I have a serious shopping addiction. I have an urgent need to shop when I am stressed. I used to just fill up my cart and bring it all home and not even want to take it out of the trunk. Or end up at the cash register of a clothing store while the register rang up $100, $200, $300, $400, and I panicked and wanted to run.
Then I incurred a traumatic brain injury and my income plummetted to $700 a month. Since I had always had a good job and had always paid my credit cards off, I had a total of about $50,000 credit on five cards. I used it. Then I was screwed. I did get bailed out by my parents once. Then I had to get my shit together.
There are times I do not have food to eat. So what about my shopping problem?
I go on ebay, put in my interests (often mouse themed anything), and start at $0.99. I bid on all sorts of things but not over $5 including shipping. Sometimes I get into trouble anyway, but I think it is the best possible solution.
You do not need to start at $0.99. You can give yourself a max of $25, let’s say. Or, you don’t want to shop on ebay? Shop on Amazon. Any place which is affordable for the average, which means can’t find $400 for an emergency, American. Just do not go to high end stores.
I also second the motion of having direct deposit. But I think you need to do more than save the extra $1400. Divert one quarter of your after tax income to a separate account. Do not get checks or a debit card (not that well-off people use debit cards). Do not consider it cash on hand, and do not raid it.