- Step 1
Recognize the problem. Sometimes just simply understanding your impulses to buy compulsively, can help you take control of the urge. When you recognize that you have a problem you give yourself the power to stop.
Think about your purchases before you buy. Certainly not all impulse buys are bad; sometimes there are great promotional offers that shouldn't be passed up. However, be honest with yourself and question whether or not you really need the item. Only when you are sure that you need and can afford an item, should you by it.
Make a list of items that you need before you go to the store, then commit yourself to only buying what is on the list. When you see an item in the store you think you might like, keep it in mind, but out of the cart. After a day or two, you may come to realize you don't actually need the item. If you decide you do want the item, add it to your next shopping list.
Refrain from shopping when you feel angry, lonely or depressed, as these tend to be the times you will shop compulsively in an attempt to boost your mood. Overspending will only make you feel worse in the long run.
Destroy your credit cards and shop only with cash, a debit card or a check to avoid spending money that you do not have. This will also prevent you from spending money on television shopping networks or ordering from catalogs with a credit card.
Seek professional help if you cannot control your compulsive shopping addiction. Many counselors and self-help groups can help you with this problem.