by Matt B

What are your shopping habits like?

There are many different “types” of shoppers. These are the types that I see. If you are one of these types of shopper, your shopping characteristics are listed and I have included methods that may help you stop or “heal” your affliction.

The Browser:
Looks around in many stores and picks out many items. Sometimes puts a few away. The browser is usually a hardcore shopper and spends a LOT. Not to generalize, but women are browsers far more often than men.
How to discipline yourself if you are a browser:
-Make lists. Know exactly what you are in the store for and only get what is on your list. This works best when shopping for groceries.
-Go to the store but don’t buy. Maybe you will have to “forget” your cash or credit cards…maybe you have enough self control to pick up a few items and put them back later. Believe me, if you put them back, you probably will not miss the items (whatever they are) when you get home.
-Budget yourself. Know your parameters and stick to them diligently. (This method is very difficult for most).
-Make shopping a reward. Once a month, (maybe less, maybe more) use shopping as a reward to yourself for reaching a predetermined goal.

The Onliner:
Constantly shopping online. Looking for the best deals, usually on items they don’t need or sometimes even want. (Like me), the onliner loves to get mail and the feeling of anticipation waiting for things to come.
How to discipline yourself if you are an onliner:
-Make your shopping profitable. This is a tricky method, but if you are skilled at finding deeply discounted prices on quality merchandise and can find a forum to resell the items, it could be the beginning of an impromptu business. Whether it is Amazon, Ebay, or another store you can sell through on the cheap, you may end up finding a specialty and making decent money from your endeavor.
-Go online less. This one is pretty simple. Find other ways to occupy your time. Look, I am completely addicted to the interwebs, but there are plenty of things to to besides shopping online.
-Destroy all of your credit cards. If you are using credit when purchasing online, get rid of your cards. I know this is easier said than done but forcing yourself to stop using credit or learning the hard way after using debit may be an effective way to curb online purchasing.

The Bored:
The bored shop for one reason only. They have nothing better to do. There is usually nothing occupying time when not working or housekeeping or caring for kids. The bored and the browser sometimes go hand in hand. They may be one and the same.
How to discipline yourself if you are the bored:
-Find something better to do. Create more creative ways to occupy your time. Join a club, hang out with friends, whatever keeps you out of the store. Turn your time into money, instead of wasting your money during your free time.

There are other types of shoppers, but the above are the three most severe. Most of the disciplinary tactics can be used interchangeably. I’m not trying to discourage shopping altogether. For many it is a therapeutic act. A way of staying sane, and believe me (especially if you are of the female persuasion), you are much nicer the the boys when you are sane.


Anonymous February 16, 2009 at 10:09 pm

i like to walk around with items in the store and one-by-one start putting stuff back. a lot of times i grab things if only to acknowledge that i like it. another trick that helps me curb my spending is to think of merchandise in terms of the time it would take to earn the money it costs. are you willing to trade 6 hours of your time for a new handbag or devote a whole week in exchange for a gadget?

Heyagainlando February 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Yeah, I could have gone way more in-depth with this one. I’m a failure.

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