- Identify your triggers: Many people use shopping as an emotional outlet;
- Be a cautious consumer: Even the savviest shoppers fall prey to marketing tactics;
- Avoid temptation: Consider a ban on unnecessary shopping trips;
- Take a time-out: If you stumble on a "must have" item, don't get caught up in the excitement;
- Remember long-term goals: Ask yourself if you'll get more satisfaction out of owning this item or paying down your debt; and
- Check your balance: Once you've viewed your bank balance, the purchase may appear far less enticing.
source: Marshall Loeb, The Wall street Journal, October 25 2007.