I needed to stop online impulse shopping, as it was my secret guilty pleasure. I could do it on my lunch break or from my cell phone in the mornings before anyone woke up…while still in the bed. I generally shopped at one or two stores primarily, so I knew their clothing sizes and did not have to try them on to know they would fit. Then there was online impulse buying with Target and Amazon with their quick shipping and easy pay options. I was an addict, and I did not even know it.
I did not realize the depth of my addiction until I decided I wanted to declutter my bedroom and started with my closet clean-out. It was then that I realized I had a shopping problem. In order to reduce my temptations and stop my overspending, I had to reduce the temptations of buying more stuff.
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Stay out of online stores to stop online impulse shopping
It was easy to stay out of the mall when I was trying to stop my impulse buys. I needed a way to do the same thing with my online shopping. I had a hard time learning how to stop online impulse shopping when I spent the entire day on a computer at work. Add to that the boring moments throughout the day when I reached for my cell phone to fill the gap in time.
Then I had an idea. If I can stay out of a physical store, maybe I can find a way to stay out of an online store.
Add rules to your emails
We all like a good coupon and a good deal. That’s why we signed up for retailer emails in the beginning. Marketing folks are geniuses in my book. I am pretty smart financially, but I like a good deal. It is even harder to practice restraint when there is money in the bank. I could afford it, why not buy it?!
I had to find a way to beat the genius retail marketing tricks. I did this by putting rules on my emails.
Sit down one day and find all your retailer emails. Then, place a “rule” for each retailer to have those emails automatically put into a folder. I called my folder “Shopping”. You can also set rules to have the emails automatically delete after a specific time period. Then, if you really NEED to buy something, you can go to that folder, find the retailer, and add your coupon code.
Unsubscribe from emails
If you want to get super serious and stop online impulse shopping, then unsubscribe from retailer emails. Out of sight and out of mind! There are plenty of online coupon sites that can provide you with a coupon code if you really do need to make a purchase.
Create and use a shopping email account
Set up an entirely different account for retailers. I use the same email for all junk mail. I am very stingy with my personal email account. If I need to give an email to get a deal, you get my junk email account. That email account has thousands of unread emails in it. About twice a year, I go in and delete everything. If I need something, I can use the search function to look for a deal.
If you are really eager, you can set up rules for that account too. However, I don’t look at that account unless I need something.
Deals will be there next time you NEED something
It is so easy to fall for the ploys of online marketers. First, I would get an email with the release of their newest line of clothes, which seemed to come out weekly. I would see something I liked, and I would start thinking about how much I wanted it when it finally went on sale. Then, two days later, there would be an email offer for free shipping or 40% off for the exact item I wanted. How awesome! Hook, line, and sinker.
After putting rules around my emails, I realized when I needed something, there was always a deal waiting on me. Did they sometimes run out of the shirt I wanted the most? Sure. However, more often than not, if I really needed something, it was there and there was a deal to be had. There is always a deal. Don’t fall for marketing tactics!
Let items sit in your cart for a few days
You found the perfect outfit, and you cannot live without it. Before you hit purchase, let it sit in your cart for a few days. If that’s not possible, at least let it sit for a few hours. Maybe take that time to look at your credit card statement or check out your bank account. A little dose of reality can really help put things into perspective. If money is not an issue, just go look in your closet. Do you really NEED another outfit? If so, is there something you can part with to make room for it?
Turn off saved credit card info
If you don’t have to type in your credit card information because it is already saved with a retailer, then you do not have to really think about the purchase you are making. It is too easy. Don’t allow retailers to save your credit card info. Make yourself give more thought to your purchases.
Turn off Amazon 1-Click
Like deleting your credit card info from your favorite retailers, turn off Amazon 1-Click. Gosh, those guys are sneaky. Just those extra steps of going to your cart and hitting purchase can make a huge difference in purchasing decisions.
Go do something else
Sometimes we online shop because we are bored. If you want to stop online impulse shopping, find something else to do instead of shopping. Play with your kids. Read a book. Put the phone away. If you are at work, go take a walk outside if you need the break. Your pocketbook and your overflowing closet will thank you!
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