Dealing With the Urge to SplurgeWhen they handed out compulsive tendencies, I ended up with more thanthe standard allotment. I can sit down to watch the evening news andend up owning a pasta machine. I can stop by the mall to look aroundand come out with three dresses I'll never wear, a gift I'll nevergive and several things for the garden. I see what I like and WHAM! Ithink I need it, I'm entitled to it, and pity the poor soul who triesto stop me from having it.While my compulsive tendencies will forever be part of who I am,thankfully, I have found ways to tame them.
PARENT YOURSELF. When tempted to give in to my demands to have what Iwant and have it right now, I ask myself: Would I accept from mychildren the behavior I'm about to accept from myself? Seeing mybehavior as that of a spoiled bratty kid with an intimidated parentwrapped around her little finger usually stops me dead in my tracks.
AVOID "SLIPPERY" PLACES. Alcoholics Anonymous defines a slippery placeas any situation that will provide a tempting opportunity to drink. Myslippery places are stores, television shopping channels, slickadvertisements and mail order catalogs. If I don't frequent them, I'mnot tempted.When I cannot avoid a trip to the store, I plan my route right down towhere I'll park and which entrance I'll use so I can get in and outbefore I have the opportunity to slip. I've also reprogrammed the TVso it doesn't stop at shopping channels.
MAKE SPENDING DIFFICULT. Think of all the ways our culture makesspending money so convenient: checkbooks, credit cards, debit cards,deferred payment, equity lines of credit, electronic transfers and onit goes. I choose to take the convenience out of spending. I carryenough cash to meet my needs for the day. Sometimes it's a pain, but Ido avoid many opportunities to act compulsively.
TALK TO YOURSELF. When confronted with a tempting purchase, self-talk is my lifesaver:If this weren't on sale would you still buy it? If the answer is no, Ipass. Don't you already have something that will do just as well? Iusually do. You don't have to buy this just to prove you can; no one really cares. Reality check. Go home and think about it for 24 hours.I rarely return.
DISCOVER THE CAUSE. I'm learning that many of my compulsive tendencies find their roots in my need for approval. I've also had to admit that spending money is a mood-changer, even an anti-depressant. It was not easy to admit that spending was a mask I wore to hide deeper and more serious issues. By reading good books, talking about compulsive behavior and receiving help from wise counselors, I've discovered why I do the things I do.I can't change who I am, but I've learned how to change the way Irespond. That has made all the difference.
Ok I could crack that I have enough to parent and that I already talk to myself but there is no denying that Mrs Hunt has it going on- I spend sooooooooooooo much less when I avoid shopping (except for that pesky internet children's clothing habit I had to break LOL)