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Thanks to the Internet we’ve gotten used to instant gratification- getting what we want when we want it. And in these crazy COVID-19 times we are looking to be happy and to get that rush of dopamine. That hormone rush that inspires us to take actions to meet our desires and surges when you’re considering buying something new. This is why boredom buying is a “thing”.

Shopping can be a deeply psychologically driven event


Likely while you have been in lockdown you’ve noticed you are spending less (a super non-scientific poll we ran on our insta-stories showed that 68% were spending less money). But you may also have noticed when you do shop you are shopping as a reaction to outside stimuli. 

Turns out, whether under Corona type circumstances or not, much of our spending is done not because we want to get something but as a reaction to something happening to us. Bad day at work? urge to shop. Fight with partner? Shop. Bored? yeah, I’m definitely going to buy something.

The purpose here isn’t to stop you from shopping, it’s to encourage you to shop with purpose rather than by instinct. To shop because you WANT to, not because your reptilian brain is driving you to NEED to. Because needing to shop has a very negative impact on your finances. The immediate gratification of shopping always seems to outweigh the reckoning of financial suffering.


Not every shopper is an “addict” so the key is to know thyself 


How many of the below are true for you; is your brain in charge of the splurge or your instinct?  

  1. You have stuff in your closet that still has a label on it 
  2. An argument or frustration sparks an urge to shop
  3. You feel guilty after buying things
  4. You try to conceal shopping habits
  5. You’re spending more than you can afford
  6. You’re harming relationships due to shopping too much
  7. You often purchase things you don’t need or didn’t plan to buy

It’s one thing to surrender to the occasional purchase – but if you think you are shifting from impulsive to compulsive then you may want to reconsider.


Find a “boredom beater” activity


This is a perfect time to think of things you will do when boredom bites. It could be books or learning, sports, it could be starting a business or kicking off a side hustle and it could be something as mundane as studying for your exams or completing your assignments.

In your head, associating money with the things you really want to do will make it less likely that you will spend it on inconsequential purchases that will take longer to fund what you REALLY want. 


Don’t be where shopping is


Even if the initial intention was just to window shop, the prospect of instant gratification and enticing deals can lure you deeper and deeper into an online shop. Before you know it, you’ve put a bunch of items in your shopping cart and you are only one click away from getting that wonderful feeling of shopping satisfaction. Which will last a moment and then be gone alone with your money.

Alcoholics don’t hang out in bars, people with a gambling problem should stay away from gambling apps and you should avoid “hanging out” in online stores. Don’t browse, unsubscribe from the sale newsletters, and don’t put anything in your basket. Just don’t go there.


Make Buying Stuff Hard


The best way to kick an addiction is to avoid it altogether. 

Disconnect one-click and buy-now shopping, delete your payment details from your browser and block shopping sites from your life with a simple browser extension. Extensions like stay focused and Forestapp can prove useful for abruptly killing midnight treks through your favourite online shopping sites.

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