
By following step 4 – 6, you will have solved two problems – one, you are not buying things you don’t need, and two, you are actually saving that money!
7. Throw away anything and everything you haven’t used in a year.
12 months, no more, no less. Whether it’s clothes, accessories, or shoes, if it hasn’t touched your body in a year, it probably won’t touch your body. If your pile of throw aways is bigger than what’s left, it should put things in perspective.
And now, for the final step…
Now that you are not spending hours browsing catalogues, you have to figure out what to do with all that free time. Pick up a new work out. Why? Because exercising has the same biochemical effect as an addiction does, and it makes us happy. The best way to get over a bad habit is to replace it with a good one.