5 Ways to Quit Your Online Shopping Addiction

While I don’t have many vices – I don’t drink, do drugs, or gamble – I am oft at the mercy of my online shopping addiction. Blogging is no help, and my love for clothes, fashion, and finding a good deal ultimately leads me to overspending. It’s just too easy to spot a cute dress, pair of shoes on sale, or blogger recommended skirt, then with a few clicks, have the item on its way and my bank account considerably emptier. If I’ve had a bad day at work, I don’t get shitfaced – I shop.

With no break in the addiction in sight, my mom challenged me to go the month of July without online shopping. This sounds easy, but I am a junkie and usually purchase something online at least once a week, if not more. Surprisingly, I almost made it the whole month without breaking (the Nordstrom anniversary sale did me in), and it taught me a lot about what my triggers are and some of the roots of my addiction.  I also learned what tools and techniques help me fight back against the addiction, and I thought I’d share them with you. Buckle up my fellow junkies – it’s time for rehab!

Unsubscribe from Temptation

You know those handy mailing lists most stores have the inform you of flash sales, new arrivals, and discounts? Well say buh bye to these temptresses! I quickly realized during my challenge that these emails are very effective marketing tools that are cause for most of my impulse purchases. As soon as I unsubscribed, it became a lot easier to avoid temptation. I couldn’t buy an item just because it was on sale, because I simply didn’t know about the sale.

Set Small Goals

While it’s nice to be optimistic and reach for the stars, I knew I wasn’t going to cure myself of online shopping forever. If I  set that lofty of a goal, I likely would be even more disappointed when I had a relapse. Setting a month long challenge period was more realistic and attainable, meaning I’d be more serious about achieving it and would only motivate myself to set higher future goals.

Wait It Out

See an item you just HAVE to have? If you feel strongly about it, note the item, then wait 24 hours before purchasing. If you still want it after 24 hours, then maybe you can break your fast, but chances are, after the fleeting impulse has past, you will feel less strongly about your “must-have.”

Work With What You Have

Part of why I online shop so much is because I feel like I have “nothing” to wear and just need to freshen up my wardrobe. This exercise forced me to go through my closet and work with what I already owned. I discovered items I had even forgotten I owned or had never worn before and was able to be more creative with my outfit styling. I didn’t have “nothing to wear” – I simply was disorganized or too rushed in the morning – talk about  a reality check.

Reward Yourself

Treat yo self, girl! My reward if I successfully avoided only shopping for a month was $50 from mi madre (I know, I’m a spoiled brat). Reward your willpower and restraint with a purchase you were holding out on, a facial, whatever little slice of luxury you prefer. If you still want a specific item after all this time, chances are it was less of an impulse buy, and you are now going to be more appreciative of the work that went into purchasing it. Or, chances are you’ve started to beat the addiction and won’t feel the need to purchase something – hopefully this is the case!

Good luck, my fellow shopaholics! I’m still working on my habit, for sure, but slowly, I am starting to improve and slow down the cavalcade of Madewell packages arriving at my office.


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  • Kim

    This is something that I'm currently struggling with, only with calligraphy tools. My biggest problem is that I keep seeing things people recommend and rave about on blogs and forums and I've been ordering something every week this month *sighs at self.* I think I'll have to try out the reward system you recommend and see if I can curb this habit 😉

    • thanks for stopping by, kim! I agree, blogs are one of my biggest temptations too. you read a great review or see a blogger using an item and your shopping bug will definitely flare up. in those situations, i try to make myself wait 24 hours before buying. typically, the urge will pass then.