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Tuesday Tip: Avoid Retail Therapy

You know what feels good? Going out and getting yourself something nice after a rough day. Maybe a new video game, a new pair of shoes, a nice bottle of wine? It can really make you feel better. You know what’s not so good? Realizing that you have to stay home on the weekend when your friends are going out because you spent too much on retail therapy. Or even worse, maybe you come up short on the credit card bill and your credit card debt builds up because you had one busy day at work and had to shop to relax.

Our credit counseling advice is to find financially healthier ways to cope.

Our credit counseling advice is to find financially healthier ways to cope.

The Truth About Retail Therapy

Retail therapy is not a healthy solution to life’s problems. Sure, the instant gratification can feel good, but if you’re having money problems then it will only make them worse. If you use a credit card, you could add to your debt and wind up paying even more interest on top of your purchases. It’s a vicious cycle, and you need to find a different kind of release for your stress.

It’s all about changing how you feel about money and material things. Easier said than done, but bear with me. What makes you happier? Having that shiny, expensive new toy in your hands, or the thought of financial freedom from debt? You can be honest. The new toy is probably awesome, but really think about whether or not it’s worth it.

Making Alternative Choices to Retail Therapy

The next time you have a rough day and feel the need for retail therapy, think again about the future and which is really more rewarding. Do you want that new toy enough to take away from your rent or phone bill? Do you want it enough to pay interest on it for months? Focus on the positive aspects of NOT BUYING THINGS. Take pride in the fact that you are strong enough to resist that urge and work towards a debt free future.

Choose a place you can go to replace your usual retail splurges. Try the library, get some frozen yogurt or maybe a coffee somewhere. The library allows you to spend zero dollars, but you still get to walk away with something. A small treat doesn’t cost much but still offers some instant gratification.

Financial freedom takes dedication and perseverance. Remember your financial goals and the ways to avoid retail therapy.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Andi is a Marketing Assistant at ACCC. He is passionate about supporting financial literacy efforts and helping to educate people on the Talking Cents blog!

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