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You tell us: How do you curb shopping cravings?

BCBGMaxAzria ... Bluefly ... Hayden-Harnett ... Urban Outfitters ... it seems all of my beloveds have teamed up in a double-dog-dare electric-sales-alert throw-down to make me spend my paycheck on their after-holiday sales. I calculated and -- if I give in -- it could cost me around $100 a day just to check my e-mail.

You can tell me to just unsubscribe from these alerts, but the thing is that shopping is actually something I crave and something I can truly say I thoroughly enjoy. There have been bad days at work when I hope and pray for the weekend, not because I have some hot party planned but because then I'll have a chance to troll the Grove.

But this isn't just me. My instant messenger flashes with cries from friends across the nation begging for moral support. They all try to avert their eyes when they see that the lovely frock they've been coveting since October is now 45% cheaper.

So we come to you, All the Rage readers, empty wallets in hand. How do you keep your checkbooks in check and curb your spending cravings? Please share in the comments section.

-- Whitney Friedlander

Photo credit: Barbara Kruger

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Make a list before you shop.
Take cash out of the atm before you go to grocery store -the pain is real when you see money go! Take a calculator and add cost while shopping-you will be amazed how much you DON'T need.
Transfer odd amounts from your checking account to your savings account(ex: if your balance is 236.58, transfer 16.58 to savings)...that way you are saving while keeping your register 'streamlined' and easier to balance.
At Costco, don't get a will never go over $100 that way(a box is ok)
Leave your wallet/purse locked in your trunk when you shop-that will reduce
Comparison shop online
Purchase books/dvds online at Amazon to avoid sales taxes!

A simple way to save money and curb impulsive buys when shopping is to ask yourself, "Do I want this or need this?" I expanded on this idea in a post on my blog:

Before I buy anything, I ask myself if I really need this item. If the answer is yes, than I go ahead and buy the item. If the answer is no, or I have another item already very similar I do not buy the item. After asking this question, the answer is rarely yes.


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