The secret may very well be in your email inbox.
I'm no stranger to shopaholicsm, but I figured I'd be "safe" from relapse if I could only steer clear of bricks-and-mortar shops.
Instead, I decided to sign up for a few choice email lists with my favorite stores. My reasoning was simple: I would only shop if a great deal came through and I'd still avoid splurging on full-price fare.
What I didn't predict was how many sales retailers promote by email. I must get a new ad from the Gap and all its affiliates at least once per day and my newfound frenemy Ebates.com has lured me to shop more than I have in months thanks to its super exclusive "Double cash back rewards" offers that strangely appear multiple times a week.
It makes sense why we're partial to the email route. It's easy enough to mark messages as spam and ignore ones we don't feel like reading straightaway. But for a reformed shopaholic like myself, email is basically the gateway drug to overspending.
When the time comes that I actually need to shop, I'll prowl CouponSherpa.com or Retailmenot.com for discount codes first and check to see if Ebates has a cashback offer available. I rarely turn up empty-handed.
If you want to curb your impulse spending, follow my lead.