The Cure For Shopaholics – 5 Steps To Freedom

If you are one the hundreds of thousands of consumers who refers to themselves as a shopaholic you are probably more than ready to give up this financially devastating habit. Did you know that introducing a habit of systematic and disciplined savings could put you on the path to freedom? Here are the five steps that can set you free, provided you are serious about true financial stability and apply these steps with full sincerity:

1. Pay taxes – every time you even think of buying something, you charge yourself a “shopping tax.” Use a sealed jar to hold your self- imposed shopping tax. Designate a dollar amount to different actions and commit to pay yourself the tax that is owed. As an example, designate $5 just for considering a “want” purchase and 15% of the real cost for actual shopping purchases. This is a healthy and deterring activity.

2. Keep track of what you spend – On a monthly basis having a “shopping amount” equal to or less than 5- 10% of your earned income is highly recommended. Although this amount has been set into your budget, it should still be an amount taxable under the guidelines for tip #1. The alternative to spending this money and charging the self- imposed tax is to transfer this amount self- imposed tax free) to your savings account.

3. Convert bad shopping to positive shopping – What is positive shopping? This is shopping that results in positive financial health. An example would be using the internet to comparison shop for the best insurance policy available, working to put together the best mutual investment plan to yield the highest possible dividends and so on. Use this time to find the best possible deals for the items that are necessities instead of shopping for new designer labels.

4. Have someone else in the family be in charge of shopping – In extreme cases removing yourself altogether from temptation is the only way to stay away from shopping. Have someone else do all the required shopping for your home. No exposure, no temptation; no temptation, no shopping.

5. Do something for others – Volunteering to work for a cause you believe in can be extremely fulfilling and emotionally liberating, and can even offer the same satisfaction you once achieved through shopping. Choose a volunteer service that you are passionate about and make a commitment to yourself and the organization you will be helping. Anything from visiting and entertaining the children in the terminal cancer ward of your local hospital to spending time with the elderly; it could be one day (or even a few hours), cooking for destitute people and feeding them; it could be organizing a fund or collecting Christmas gifts for under privileged children, and so on. The point is to give up the selfish act of shopping needlessly for a much more rewarding activity of community service. Both provide an adrenaline rush however; one will not cause financial devastation.

6. Exercise on a daily basis. What does exercising have to do with shopping? Plenty. Exercising helps with the production of endorphins in your body. These hormones are also known as the “feel-good” hormones for a reason, i.e. they make you feel on the top of the world. Experiencing the sudden rush of the endorphins in your body will help to alleviate the tension a compulsive shopper experiences and which is relieved through the release of the hormone. There is also the obvious health component that exercising provides. Regular exercising has been shown to lower the risks of developing some cancers, reversing the effects of aging and extending life expectancy.

7. Stay on track – Like any other rehabilitation program for an addiction, you need to stick to the program long enough to become free and for some time thereafter. This time could vary from a few weeks to a few months. Do not despair; the good news is that this will indeed set you free. Remind yourself of the ultimate goal on a daily basis and utilize these tips to begin a path to healthy financial living. However, if you find that your compulsion to shop is not greatly reduced, seeking the advice of a licensed professional can be an invaluable commodity. The point is to get rid of the poor financial and shopping habit that threatens your future stability at any cost.

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