The CNBC have reported that online shopping addiction could be a mental health worry – and with all of us more aware of mental health issues in the modern age, it might be wise to identify any areas in our own lives which could become detrimental.
“The combination of anonymity, the convenience of not having to go to a store and the variety of products available can fuel online shopping addiction.”
Those tendencies can be hard to fight as online retailers sweeten deals through events such as Amazon Prime Day and other sales, like Black Friday. Psychologists and financial experts say they have seen an increase in people who struggle with these unhealthy habits.
But how do you know if you have a real addiction with spending? “If it starts to become more of a regular thing — more time, more energy, spending more than you wanted to — you want to keep an eye on that,” says the news report. Other warning signs include:
- hiding your purchases
- having trouble keeping track of your budget
- falling behind on bills
- running out of room to store all of your purchases
- missing social events so as not to miss out on an online deal or promotion
If you identify any of the above problems, then you may want to get yourself back on track. It’s difficult – and things won’t change overnight. But small changes now could make a bigger difference in the long run. When it comes to tips for saving money, little savings can really stack up. You don’t always have to make the big grand gesture – start off small so that you can build up some will power.
You can make changes at home, like turning lights off, cancelling TV subscriptions and being a little more savvy with the food shopping. If you do the food shop online, why not get someone else to check over your purchases? By saving money, you can repay debt and create healthier spending habits overall. Wonga has compiled a great archive of 40 tips for saving money that we recommend giving a look over.
You can also be a little more careful when it comes to being tempted online in the first place. Why not refuse to go online after 6pm? You should identify what your urges with online shopping are and how they materialise. Then you can try and avoid those temptations. For instance, if you find that you simply cannot resist the sale at your favourite clothing store, then why not cancel your mail subscriptions to this store so that you are not even alerted to the sale.
You may also find it helpful to disconnect your cards with your accounts. It is so easy to make purchases when you don’t have to get up to find your credit card. When everything is linked, the temptation to click ‘buy’ is strong. Unlink them, and this problem can diminish.
If you really feel that you have a serious spending problem, of course it makes sense to seek professional help from your local GP who can advise the best thing for you. Online shopping can turn into an addiction, and like with any addiction, it can be destructive to those and people around you.