May 13, 2015
How Can I Stop My Online Shopping Addiction?

Recovering online shopaholic Madge imparts some useful tips on how to stop an online shopping addiction.

by Magdalene
Lifestyle
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Dear Madge,
 
Help! I’m addicted to online shopping and needless to say it’s draining my bank account (and credit cards). What should I do?
 
Best,
Rebecca
 
 
Dear Rebecca,
 


I feel you. In fact, my closet still bears the evidence of my compulsive online purchase with clothes that I haven’t even worn until now, and my Kindle is packed with books that I’ve been meaning to start reading soon. Not to mention that my kitchen cabinet is filled with empty bottles/jars of healthy food/drinks I ordered online (yeah, I have that moment).
 
It is hard to escape with the proliferation of online shops in every channel possible: Facebook, Instagram and Line, aside from the good ol’ websites. But here are something that work for me to curb the habit:
  • Unsubscribe from online shop newsletters. Don’t just delete the promotional email as you may be tempted to open them, but unsubscribe them all. Also, delete the apps from your gadgets and if necessary, block the online shops from your computer.
  • Clear your cookies and cache regularly. This is to avoid falling victim to retargeting advertisements. It’s where retailers follow your online behavior and continuously haunt you with ads promoting their products on the websites you’re checking.
  • Hide your bank token and credit cards, if necessary erase your PayPal or other online wallet accounts.
  • You’d hate me for saying this, but as with every destructive habit or addiction, it takes willpower to stop an online shopping addiction. I focused on the bigger picture/goals to stop shopping online, such as buying property, car, traveling or building my own business. That shifted my focus from buying mundane things to more meaningful purchase.
  • In this article, one of our editors learned that our bad habit, in her case emotional eating, fills out the hole in us. When we thought we were hungry after seeing some food, for example, it meant that our eyes need visual “nutrient”, so satisfy them with beautiful pictures. Getting hungry after smelling food? Distract them with other tantalizing fragrance. Feel like chewing something even though you’re not hungry? It means you’re bored and in need of physical sensation. It’s the same with shopping habit. Maybe you’re stressed, maybe you’re bored. So analyze your feeling, define them and eventually cope with the urges, so you wouldn’t resort to online shopping to distract yourselves from the feelings. Find the cause and satisfy them or channel them to other things. 
Hope it helps!
 
~ M
 
Got a burning question about something? Send it to editor@magdalene.co -- in English or Indonesian -- with the subject "Ask Madge" or tweet your question to @the_magdalene.
 
*Illustration by Intel Free Press