Find out how to recognize when impulse shopping is a problem, what to do about it, and how you can manage growing debt.
Lured by convenience, free shipping offers, flash sales, deal sites, or coupons, millions of American fall prey to the world of online shopping. The beauty of this routine lies in its accessibility — all you need is a credit or debit card and a Web browser. But it’s easy for this occasional habit to turn into a binge or a full-fledged addiction. Financial experts Nicole Lapin and Farnoosh Torabi share how to recognize when impulse shopping is a problem, what to do about it, and how you can manage growing debt.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself
Not sure whether online shopping is a legitimate problem for you? Financial expert Nicole Lapin says you should try the V-H-S test, which stands for “Volume-High-Secrecy.” Before you check out, ask yourself, “Do I need to buy more than one item?” This forces you to consider the volume of your purchases. If you’re regularly buying multiples of the same product or adding many items to your virtual shopping cart, assess whether you need to do so in the first place. After making a purchase, consider this: “How do I feel when I buy something or receive a package?” Satisfaction is a common reaction, but if you’re constantly shopping for instant gratification or a “high,” it might be a symptom of a larger issue. Finally, ask yourself, “Do I hide my purchases from others?” If you feel the need to make excuses for your purchases, justify them, or conceal them from family and friends, think about why you feel guilty, ashamed, or negative about your habit.