How to Christmas Shop When You’re a Compulsive Spender

How to Christmas Shop When You’re a Compulsive Spender

The holidays are here. ‘Tis the season of gift-giving…and receiving. For many, this is a joyous occasion. Others may find this time of year a trigger for their spending habits. When you are addicted to shopping, Christmas may be the hardest holiday of all. From window displays to ads on the television to family members making lists, it’s understandable why you might fall back into old patterns. This fear is especially real when you start buying gifts for family members. Here’s how to Christmas shop when you are a compulsive spender.


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Set a Limit

Compulsive shopping is a different form of recovery than substance abuse. When you recover from drug or alcohol addiction, you can make a conscious effort never to do those activities again. However, everyone is expected to go shopping, especially during the holidays. 


As an active member of society, you should want to partake in these traditions. You can, but you need to set up boundaries. Put up a limit on how much you can spend. 


From there, take out the cash equivalent of what you intend to spend. Always use cash instead of a credit card. That way, you are aware of what you’re spending.


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Make a List

It’s easy to set a limit…and then go over it. Breaking your limit is common when we aren’t sure what to get people…and how much those items are going to be. Do some research and make a list.


You should have a clear-cut idea as to what you’re going to buy and how much that’s going to crack at your limit. Doing this will help keep you on track and prohibit you from buying extra.


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Don’t Buy For Yourself 

There might be a lot of excellent deals out there, but this isn’t about you. You’re trying to shop for your family. Don’t get sucked into the hype and start splurging on yourself. 


Stay on track with your agenda. Any money left over should be put away for the future. You’re going to get plenty of loot on Christmas from others. Don’t be greedy, Ebenezer.


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Give Adventures, Not Gifts

The best way to combat materialistic shopping is to give gifts from the heart. Promise to take your dad to a concert. Get a season’s pass at the batting cages for your daughter. Tell your spouse you’ll clean the house every week for six months. 


Christmas is about the ones you love, not the gifts you give. Coming up with things to do together in the future will create more lasting memories than the newest gaming console or a pair of expensive shoes. Your family is a significant reason you are in recovery. Don’t jeopardize your progress during a time of the year that should be the happiest.


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