Some people have issues with overspending, especially during the holiday season. No matter if your overspending is seasonal or a year round problem, it is important to figure out the driving force of the behavior. People shop for the image, to people-please, to gain love or approval, to fill a void that is not being met, and out of of pure habit or compulsion.
Meeting with a counselor, reading books, attending support groups (such as debtors anonymous), meditating and conducting authentic soul searching are crucial to get to the root of the problem. One of the important factors is to address the problem as soon as possible. The benefit of breaking the shopping and spending addiction pays great dividends both financially and emotionally.
Some tips to help heal your overspending habit:
1. Pay off last year’s debt before shopping for the next holiday season.
2. Make a list of the necessity items and how much you have to spend on them before you even go to the stores or shop on the internet.
3. Set price limits with friends and family.
4. Make handmade gifts such as picture frames, photo calendars and jewelry.
5. Donate your time to a local charity that is meaningful to you.
6. Watch for sales, free shipping orders, free gift wrapping and coupons in flyers and newspapers.
7. Pay with cash, check, or debit card (or a low interest credit card as a last resort).
Also, keep in mind that you are not alone in this process. If you are already in debt, take an inventory of the damage and talk to a trusted family member, friend, or financial counselor about your concerns. Figure out a debt repayment plan if you can, then develop a budget for the months ahead and try your hardest to stick to it. In addition, do not feel embarrassed to ask for emotional or financial help if you are in so much trouble that you are having a hard time making ends meet. Although no one should enable an overspender, it is a good idea to find support if you are serious about taking control of your issue and breaking the cycle. This includes making serious changes to your habits. The process is not easy, but you can do it!