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Retail therapy- two of the most evocative words in the English language. It summons up images of fresh new things, brightly lit stores and products promising to make you a new person. It might be a temporary bit of escapism, but we all need a little of that, don’t we? The world can be a dark, bleak place, so if flashing the plastic once in awhile brings a smile to our face, why not?
While most people know when to indulge and when to cut back, there’s no doubt that it can cross into a problem. Shopping addiction is a very real thing, taking an otherwise innocent pleasure and making it darker. Even without the full blown addiction, spending too much and too often can have an adverse effect on your finances.
If you are finding yourself thinking that you might need to cut back, then there are options for a little self-control. It might be that you are concerned about the amount being spent in general, or perhaps you want to save up for something special. Whatever the reason, here are a few tips to help you still find a way to indulge but without going overboard.
Step One: Learn The Difference Between Need and Want
The lipstick is gorgeous. It is the perfect matte; it makes you think of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so endlessly classic. You imagine how good it would feel to use, how lovely it would feel to wear. You need it.
No, you don’t. You want it. Sometimes this difference will be less stark than the above advantage. Maybe your bed linen is looking a little threadbare. If it’s got a hole in it or has lost weight and is too cold, then you need to replace it. If you just want it to look better, then it’s a want. Running every purchase through this filter can save a lot of money.
If you do just want it, that can be fine as well! Allowing a little indulgence here and there is only harmless, so long as it doesn’t become constant. Be strict with yourself, and allow the occasional spend in return for saving at other times.
Step Two: Get The Best Price For It
So you’ve decided that you need the item, or are letting yourself buy it because you want it. Now it’s time to mitigate the damage it might do to your finances.
That’s going to mean shopping around and using comparison sites. If you’re thinking of buying a new set of drawers, then you’re going to want to hunt down every Home Furniture Sale you can find going. If makeup is your weakness, then look for sample sales.
Look for discount codes or loyalty points, too. Also, consider cashback sites. Anything that gives you a little something extra or saves you a few pence – it all adds up.
Step Three: Enjoy It, Guilt Free
If you’ve put in the hard consideration and hunted out a bargain, you’ve done well. And what’s more, it’s going to feel all the more special because of the effort you had to put into it.