We’re focusing on our key New Year’s resolution (or goal if you prefer) of getting your budget in control by reducing the amount of money that our nation’s addictive consumerism causes you to spend on “stuff” that you don’t need (and often don’t even want). But to get to that point you’ll have to give some mental and emotional attention to why you might fall prey to addictive consumerism to begin with. While we’ve provided plenty of resources in our articles archive to help you on this journey, we’ve created this helpful quiz to get you started. Just select the answer that most closely applies to you in each case.

Question One: You Most Often Actively Plan to Shop When …

  1. You’re planning a social event with friends or family and it’s a shopping trip
  2. You know that there are sales or limited time merchandise available
  3. You need a little “pick me up” in life
  4. No planning! Shopping is a daily part of your life.
  5. All of the above or multiple reasons on the list

Question Two: When You’re Out and About and Not Shopping You Most Often Find Yourself Buying Things When …

  1. Somebody you’re with encourages you to
  2. It’s on sale or there are very few of the item that you’re looking at left
  3. You get a burst of happiness at the thought of purchasing the item
  4. There’s no rhyme or reason. You pick up random impulse purchases all of the time.
  5. All of the above or multiple reasons on the list

Question Three: When You Buy Things Online, You …

  1. Are inspired by something you’ve seen in a social media feed
  2. Are getting a great deal that’s online only
  3. Are depressed by other things you’ve seen on the internet that day
  4. You pretty much buy something online every time you’re online
  5. All of the above or multiple reasons on the list

Question Four: You Donate or Get Rid of Things When …

  1. It’s part of a charity drive or project that you’re involved in
  2. You need some extra cash and want a yard sale
  3. You feel weighed down by “things” and clutter
  4. Uh, never. That’s what storage is for.
  5. All of the above or multiple reasons on the list

Question Five: When You’re Shopping, You Buy for Others When …

  1. All the time! If I see the perfect thing, I need to get it!
  2. I see something great for somebody and it’s on sale
  3. The idea of buying something for somebody else makes me happy inside
  4. Surely you jest. Unless it’s the holidays.
  5. All of the above or multiple reasons on the list

Question Six: Other Activities That You Do When You’re Shopping Include …

  1. Meeting up with friends for drinks or a meal
  2. Other activities? I’m here to shop.
  3. Seeing a movie by yourself or people watching
  4. Again, that is crazy. I’m here to shop.
  5. All of the above or multiple reasons on the list

Question Seven: The Most Influential Shopping Motivator for Me Is …

  1. Social media
  2. Emails and mobile pushes about sales
  3. My mood
  4. Who needs influences?
  5. All of the above or multiple reasons on the list

It’s Time to Score Yourself!

The scoring on this quiz is actually pretty easy. You just want to add up how many times you answered A, B, C, D or E. Then see below for the summary inducement each has on why you may tend to spend on trappings of addictive consumerism. If two elements came in close, you’ll want to pay attention to more than one result.

  1. You are a Social Shopper. While a certain degree of social shopping can be fun, the reality is that most likely a great deal of what drives you is a sense of peer pressure and “Keeping Up with the Joneses.” While it’s enjoyable to spend a day browsing around and having lunch with friends, how much of their emphasis on “stuff” is driving your emphasis on stuff?
  2. You’re Addicted to Deals. Marketers create sales, deals and limited-time supplies to do one thing – to drive your impulse to shop and shop now. It’s working on you! You can begin to educate yourself on why most deals aren’t really deals so that you can pass them up.
  3. You’re an Emotional Shopper. This is really the heart of addictive consumerism, and you are not alone. We’ve all been (mis)lead to believe that “stuff” can fill our emotional holes. The truth is that it never can. It’s a long journey out, but it’s worth it.
  4. Oh My. You Just Live to Shop. This is your hobby, sure. But more than likely it’s also part of your identity. And while it may feel good now, nothing good ultimately comes from tying your identity to “stuff.” Trust us.
  5. You Need to Spend Lots of Time on Postconsumers! We say this affectionately, society’s addictive consumerism and “stuff” is such a deep part of your life that you would benefit from really digging in. It’s not one issue, it’s many. And it’s important to take the time and do the work to unwind them.

So where do you go from here with this information? Knowing why you might be falling into the traps of addictive consumerism is the first step in breaking the habit. Knowledge isn’t enough because unhealthy consumerism is everywhere and it’s powerful. But if you know what’s at the core of your issue – and the resulting monetary spend – you’ll be able to identify the right avenues to start to separate from it.

Follow along with our January 2017 resolution of learning to control our budgets by spending less money on “stuff” and letting go of addictive consumerism on the social media channels below.

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Photo Credit: air-doll via Flickr