How To Fix A Shopping Hangover

Simply + Fiercely

Spending money and going on a shopping spree is a lot of fun … until it isn’t. Buyer’s remorse is an overwhelming sense of shame, guilt or regret that we feel after a big purchase. Sometimes you notice it as soon as you hand over your credit card.

A common theory is that buyer’s remorse is a result of cognitive dissonance. We think that we’re one type of person—someone who makes smart, intentional purchases—but then a shopping binge or overspending challenges our beliefs.

Here are things that will help you deal with buyer’s remorse and avoid it in the future.

If you’ve spent too much, the first thing to do is return what you can. I know this is hard. It’s a pain to go back to the shops or trek across town to the post office.

First, damage control.

It’s so much easier to try and talk yourself into “loving” your purchase. If you catch yourself in these tall tales, just remember this. Your gut knows. If you have even the slightest of doubts, then listen to them.

If you can’t return something (maybe it was a final sale, for example), but you know you’ll never use it—then declutter it now. Don’t let it live in the back of your closet for five years before letting go.

You can’t change the past, but you can learn from it. When we shop or spend too much, it’s often a way of coping with difficult emotions.

Next, learn from your mistakes.

Whatever the circumstances that drive you to shop, just know that self-awareness is your friend. Don’t beat yourself up about what happened. Trust me; this will only lead to you shutting down and going on the defense.

Instead, practice compassionate curiosity. Why do you keep buying stuff you don’t need? The more you understand your behaviour, the more empowered you are to change.

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