How to Guard Yourself From Flash Sales

Avoid overspending with these tips for your inner shopaholic.

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Don't bookmark. Remove all shopping sites from your "favorite places" directory. "If you have to keep a list of Internet shopping sites, make it a written list—something you can't simply click on," Benson advises.

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Beware of getting on a roll. Once you've made the first purchase, Benson says your resistance to further buying drops sharply. So don't quickly and impulsively add a few more items to your shopping cart that you hadn't intended to buy. "People have to think about what they're really shopping for, and I guarantee it's not that eighth pair of black boots," Benson says.

Remember what's at stake. Yarrow says to keep your credit card balance taped to your computer screen as a reminder to stay focused on the spending part of the equation, not just the hunt and bargain aspect. "You might think in the short-term that these items equate to happiness, but there's nothing that will make you feel better than not having debt in your life," she says.

Set a budget—and stick to it. Know what you want to spend annually on clothing. Then gauge whether you can afford an item based on how much of your budget you've already spent. "I think the national average is about $1,100 a year on clothing," Cline says. "For most of these flash sales, you're going to hit that budget pretty quickly."