Did you hear about the new shopaholic pill? Well, it’s not really a new pill, but this is a new application for it. Memantine is used to treat Alzheimer’s and according to a recent study, it seems to be effective at curving shopaholic tendencies as well. The study was very small scale and only had 9 patients (8 females), but the result was promising.
Here are some details from the study.
- Patients spent at least 38 hours a week shopping.
- Patients spent 61 percent of their income on impulsive purchases.
- After 8 weeks of taking the prescription, the overall symptoms were halved. I guess this means about 20 hours shopping and also spending less money.
Compulsive shopping can be a sign of obsessive compulsive disorder and if it’s really bad, perhaps you should see a doctor. I only know one shopaholic and I would love to get her opinion on this. Would she take the pill if it really halves her shopping time and money spent on impulse shopping?
I think a pill is a valid tool to use if the problem is really bad. If retail therapy is putting you in debt, it might be time to seek professional help. If I am badly addicted to shopping, I would consider trying this out. However, the problem with the pills is that you’ll have to keep taking it until you die. I hate taking pills and doctors love to prescribe them. I’m taking a pill to help my triglycerides and I don’t like it at all. Also, who knows how much these prescription pills will cost, even with insurance?
Personally, I have lost any interest to shop recently and here are some of my strategies.
Anti Shopping Strategies
- Don’t buy on impulse. Wait a few days and check again if you really want it. I find that delaying purchases gives me time to shop for lower prices and read reviews. Many times, I lost the desire to own that particular item after a few days.
- Use cash allowance. I get $75/week cash allowance and once that runs out, that’s it. This works pretty well for me and I need to save up a few weeks allowance to buy something that is not in the immediate weekly budget, like new clothes. You can still do this even if you use credit cards; you just have to stick to your budget.
- Figure out meaningful ways to spend your time. I’m spending all my spare time with baby RB40 , writing, reading, and running Retire By 40. I don’t have any time to shop at all and I’m fine that.
- Live in a smaller space. Our condo is full. When we lived in a house (about twice the size of our condo), it was full, too. When we moved, we sold everything…and our condo is full again. I don’t want to buy anything new because we don’t have any room for it. This strategy might not work for other people. 🙂
What are some of your strategies to reduce your shopaholic tendencies? I can see that compulsive shopping can be bad for your finances and if someone needs help, a pill might be a way to go. I would first try to reduce the problem with willpower, and then perhaps get some help with talk therapy. Seeing a medical doctor and taking pills would be the last resort. Taking pills really sucks, but it’s better than getting deeper and deeper into debt.