When you have money, do you feel you must spend it all? Do you shop in order to relieve stress or anxiety? When you enter a store, do you feel the need to make an instant purchase? Do you spend more than you can afford?
Everyone enjoys an occasional impulse purchase—a chocolate bar at the checkout counter, a cute new case for your phone, a pair of cream-colored heals that are the perfect match for your favorite dress. But if your impulsive purchases become compulsive, you may have a shopping addiction.
Shopping addicts spend excessively and often feel they have no control over their behavior. They may shop to relieve emotional distress, regularly spend more than they can afford, or harm their relationships due to their excessive spending. Someone with a spending addiction will get the same rush or high from new purchases as someone who is addicted to drugs.
It may be difficult to tell if you or a loved one has a shopping addiction. Like other addicts, shopping addicts try to hide their addiction from others. They may conceal their purchases or lie about how much they spend. Take this self-assessment to determine if you or your loved one may have a shopping addiction.
Shopping addiction symptoms
Are you or your loved one a shopaholic? Here are a few signs of a potential spending addiction.
- You obsess about what you can buy.
- You shop to cope with anger or stress.
- You spend more money than you can afford.
- You feel extreme euphoria after buying an item.
- You often purchase items you do not need.
- You steal or lie in order to fuel your shopping habits.
- You feel guilty about shopping excessively, but you are unable to stop.
In some cases, shopping addiction may be linked to other issues, such as substance abuse. If you or a loved one is suffering from substance addiction and abuse, it’s crucial to get help immediately.
Tips to avoid overspending
Overspending can be difficult to manage—since everyone needs to make purchases—and coping strategies vary depending on the severity of the individual case. In many cases, spending excessively may be linked to other mental health issues, which need to be addressed by a professional. To cut down on your spending, try the following tips:
- Identify what triggers your desire to shop. This could include emotional issues such as arguments with your partner or stress at work. Once you identify the triggers, you can work on developing more healthy coping strategies.
- Steer clear of temptation. Just like an alcoholic cannot have one glass of wine, a shopping addict needs to be careful to avoid temptation. Don’t even enter your favorite boutique shop or online store.
- Limit your shopping trips to only the essentials. Avoid browsing or window shopping just for fun.
- Only carry the amount of cash you need. Write up a shopping list with estimated prices and leave your credit cards at home.
- Find a new hobby, such as music, sports, or art, to replace shopping.
If you have tried these strategies and find yourself unable to manage your spending, it may be time to seek help. Give us a call to help determine the best plan for your situation.
If you find that your spending is out of control and damaging your relationships or mental health, it may be time to get help.
Support groups, therapy, and rehab can help you improve your financial situation and emotional wellbeing. Retorno offers an outpatient center for people struggling with all types of addictions, including shopping addictions. Our expert staff can help you overcome your addiction and regain control of your life. Call us today or just fill out the contact form and click Send.Please share this post!