For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

8 Ways to Shop Less | Shopping Addiction

Would you like to shop less?
Save money?

Jump off the wheel of mind-numbing consumerism?
Do your bit to help the planet?

Sounds great, right?
EASY even?

Buy less.
Shop your wardrobe (a naff phrase but a great idea).
Be style savvy!


What if shopping is becoming a daily activity for you?
What if it feels like the urge to shop is becoming a bit of a problem?

What if 'popping to the shops' always ends up with you buying and/or spending more than you wanted to?
More than you can afford?

What if you shop just a little too much?
"I must be a shopping addict... Hahahahaha!"
Shopping addiction is often seen as a bit of a joke.
Trendy even.

"I'm addicted to shopping" is often used as a throwaway comment to a friend after a day out or a cheeky hashtag on Social media.

"Check out my lastest ASOS haul #oniomaniac #shopaholic #addictedtoshopping 😝"
All just a bit of fun and nothing to worry about......right?

Well... NO, not really.

Getting what you need, having fun and enjoying an occasional treat is what shopping should be about but genuine Oniomania is no laughing matter.


An addiction to shopping. 
Compulsive shopping.  
Shopping in order to relieve anxiety or stress. 
Shopping behaviour that causes adverse consequences. 
Serious shopping addictions are becoming more and more common in modern times, and young women seem to be the most vulnerable to its clutches. 
We are all bombarded by social media marketing/adverts and hype and the younger generation can feel obligated to fit into the perceived "norm".
Having said that, those of us that are slightly longer in the tooth (ahem) are not in any way immune!
In fact, we can easily become sucked into over-shopping. 
Especially if we are on a quest to look younger/slimmer/trendier.
Remember Sex and the City and Carrie's glamourised over-spending?
It's been around for a long time.
Do I have a Shopping Addiction?
If you're asking this question for yourself (or a friend) have a look at the following statements.
If any of these sound uncomfortably familiar you MAY want to keep reading!
  • I spend a lot of time thinking about shopping, browsing online or looking at things I would like to own/buy.
  • I check out products from adverts (seen online or in other media) very regularly and when I see something I like the look of I feel I need it NOW.
  • I like to use next day delivery on items I buy.
  • I sometimes feel anxious before or during purchasing items online and in shops.
  • I feel relieved and/or euphoric after buying something I want.
  • I often feel shame and/or guilt later.
  • I sometimes feel like I can't stop shopping (or thinking about shopping) and may have tried to cut down in the past but failed.
  • Shopping is hurting/damaging my relationships... I argue about the amount of time and/or money I spend shopping.
  • My financial situation is suffering due to my shopping habit.
  • I often hide the items I have bought.
  • I deny that items are new... "I've had this for ages!"
  • I lie about how much things have cost.
  • I often buy things I don't need.
  • I don't always use/wear the things I buy.
  • I juggle money/credit cards to fund my shopping and have put things on my credit card knowing I could not really afford it.

Different Types of Shopping Addicts (from Psyche Guides)
Which one can you relate to?

  • Compulsive shopaholics who shop when they are feeling emotional distress.
  • Trophy shopaholics who are always searching for the perfect item.
  • Shopaholics who want the image of being a big spender and love flashy items.
  • Bargain seekers who purchase items they don’t need because they are on sale.
  • Bulimic shoppers who get caught in a vicious cycle of buying and returning
  • Collectors who don’t feel complete unless they have one item in each colour or every piece of a set.
I've been guilty of being a bargain seeker MANY times and also a compulsive emotional shopper.
Emotional shopping is something I have done during times of enormous stress in my life.
For example, I remember maxing out my credit card on face creams and beauty products when I went through a divorce.
It seems crazy and irresponsible now (especially as I was in my 20's and have never looked better!) but at the time I couldn't help myself.
I simply HAD to do it... I NEEDED it.
Even now, if I'm feeling anxious or troubled I am tempted to splurge (mostly on shoes) and have to reign myself in. Take a breath. Have a chat with myself.
How to HELP YOURSELF manage your shopping addiction
If you feel like you could do with a little help (or you feel a serious problem developing) try giving these ideas a go:
1. Avoid your triggers
  • First and foremost...UNSUBSCRIBE!
Unsubscribe to EVERY marketing email you're currently subscribed too.
Even the ones from the shops and brands you love.
In fact, ESPECIALLY from the brands you love the most!
If the fear of missing out on something AMAZING gives you the shivers try reading this...How to avoid FOMO (fear of missing out).
  • Stop watching QVC or other shopping channels.
  • Scroll past Instagram adverts.
DON'T click on advertisers links on social sites.
Whizz past them!
  • Avoid trips where you will be tempted to spend money.
The obvious one is not going on shopping trips to the city.
BUT this can be a problem...
What if you enjoy socialising on these trips?
If you can't bear to miss out on the social side of shopping try only taking the cash you need for the coffee/lunch/cocktails part of the trip.
Explain to your friends what you are trying to do so they can support your decision. They may even join you!
Enjoying a shopping-trip experience without actual shopping can be HARD but you could use it to exercise your 30-day rule... (more on that in a minute).
  • Don't go near the sales.
If you're a bargain addict (even though you're perfectly aware of all of the reasons that the bargain is NOT really a bargain at all) avoid the sale rails at all costs.
Don't click on the "buy now or miss out forever" links.
Resist, resist RESIST!
2. Stop using CARDS and Only take the Cash you need
If you aren't heading to the shops but still find it hard to go anywhere without buying something (even if it's a tiny thing like a magazine from a local shop) leave your cards at home and only take the cash you will need.
If you don't need cash for the activity you are doing then don't take any!
3. Make a LIST
Of course, there will be plenty of times that you NEED to shop.
On these occasions make a list and STICK TO IT.
Don't be tempted by any items that are not on your list.
You don't need them.
If you find something AMAZING then put the 30-day rule into action (see below).
4. Use the 30-Day Rule
Before impulse spending, try using the 30-day rule.
If you REALLY want to buy something pop it on a wishlist, pin it or write the details down on a post-it (or in your diary).
If you still want it after 30 days then go and get it! (Only if you can afford it of course)
If 30 days seems like forever try 14 days, or even 7. One week of waiting is better than knee-jerk buying and may result in you having a change of heart.
5. Destroy your credit cards
If your shopping habit/addiction is causing you financial troubles then you need some serious action.
Cut up those cards and (more importantly) delete their details from online accounts. 
ALL accounts.
Remove all stored cards from your devices.
6. Use a diversion tactic
If you feel the urge to shop try scheduling a distraction to make yourself stop.
  • Pick up your knitting.
  • Read a book or magazine.
  • Walk your dog.
  • Even pouring yourself a large glass of water and sipping it slowly will help.
(Try not to use food or drink as a reward for not shopping... that opens a whole other can of problems.)
7. Acknowledge your urges.
It's important to acknowledge your urge to shop and give yourself a break!
If you're feeling itchy shopping feet (or fingers) take a breath and try one of your distractions.
Even if it's hard to resist, giving yourself a break and acknowledge your struggle will help.
Congratulate yourself if you manage to resist your urges.
It may seem stupid and trial to other people but the struggle is real!
Finally... 8. TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME.
Every day you don't give in to your shopping urge is a mini victory.
Not only for your mental wellbeing but also for your bank balance.
If you do stray a little don't beat yourself up about it.
Take each day as it comes with its clean slate and be positive. 
You might also enjoy these...
How to avoid FOMO (fear of missing out) HERE.

Do you have a story to share?
Are you a compulsive shopper?
Do you know someone who might have a problem?

You can leave a comment below if you'd like to share your opinion.
Comments can also be left anonymously if you prefer.
Or, you can contact me directly at:

(No judgement here people!)

When is it time to get professional HELP?

Sometimes things can get SERIOUS.

If the following are ringing alarm bells it might be time to get some help.

  • Persistent low-mood... emptiness, anxiousness and sadness.
  • Feeling worthless and hopeless.
  • Feeling constantly irritable.
  • Losing interest in things you used to enjoy.
  • Fatigued and constantly tired.
  • Difficulty making decisions.
  • Difficulty concentrating and remembering things.
  • Moving or talking more slowly.
  • Insomnia or over-sleeping.
  • Aches and pains.
  • Loss of appetite or increased appetite.
More links you might find helpful:



  1. Thanks for your thoughtful/ researched focus on a subject that inspires some honest self evaluation. Shopping is such an enjoyable past-time but can easily become a slippery slope.

  2. Ha ha, this one made me laugh. Well, the list did. I feel like many of them I said "yep" to but, really, I don't think I am a shopping addict (#denialmuch?). No, really. And if I am, it's on an EXTREMELY small scale. I mean, income:shopping expense is relative. If you make 6 figures you can buy MUCH more before it might be considered an issue. If you make many figures less (ha ha, ohh), just a few extra purchases could be considered problematic. I do love to look online...but honestly, MOST of the clothing I buy gets returned, and I know that (#nothingeverfitsme) in advance. I can spend the same $50 over and over again because I buy, return, re-buy, get the picture. So I get the JOY of shopping and buying...but I never go over my budget. It's like shopping bulimia. Was that in poor taste? I'm in a mood.


  3. Useful Information - fortunately I don't have an addiction, but I love shopping especially when I'm buying. I do try to go out once a month and maybe buy a couple of bits, unless I need an outfit for a particular event. Jacqui Mummabstylish


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