If you need a shopping “fix" to get through the day in the same way as others maybe take a cigarette or coffee break, then it's time to tackle your compulsive spending addiction.
If you're really brave, you could cut up all your credit cards. But let's face it, if you were that organized and efficient, you probably wouldn't be spending money like it was going out of fashion anyway.
So, back in the real world, how can you start to change your addiction to shopping and spending money?
Boring as it sounds, step one is recognizing that you actually do have an addiction to shopping.
Because until you realize you have a problem, it's very difficult to work on it and overcome it.
Take a look around your home and your wardrobe. If it's full of things that have never been used or worn (maybe some items are even still wrapped in the plastic they came in), then you may have a problem. Or someone you know may have a shopping addiction.
Of course, recognizing the problem is only the first step. Sure, it's an important step, but next you need to do something about it.
The next step is to stop beating yourself up about your excessive spending. The only person who gets hurt is you and that's counter productive.
Also it's important not to label yourself. If you say something along the lines of “I'm a compulsive shopper" or “I'm a shopaholic" then you're actually giving yourself permission to continue with the habit. Which is bad news.
Turn around the label you've given yourself. Reinvent yourself - celebrities do this all the time, so it's fine for you to do it as well.
Maybe call yourself a “discerning shopper" who only buys the occasional true bargains and sees through the rest of the shopping temptations for what they really are. Don't let this get to the stage of lecturing others about their shopping habits though - you don't want to become a shopping evangelist!
The next trick is to keep yourself out of harm's way as much as possible. Nowadays, that's more difficult to do as there's 24 hour shopping to keep your addiction fuelled up if you want to.
Maybe allocate yourself some personal shopping time and stick to it. Ideally with a budget that either you or a partner enforces, so that if you go over-budget one week, you have to compensate by going under-budget the following week.
Remember, there's no one magic solution - it's whatever works best for you personally.
The other important thing is not to give up the first time you fail.
And unless you're superhuman, you're likely to fail occasionally.
That's fine. The world didn't end just because you made a minor slip up. Just don't use the occasional failure to curb your compulsive spending as an excuse to give up completely.
Also don't be afraid to seek help. A trusted friend is good for this or you can choose anonymous help like an MP3 hypnosis track. Again, whatever works best for you.
Find out more about how to control your compulsive spending including how hypnosis can help you stop your shopping addiction