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How to Stop the Urge to Shop
by: Stephanie Dychiu

Put your money out of reach. Lock down your money in time deposits and other investments. Also, only withdraw the exact amount you need weekly. Once you have the cash you need, leave your ATM card at home—and unless you’re scheduled to make a necessary purchase, that goes for your credit card, too.

Find a worthwhile goal to save up for. To motivate themselves to save, some people open savings accounts for their dream car, dream vacation, or dream house. Visualize what you’re aspiring for by cutting out pictures from magazines and posting them up. This way, you can remind yourself that you’re giving up little shopping sprees so you can acquire what really matters.

The shopping thrill is temporary. Shopping temporarily increases your levels of serotonin (the “happy hormone”), that’s why it feels good and you keep doing it. Try other less expensive activities that can induce the same feel-good effect on the brain, like exercising or eating chocolates.

Clean out your closet. Weed out the stuff you don’t use anymore. Then, estimate how much each item was when you first bought it and add up the total. Once you see that the total is actually much bigger than you thought, you’ll realize how much money you’ve been wasting.

Let your self-confidence come from within. The latest designer shoe or bag won’t change your life or make you the object of everyone’s admiration. Is credit card debt really worth a few fleeting minutes of “Ay, ang ganda!”? True happiness isn’t something you can buy. It comes only from being at peace, knowing that you have nothing to prove to the world.

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