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Shoppers at a Toronto mall (Charla Jones/The Globe and Mail)
Shoppers at a Toronto mall (Charla Jones/The Globe and Mail)

Angela Self on spending

Shopaholics: If you want to spend less, check your emotions at the door Add to ...

It probably won't surprise you to learn that researchers have found women enjoy shopping more than men do - and that women tend to shop for emotional reasons, whereas men shop for practical ones.

The Journal of Financial Planning reported that women are twice as likely to impulse buy and to celebrate good news by hitting the stores.

This doesn't necessarily mean we'll spend more throughout the year, but it does mean we have to be aware of our triggers and put in place some practical strategies to avoid overspending.

My girlfriends and I have a few simple steps in place to keep us in check. For the emotional spenders, it's a call to a buddy on speed dial in cases of spending emergency. For the impulse shoppers, it's removing the need for willpower by steering clear of temptation spots such as malls and drugstores. And for the mindless spenders, it's making a list and checking it twice.

As we're getting ready to update the summer wardrobe this season, maybe we should also take a cue from the men in our lives and focus on what we need - and only what we need.

Still, I see the fact my gender is more willing to take time to browse as being to our advantage. If we're more willing to shop around and find the best deal, we can cut costs in all areas - as long we're not splurging because we've had a bad day.

Angela Self is one of the founders of the Smart Cookies money group. Read her weekly column on managing debt and saving money at the new globeinvestor.com .

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