Is your cart spilling over due to coronavirus anxiety? Try these tips for overspending immunity.
6 Tips for Putting a Stop to Anxiety Shopping
Nothing makes you want to overspend more than feeling bored, anxious, and worried – three common outcomes of months in self-quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. Maybe you’re ready to venture out into the world with a mask again or maybe you’re not.
Either way, you’re still susceptible to racking up credit card debt due to shopping with a worried mind and fear of the next COVID-19 development. The last thing you need now is the additional worry of too much credit card debt. But how can you break your anxiety spending habit?
Click or swipe for 6 tips for curtailing shopping costs in the anxiety era of coronavirus.
1. Step away from the online order
Shopping online with your credit or debit card is so easy, especially if the card information is already registered at Amazon or another site. All you have to do is hit check out and the deal is done, often without shipping costs, so you can even tell yourself you’re saving money.
Tip: Next time you want to order online, wait a day or two before you check out unless it’s an essential item such as over-the-counter medications, vitamins or a necessary household product. You may find that a cooling-off period is all you need to hold off on buying things you don’t need.
2. Reduce your daily dose of bad news
If your newly acquired excessive shopping habit stems from a need to quell anxiety, at least for a few minutes, by purchasing shiny, new objects, it’s time to go straight to the source of daily anxiety – the nightly world news. It’s nearly impossible to feel calm or optimistic when all you see is heartbreaking stories and doom-and-gloom predictions night after night.
Tip: Cut back on TV news to one or two days a week. If someone creates a coronavirus vaccine, you’ll hear about it from someone. To stay informed without the barrage of TV news, pull up the New York Times online, which now has free access to coronavirus coverage.
Find out: A CPA's COVID-19 Diagnosis
3. Make a grocery list
It’s too easy to grab a bunch of extra items you don’t need while rolling through the grocery store if you go in without a plan. In fact, you can double your usual weekly grocery bill in no time at all by stocking up on snacks, frozen food, paper towels, and other items.
Tip: Write a list of grocery items you need after taking an inventory of what you already have on hand. Prepare your list with meals in mind so many foods can be used in more than one meal.
4. Tally up recent online purchases
One of the best deterrents to impulse buying while worried about the state of the world is totaling up your online purchases over the last two or three months. Your shock at the total amount may be enough to cause you to go cold turkey on impulse purchases.
Tip: Now that you know how much you spent, pay off those purchases on your credit card to lower the balance.
5. Deposit the money in savings instead
What if all that money you spent while self-quarantining for two or three months was in your emergency savings instead? It’s too late to get the cashback now but never too late to pay more attention to your savings account than your Amazon account.
Tip: Next time you want to charge $50 or any amount on an online purchase, take that money and deposit it into an emergency savings account instead. It will add up fast.
6. Only buy essential items
It’s tempting to rack up credit card debt by purchasing clothes, appliances, electronics and other expensive items to make yourself feel more secure during a highly uncertain time.
However, when the pandemic ceases and/or a coronavirus vaccine is available, you’ll want to enjoy life again, not keep on worrying because you now have a ton of credit card debt.
Tip: Ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” before adding any item to your online cart.
This article by Deb Hipp was originally published on Debt.com.
Published by Debt.com, LLC