Wondering how to stop online shopping? It’s not hard to become addicted to online shopping. With the accessibility of the internet and shopping apps, retailers have made it extremely easy for you to keep buying. Of course, it’s great for them, but it can have a negative impact on your finances and relationships.
According to a study on eCommerce trends, 69% of Americans shop online, and 25% shop at least once per month. Additionally, 77% of people who “window” shop on their phones will make an impulse buy. The effort that companies put into feeding you ads and following up on your incomplete purchases make it almost impossible to ignore!
Though there’s nothing inherently bad about shopping online, becoming addicted to it has its consequences. So in this post, I’ll share how to identify if you are addicted and how to stop shopping online.
How to know if you’re addicted to shopping online
A big part of learning how to stop shopping online is knowing if you have an addiction to it. Though addictions are more commonly associated with substance abuse, there are behavioral addictions as well. These are activities that you engage in to get a temporary feeling of exhilaration or relief.
Typically, they aren’t bad when done in moderation; however, these behaviors can have negative consequences when done excessively. Shopping is one of them.
It’s important to note that there is a difference between being addicted to shopping online and simply being an impulsive shopper. Impulse shopping is when you buy something that you weren’t intending to due to an ad or the ease of accessibility.
An example would be picking up extra knick-knacks at the checkout line. This is in contrast to premeditated or planned activities associated with addictive behavior.
Signs that you may be addicted to online shopping
So how do you know if you’re addicted to shopping online? Here are some signs:
You visit sites every day
If you obsess and visit shopping sites daily, this is a big sign you are addicted to online shopping. It has become a part of your daily routine, and you think about it constantly.
You’ve lost track of what you’ve bought online
You’ve shopped so much and have so many items that you’ve lost track of your purchases. You may not have even used the items that you bought because it was less about the item and more about the feeling of spending money.
You take money from bills to fund shopping
You’ve started to reallocate your money to cover your shopping expenses. This comes at the cost of not having money for your bills and other financial obligations.
You’re hiding your spending and purchases from your spouse or partner
Your spending and excessive purchases have become an issue with your spouse or partner. You try to hide it so that they don’t know the financial damage that you have caused.
Your credit card debt is rising because of your spending
You may find yourself using credit cards to fund your shopping habits. As a result, you have mounting credit card debt.
You convince yourself that you have to buy it because it’s on sale
You find ways to justify your excessive spending. Sales are often a good excuse for you to buy more.
Does it sound like you’re addicted to online shopping? Don’t worry. There are some things that you can do to help you stop online shopping!
How to stop online shopping
Overcome your online shopping addiction with these top tips!
1. Block sites
At this point, going to your favorite sites has become a habit. So instead of trusting yourself not to go on these sites, you need to make it impossible to visit them.
You can do this by blocking the sites from your browser. You can easily do this with browser extensions specifically designed to block unwanted sites.
2. Get rid of your credit cards to stop shopping online
One way how to stop online shopping is to get rid of your credit cards. If you don’t use credit cards wisely, they can become an enabler for bad spending habits. After all, they give you access to money that you may not actually have.
By getting rid of your credit cards, you can only spend as much money as you have. This will drastically reduce the amount of money that you can spend shopping for things that you don’t need.
3. Remove your credit card information from your browser
Speaking of credit cards, you’ll need to remove your stored card information from your browsers. Often your payment information is stored in your internet browser for ease; however, if you want to curb your spending, you’ll need to make the transaction more difficult.
By removing the information, you won’t be able to make a purchase without, first, having to think about it and physically getting up to get your credit or debit card.
4. Stop online shopping by ditching Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal
Digital wallets have also made online purchasing easier. These wallets act the same way as your payment information that is stored in your browser. Again, you’ll need to remove this ease of accessibility so that you aren’t able to buy so easily.
5. Unsubscribe from emails
Email marketing is another way that they may tempt you into buying. Every day, brands are competing for space at the top of your inbox to get you to shop with them. That’s why the responsibility is on you to get them out of your inbox!
Hit the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email to stop them from contacting you. This will remove the temptation to visit their site to buy.
6. Stop the text message marketing
Text message marketing has become a growing avenue for marketing over the past few years. That’s because vying for priority in an inbox is a lot more competitive, and you’re more likely to see a text message.
You should unsubscribe to these messages as well. In most cases, all you have to do is text ‘STOP’ to be removed from their list.
7. Unfollow and block brands on social media
Social media sites and apps can be another place that triggers you to shop. In this case, it may be best to unfollow and block these brands so that they don’t show up on your timeline.
By blocking and unfollowing these brands, you may also avoid getting fed ads from them as well. Unfollowing social media influencers and avoiding triggers is how to stop online shopping.
8. Take a break from social media
While you’re unfollowing and blocking brands on social media, consider taking a break from social media altogether. This means not logging into these sites or apps for an extended period of time.
Getting off of social media and away from your devices allows you to focus on those things in life that are truly important.
You can even use the time to develop more productive habits that can replace your desire to shop. It’ll also help eliminate some of your shopping triggers—like seeing other people’s purchases.
9. Delete the shopping apps to help stop online shopping
If you’re loyal to a brand and they have a shopping app, it’s likely that you have it. This is another avenue for purchasing that you’ll need to get rid of.
As with any other mobile app, you can simply delete it from your phone. This will not only remove that app, but it will stop push notifications about sales.
10. Only shop with gift cards preloaded with cash
When you have to shop online, limit the amount of funds that you have access to shopping with. A great way to do that is by using preloaded gift cards in lieu of a credit card.
This will put a cap on how much you can spend. Once the gift card runs out, you won’t be able to make any more purchases.
11. Seek professional help and support
Learning how to stop shopping online is important but if you find that none of these methods work for you, then see professional help. Again, addiction is a serious thing-even if it's shopping. There are support groups and other resources available to help you if necessary.
You can stop being addicted to online shopping
Learning how to stop shopping online can be difficult. Yet, the consequences of not addressing these problems are far worse. Don’t let online shopping wreak havoc on your finances and your relationships.
So consider these tips to help combat your online shopping. In fact, you can try these additional tips on how to stop shopping. Remember, you can always seek professional help if you can’t overcome it on your own.
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