How to tackle both compulsive and impulse shopping

Let’s discuss compulsive and impulsive shopping. Unplanned spending is a common problem for Americans. An average of $5,400 annually by consumers was found in a study. Nearly everyone is prone to impulse spending.

People often use the terms compulsive and impulsive shopping interchangeably. They are very different. Compulsive shopping, on the other hand, is a way to avoid impulsive purchases.

According to Harvard Medical School, about one in twenty people suffers from compulsive buying (or 5%). Compulsive buying is most common in women. This behaviour can lead to other psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

Compulsive Shopping Signs

The Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale can assess if someone is suffering from a shopping addiction. The following are signs that someone might be compulsive shopper, according to the scale:

  • They are always thinking about shopping.
  • Because of their shopping addiction, they give up on their jobs and other hobbies.
  • Shopping has led to them neglecting their loved ones.
  • They tried to reduce their shopping but couldn’t.
  • If they are unable to shop, they become stressed.
  • Because of their shopping habits, they have had financial difficulties.

Compulsive Shopping: Causes

There are many reasons compulsive shopping may occur. Compulsive shopping can result from some people of perfectionist tendencies or the need to control.

For others, it’s a similar condition to OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Some may also use compulsive shopping to fill a void in their lives.

What is impulse shopping?

Impulse shopping is when you buy something that you don’t plan to. This can be anything from ordering takeout when you plan to cook to spending a lot at Target to get shampoo.

Signs of impulsive buying

It is much easier to identify impulse shopping than compulsive buying. You’ve made an impulse purchase if you buy something you don’t intend to buy.

Impulsive shopping: Causes

There are many reasons impulse shopping can occur, some of which are completely harmless. Poor planning can lead to impulse shopping. You go to the grocery store with no list and impulsively buy all your favourite foods.

Other times, impulsive shopping sprees may be a way to deal with other emotions. Many people shop to cope with or avoid other emotions. If you are having a bad day at work, you can order a few items from Amazon to help you cope.

Impulsive shopping has become more difficult with digital marketing. To be tempted, you don’t have to go into a shop. You can make someone spend by simply opening your email or logging in to social media.

How to deal with compulsive and impulsive shopping

There are two types of shopping problems: compulsive and impulsive. However, some tips can help you overcome them both.

Pay attention to your spending habits.

Realize that you have poor shopping habits and bad money practices. This is the first step in changing your shopping habits.

Tracking your spending and defining what you want vs your needs will help you see where your money is going. You can identify which spending habits are causing you to fall off the budget.

Find the root cause of the problem.

Once you recognize the problem, it is important to pinpoint its source. It is often easy to identify the cause of your unplanned spending.

It’s easy to spot when we are shopping to relieve stress. It might be harder to spot if compulsive buying results from deeper-seated issues.

Stop using credit cards.

Using credit cards has many advantages, but spending too much is much easier. Credit cards let you spend money that you don’t own. Instead of being restricted by how much money you have in your bank account to spend, credit cards allow you to exceed that amount easily.

This applies to the buy now and pays later options. Avoid using credit cards if you notice that you are spending too much. This will help you to set a spending limit.

Avoid tempting temptation

Every day is filled with temptation. Temptations can be too overwhelming for someone prone to compulsive or impulsive spending.

It’s better to avoid them. You can avoid temptation stop shopping

  • Avoiding your favourite stores and staying away from their websites
  • Unsubscribe from emails you don’t want to receive
  • Don’t follow influencers who give you FOMO and push you to purchase things you don’t need.
  • Avoid online shopping. If this is a trigger
  • Try out a shopping ban during a certain time


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