Is retail therapy causing you to overspend for the holidays? – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

Log In

Reset Password
BERMUDA | RSS PODCAST

Is retail therapy causing you to overspend for the holidays?

Rachel Cruze

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – for buying gifts. And while you’re at it, you might as well buy something for yourself, right? We’ve all been there. Remember in Friends when Monica bought those super expensive leather boots on impulse? She ended up regretting it because they really hurt her feet. Womp, womp!

Listen, we all spend money in a variety of ways. We just need to keep our spending motivations in check – especially during this time of year.

So, if you find yourself indulging in some retail therapy – buying stuff to make you feel good – then I want to help. Retail therapy is normal in today’s society, but normal can make you broke pretty quick. And there’s nothing merry about that.

Four ways to avoid retail therapy

We all need to stay in control of our money, especially during the holiday season. So, here are four simple ideas to help you shop responsibly and avoid falling into the retail therapy trap:

Make – and stick to – a budget!

A budget gives you permission to spend. When shopping for holiday gifts, I always need to stop and remember that every item I buy for myself is a gift someone could have bought for me, instead of me buying it for myself. If you have $100 budgeted to buy gifts for everyone on your Christmas list, make sure to actually use all of it for gifts for others – not for yourself!

Window shop

When shopping for others, it’s completely normal to find things you love for yourself. Window shopping can actually give your brain a surge of dopamine, which may be all you need to scratch that retail therapy itch.

If you find a fantastic outfit or gorgeous accessory, add it to an online shopping cart, put it on a wish list, or even ask a store to hold the item in your name. Share your list with family and friends, and give them the opportunity to buy you the perfect gift!

Steer clear of your triggers

I can tell you from experience: It’s almost impossible to be satisfied with your own life if you’re constantly looking at what someone else has. Social media may be a trigger you need to put on pause for a few weeks. And if you know that certain stores trigger your retail therapy feelings, do your best to avoid them. Wait until after the holidays when your budget has some room for personal purchases.

Live generously

Giving is the most fun you can have with money – really! And the holiday season is the perfect time to practice generosity by giving to others. There are plenty of opportunities to give to charities, buy toys for underprivileged children, or provide groceries for families in need.

You guys, holiday shopping can be so stressful! And honestly, sometimes buying a little something for yourself can ease some of that stress, right? But if shopping on impulse is a habit in your life – especially during this time of year – check out my complete guide to overcoming retail therapy. I want you to feel confident in your money decisions as you shop during this season. And I don’t want you to miss out on the joy of giving to others!

A person with her arms crossed

Rachel Cruze is a two-time #1 national bestselling author, financial expert and host of The Rachel Cruze Show. She has appeared on Good Morning America, Today and LIVE with Kelly and Ryan, among others. Since 2010, Rachel has served at Ramsey Solutions, where she teaches people how to avoid debt, budget, save money, and win with money at any stage of life. Follow Rachel on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube or online at rachelcruze.com.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published November 20, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated November 19, 2021 at 5:53 pm)

Is retail therapy causing you to overspend for the holidays?

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon