Monday, June 23, 2014

The Urge to Shop

I spent the month of June tracking why and when I shopped online. I tried to condense the reasons into what I could identify as a trigger.


Sales Alerts / E-mails
These are my biggest trigger. When I get coupons/discount codes, it's even worse! I mindlessly click over and look, almost if it's a game and the winner finds the most things to buy that are 'awesome' and 'a great deal'.

New Arrivals / Curiosity
I'm hunting for things I have identified as 'needs' on my list. It's hard not to constantly check to see what great new things are available each day!

Spare Moments / Boredom
I spend a lot of spare time browsing because it's do easy to do and requires no effort. Laziness/ tiredness and procrastination are probably my biggest issues. It's not like there is nothing else to do- they just require more effort.

Emotional Distraction / Fantasy Indulgence
When I'm upset or stressed, shopping is soothing. I can mentally escape and fantasize about purchases and how they will make me look, feel, and fill a 'need' while 'completing' my closet (collection).

Fear Of Missing Out
I have a serious fear of missing out. I hate the idea of not getting that perfect item because it sold out! This fuels a lot of my habits around shopping- looking for the perfect item, then getting it before it's gone.

Looking Forward
I also notice I look forward to the arrival of the items I have ordered. When I am not waiting for any packages, I still feel the need to check my porch for boxes! It's disappointing for some reason to not have anything to really look forward to receiving. This probably is because I don't do much of anything outside of work and home, and don't have anything else new to look forward to.


There was not a day that went by that I did not at least LOOK to see what the new arrivals were at my favorite store. I often browsed several times a day. I was so used to it, I did it mindlessly without a thought or plan. Like taking a walk in the park and stopping to smell the flowers, but with the compulsion to take EVERY flower you liked back home with you.

The Plan

There are several things I can do to reduce my overshopping.

1) Cut down the amount of browsing I do (in progress- see yesterday's post!)
2) Find motivation to not shop (set a savings goal and a reason to save): Plane tickets to Mexico for winter vacation.
3) Find alternative things to do with my time other than online shopping! Gardening, playing outside with my daughter, reading, writing.
4) Set up more things to look forward to that involve spending time with friends and family, not getting new things delivered in the mail.


  1. Very good, I hope you'll succeed! Just knowing why you shop is a huge step forward. I went to the mall for a postcard this afternoon and there were sales everywhere. I couldn't resist and tried on shorts that I had my eye on for months and browsed a store holding a pretty bag and feeling guilty for wanting it. I did not buy anything, but it made me realise that I should not have gone in to take a look. Just 1 store to buy the card and go home immediately!
    I can totally relate to looking forward to a delivery. I guess we both need to find other activities than shopping. Good luck!

    1. Thank you Jessica! I agree that understanding (or acknowleding) my behavior is the first step! I hope I can correct it.

      I know all too well how easily shopping can pull you in. Good for you for not giving into temptation and good luck to you too!!!

  2. I have the EXACT same triggers as you. And I completely relate to your feeling of looking forward to packages coming- sometimes when something I ordered finally arrives in the mail, I'll bring it in and let it sit on my bed for awhile so I can delay the gratification (or let down); is that weird?! Also just popping in to a store to 'look around' often ends up in unexpected purchases for me; I try my best to stay away from the mall. I've slowly been getting over my FOMO, I'm actually finding it more gratifying to hunt for the perfect piece to add to my wardrobe than to purchase that just ~okay item that sort of fits the bill. I like your plan, it sounds good!

    1. Great job! I wish I was making more progress on my FOMO- I tend to find too many 'perfect' items, a problemin itself!