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Stop Emotional Buying Sprees

Updated on November 18, 2013

Things that are more important than "things"

Remind yourself often of what is more important in your life than things...
Remind yourself often of what is more important in your life than things... | Source

Emotional Buying?

More often than not people think with their ego, rather than with thier inner voice of reason when they buy things. This could be out of sheer boredom or it could be to enjoy a temporary ego boost or for ego gratification.

Have you ever bought something because you didn't feel whole inside? Sure! We all have been guilty of this at some point or another. I call this retail therapy. If this behavior persists, you will need de-clutter therapy!

I think my own mother is guilty of this, she makes tons of impulse purchases to make herself feel better. She will fawn all over the items she bought, arranging them in her house before sitting and admiring them. When she is finished with them (and has told all of her friends about them on the phone), she will go out and buy new things to talk about. I am happy that she does get good use out of her things and she does love the things she buys, but she is never emotionally satisfied because they are "things".

One huge thing I admire about my mother is that she will not hold on to stuff. After she enjoyed an object or collection of objects for a time, she will get rid of them. Usually she passes them along to a friend who also admires these things. I think in many ways this makes her a good friend to her girlfriends and also it keeps her from being a hoarder, thank God!

I tend to hold on to stuff I am not using, and I have several boxes of stuff to throw out still that I am not using... so I am still, like most people, learning the "stuff" lesson! =P

Yes...I Was Tempted But...

I did not purchase the Barbie dressed as a Mayan Native in Panajachel, Guatemala!  Even though it reminded me of a happy childhood memory.
I did not purchase the Barbie dressed as a Mayan Native in Panajachel, Guatemala! Even though it reminded me of a happy childhood memory. | Source

Now for the Checklists...

To avoid cluttering up your life or worse, becoming a hoarder, you should follow a few simple rules when you visit the mall or local yard sales.

When deciding if an object is for you ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I really need this in my life/house?

2. Will I use it this item?

3. Do I absolutely love, love, love it right now?

4. Will I still be in love with it after it has been cleaned repeatedly by me for three years?

Four Rules of Spending:

1. Have a spending limit.and stick to it

2. Bring Cash Only to keep yourself honest

3. Write down the objects you desire on a list before you go

4. Keep Integrity with yourself... promise you will stick to these rules

If the answer is yes to the above questions, and it was on your list, then go ahead and buy it. Keep the Cardinal Rule of Clutter, this one caveat, forever in place:

"If I do not use this item for 6 months, I will sell it online or give it away to a charitable cause!"

When you're serious about reducing the amount of "things" in your life, you must also further promise to get rid of two items for every item you purchase. If you buy three things today, you must give away or throw out six items tonight!

Now what happens if you decide to that your purchases are a result of emotional issues?

Before making a purchase, ask yourself these questions:

1. How am I feeling emotionally right now?

2. Will it change my mood after I purchase this item?

3. Am I willing to spend too much or even go into debt for this item?

If you feel sad and buying this object will make you happy, then you are emotionally fulfilling a need that cannot be filled with a "thing". Take a deep breath and let it go, three times.

Affirmations to Help

If you decide that you are making a purchase out of an emotional issue or crises,

then remind yourself the following affirmations.

My Lifelong Affirmations:

1. God loves me no matter what other people say or do, I am always valuable, worthwhile and loved deeply.

2. I don't need to buy things to make me feel better about myself

3. Buying stuff will never increase my happiness, self-worth, self-esteem.

Take this list with you whenever you feel weak and "spendy". Remind yourself of your affirmations and say them every day until you have overcome the emotional need to buy things.

Use these or create your own to suit your own emotional needs and also your personality and beliefs. My words could never suit your subconscious mind enough to be 100% effective, so please by all means, create your own affirmations if you find these are not totally "you".


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    • MermaidMoney profile image

      Alanna Fox Starks 4 years ago from Detroit, Michigan

      Thank you so much! Have a lovely Holiday Season!

      Mermaid Girl

    • jollyjump profile image

      jollyjump 5 years ago from Columbus, GA

      This is a great hub full of tips and info. My mom needs to read this for sure!

    • MermaidMoney profile image

      Alanna Fox Starks 5 years ago from Detroit, Michigan

      I am so happy you like this article. =)

      Thank you for your insightful comment.

      I agree with you. Years ago I stopped going to the mall and also I stopped watching TV --and commercials-- so I have no idea what is even "out there" to have! LOL

      And I don't miss it one bit.

      Thank you and you are AWESOME!

    • bkmuze profile image

      bkmuze 5 years ago from Northern California

      You certainly nailed this subject. There are so many truths in your article! De-cluttering does save lots of money. It also saves time and sanity.

      The absolute best way for me to de-clutter was to stop going shopping to entertain myself but It took me awhile to free myself of the shopping-to-feel-better habit. Staying out of stores keeps me away from the temptation of longing for things I have no need for.

      You are so very right, we ARE worthwhile and AWESOME! Our superfluous "stuff" does not increase our true value one bit.