listen to the episode here
You might hope this post is full of budgeting apps, but I don’t think those will truly help you. If you have a real shopping addiction, whether it’s clothing, home goods or accessories for your pet, there’s some deeper work you need to do to beat your addiction.
I know downloading another budgeting app or going on an Amazon diet sounds more glamorous than what you’ll read here. But here’s some real-talk, like most problems in our lives, the true answer is deep inside. Not in the app store.
I always say that answers we need to change our lives for the better are incredibly simple, but they are hard as HELL to actually do. Why? Because most of the time, they’re unsexy, not fun and require consistency. Something that instant-gratification lovers like us don’t want to do. My hand is raised with you!
I’ve been there! I worked in a high-end department store climbing the promotion ladder for YEARS before I found what’s truly important to me. I thought the only way I could get ahead is to dress like I had the job (and the money) I wanted. I racked up THOUSANDS of dollars in credit card debt telling myself that I had to, or else I wouldn’t go anywhere.
So, I feel you. I know how hard the grip of shopping addiction can feel. I know how satisfying it is to buy a new outfit that makes you feel like a total boss.
But I also know when what it feels like when that high wears off and you still feel that emptiness inside (along with the money anxiety soon after buying yet another outfit.)
So, if you’re open to doing some inner work, I’ve got a few ideas for you.
1. Think about the real reason why you have a shopping addiction
And when I say real reason, I mean the RRREEEAAALLLL reason. Not like my, “Oh I need it for my job” reason. But a lot deeper than that.
For me, I always said I needed stuff for my job because I was in fashion, which wasn’t entirely false. I needed to show I had style, obviously. But there are plenty of people who don’t spend a dime on clothing and they’re super stylish! My real reason was I didn’t feel confident that I was the smartest and strongest leader among my peers. If I dressed like them, then I would become like them.
I’ve always associated style with the amount of money a person has. So, if they were stylish, then they must have a good amount of money. Therefore, they were good at their job. So if my co-workers looked good, then that MUST mean they’re killing it at work, right?
While I love a good outfit, it’s not the reason I’d put myself into financial jeopardy.
The negative self-talk I had in my head grew louder and I listen to it. “Of course I don’t have enough skills to prove my worth at work” I would think. “They all look pulled together, I can’t look like I’m broke” is thought that was stuck in my brain with gorilla glue.
So here’s what I want you to do. I want you to ask yourself, “Why am I addicted to shopping? Why am I addicted to buying [x]?”
I want you to ask yourself this over and over again until two things happen. The first thing is: until you can’t get any more specific with your answers. The second thing is: when you get your deep, dark TRUE reason. You’ll feel it in your gut when you find it.
I know this is hard, but once you get the real reason, you can move forward. I’m willing to bet what’s driving your addiction has something to do with negative self-talk in your head.
Now that you know WHY you have a shopping addiction, it’s time to move on to the next part.
2. think about your motivation
Letting go of a shopping addiction is no joke. Like any vice, you’re going to have a withdrawal that’ll absolutely SUCK to go through.
You need solid motivation if you don’t want to give in to the little negotiating voice in your head that says, “oh it’s ok to buy this ONE thing,… I actually REALLY need it.” (Hint: this is the secret behind sticking with any new goal or lifestyle shift)
And just like your real reason, your motivation needs to get deep, too. It’s too easy to stick with a surface-level answer for why we want anything we want.
Like, how often do people actually get fit when they say, “Oh my motivation is that I want to look good”. That’s not specific enough. Your why and your motivation needs to be so clear you can see it as a movie in your mind.
Do the same thing with your motivation as you did your reason. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to beat this shopping addiction?” over and over until you get to the real root of WHY. This not only forces you to get specific, but it uncovers your real motivation.
Because like I said, you’ll have a withdrawal period and when you do, you’ll need that compelling reason to keep going.
Here’s how to keep your motivation alive and a solid vision that propels you forward.
3. Remind yourself daily of your goal
You’re going to need to hold on to your motivation to keep you going strong on the bad days when you want to give in. But there’s a few things you can add to your daily routine that will help you have less bad days.
I am such a HUGE fan of setting intentions and reminding myself of who I want to be through affirmations. These are non-negotiables in my morning routine and are crucial when I plan on making a lifestyle shift.
Let’s break it down:
set your intention
I won’t take too much time to explain how intentions are important to your day in this post (you can read more about that here). Start your day by reminding yourself of your intention. Like reminding yourself that you want to be intentional about the money you spend. Setting intentions in the beginning of the day is a way for you to set the tone as to how you want your day to go.
Even by simply having the intention in the beginning of the day that you WON’T be spending money on things you don’t need can make such a huge difference. It’s so easy to do, why not try it, right?
find your affirmation and say it loud and proud
I’m also a fan of using affirmations to change my mindset when I’m feeling scared of a big goal or when I am feeling self-doubt. Affirmations are positive reminders of your goals and who you want to be, but saying them in the affirmative. Like they’ve already happened. So instead of, “I want to feel healthy” an affirmation would be “I AM healthy”. This shift is subtle but important.
So, if you’re not sure you can get over your shopping addiction, then practice saying this affirmation as many times as you need throughout the day, “I am in control of my finances and I am intentional about what I buy”.
This may not feel true at first, and that’s ok. The goal is to say this as often (and loudly) as needed until you start feeling it. I know it sounds like a “fake it till you make it” thing, but it isn’t. Becusae here’s the truth, you ARE the one in control of your finances. You’re the one makimg all the decisions about your money.
Even if you feel like they’re bad decisions. It’s all within your control. Now you just need to add the being intentional with what you buy to the mix!
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what about you?
Do you have a shopping addiciton you’re trying to get over? If you do, have you tried these steps? I wanna know! Leave a comment below.
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