Compulsive Shopping Traps to Avoid

For many, shopping is a hobby or past time.  The phrase “Shop til you Drop” is commonly used.  It is fine to go shopping when you are in need of specific items but many individuals buy things just to buy things.  For others it can a compulsive behavior just as gambling and alcoholism.

Stores come up with tactics for you to spend more money.

Many newspapers are filled almost daily with sale flyers.  They are handy if you are looking for something specific, however if you are not, do not tempt yourself by looking through them.

Many stores offer coupons for an amount off a future purchase if you spend a certain amount.  They also send coupons in the mail or in the newspaper for a certain amount off of a qualifying purchase.  These can be good deals if it is something you need or were planning on purchasing.  But many people go into the store to use the coupon and end up purchasing other items.

Also, beware of opening accounts with store accounts. 

Many stores offer store accounts.  Even if you receive a discount, it may not be worth the difference.  These accounts may have higher interest rates if the balance is not paid in full.  Also, when using credit it is easier to overspend.  When you are planning on paying with cash, you are more conscious of how much you are spending.

Beware of warehouse stores, discount stores and dollar stores. 

Like mentioned above, deals can be found in these stores if it is something you were planning on purchasing.  But it is easy to overspend in these stores, especially dollar stores.  A dollar or two here and there may not seem like a lot but they can add up quickly.  It is advised to shop with a list and try to purchase only items on your list.  Also, by using cash you will be less tempted to purchase extra items.

Avoid catalogues and online shopping.

Online shopping can be convenient, but like shopping in stores, make sure stick to your list and only purchase items you need and were planning on purchasing.  Like with brick and mortar stores, many online retailers offer discounts or free shipping when you spend a certain amount.  But keep in mind how much you can afford to spend.

If you have trouble keeping your spending under control, try to avoid looking at catalogues and window shopping as a past time.  If you are tempted to go shopping, try walking or exercising instead.