We have all experienced impulse shopping and had the painful ping of buyer’s remorse. However, what happens when you don’t just experience remorse, but an intense feeling of shame and self loathing? According to a study of 222 college students by Sunghwan Ti, marketing/consumer studies professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, several students experienced shame from their impulse purchases.
Their shame caused them to turn to negative coping methods, such as hiding the impulse item, not opening their bill, becoming defensive when asked about their purchase, or mentally beating themselves up about it – increasing negative feelings of self worth and depression.
Many of these impulse buys are related to an instant feeling of happiness related to the purchase. Who hasn’t felt that? According to Duffy Spencer, a psychotherapist who works with people with buying issues, she advises people to recognize that the consequences are not worth the momentary happiness.
Some quick tips to curb bad shopping habits:
- Make a list of what you need before you shop
- When you are looking through a catalog and see something you like, mark the page, but not the item. In a couple of days if you come back to the page and cannot remember what you wanted, don’t buy it.
- When window shopping (online or in a store) leave your wallet somewhere else, then if you get the urge to buy something, you won’t be able to spend.
- Think of something else you really wanted, and imagine the money you didn’t spend going towards that other item.