Are Your Shopping Habits Absolutely Destroying Your Budget?

The truth is, that your shopping habits are starting to affect your finances. You’re whittling down your budget and making it harder to handle your essential expenses like utility bills and groceries. You’re running up charges on your credit card. You need to get control of your spending before you get yourself into big trouble.

Why Is This a Problem?

If you don’t get your spending under control, you could saddle yourself with some serious financial issues, like missed bills, maxed out credit cards, or bounced checks. Draining your budget every month also leaves you vulnerable to emergency expenses. What will you do if your car breaks down? Or does your furnace stop working? You can’t ignore these problems, even if you don’t have the savings to handle them.

If your bad shopping habits drain your budget and you can’t cover an emergency, you don’t have to panic. You have some alternatives. You could ask a trusted friend or relative to help you out with an IOU. Or you could apply for a personal line of credit loan. See how you can apply for online loans in Washington to help you cover an urgent and unexpected cost. If you submit a request and get approved, you could withdraw an amount within your credit limit and have it deposited into your bank account as soon as the next business day.

While these are good backup plans to have when something goes wrong, you’d be better off changing your shopping habits and saving yourself from financial trouble. So, what can you do?

Give Yourself a Spending Limit

Take a hard look at your budget and see what you can realistically set aside for shopping. That is your spending limit for the month. Do your best not to cross it.

Get Control of Impulse Buys

Sometimes, you press the “purchase” button without thinking. You just buy the item and then think about whether you want it later on. Instead of reacting on impulse, you should try to practice mindful spending — this will make you more selective and intentional with your purchases.

Here are some more things that you could do to control your shopping impulses:

  • Don’t follow retailers on social media
  • Unsubscribe from retail newsletters and email updates
  • Delete shopping apps from your phone
  • Ignore flash sales, clearance sales, discount weeks, and other store-wide events.

Stop Doing Retail Therapy

You spend to coping with your feelings, whether you’re sad, stressed, angry, or bored. Using retail therapy as a coping mechanism isn’t a healthy habit, and it certainly isn’t good for your wallet, either. Try to turn to healthier coping mechanisms when you’re feeling emotional, and need some relief, like going out for a long walk or calling up a close friend.

Return Things

You have a bunch of items sitting in your closet that have never been touched. If you still have the receipts, see if you can return them for cash. Returning them for store credit will only encourage you to keep up with the vicious cycle and shop more. Use the funds from your returns to pay down your credit card debt or pad your budget for the month.

If that doesn’t work, you could sell your clothes online at one of these popular marketplaces. The fact that they’ve never been worn will be a major selling point.

Shopping ‘til you drop sounds like a good idea until you see what that spending spree did to your bank account. Drop your bad shopping habits so that you can get your finances in better shape.

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