How to Tell if You’re a Shopaholic

November 10, 2012

More than 18 million Americans are shopaholics, according to shopaholicnomore.com. Compulsive buyers shop without thinking about the consequences of the debt they are racking up. In fact, some people go to great lengths to hide their purchases. Do you have unopened shopping bags in your closet? Clothes with tags still attached? Do you buy things you don’t need? These are all signs of being a shopaholic. Before your habit gets out of control check out these tips for keeping your spending in check.

Are You a Shopaholic?shopping

Some people find a trip to the mall relaxing. They relish the opportunity to search out the perfect purchase, whether it’s a new outfit for a special event or a birthday gift for their brother. But then there are those who take shopping to a whole new level. According to Debtors Anonymous there are 12 signs of compulsive debting. If you answer yes to several of these questions, you may be more than a casual shopper.

Do you spend money when you are emotional?

Just like some people eat when they’re upset, there are those who shop to ease emotional pain. If buying new stuff helps you feel better when you are down you could be putting too much weight into your shopping habit.

Is your spending causing problems?

If you continue to accumulate debt despite calls from creditors or requests from your spouse to stop, then your shopping habits are leaking over into other areas of your life. While shopping may bring you temporary relief, the after effects are adding to your stress.

Are you hiding your purchases?

Do you feel guilty about what you buy? Do you hide purchases so that your loved ones won’t find out you’ve hit up the mall yet again? If you feel you have something to hide then you may also be masking a more serious shopping addiction.

Have you been unable to stop shopping?shopping

Just like compulsive eaters may try to diet without much success, if you’ve tried to stop spending only to fail a short time later then you could be considered a shopaholic.

Getting Help for Shopping Addiction

While people who have a dependency on alcohol can take part in Alcoholics Anonymous, those who have an addiction to spending money may find Debtors Anonymous helpful. Join an online support group, create an action plan and find someone to help hold you accountable. The most important thing is to identify that you do have a problem, realize you’re not alone and get help to make a change.

Avoiding the Debt

Total consumer credit card debt as of August 2012 was $ 585.3 billion, according to Equifax and the household average sits at just under $ 16,000 based on data from Creditcards.com. Over-shopping can damage more than credit scores– it can ruin relationships and cause people to forget about what’s really valuable in life. So if you think you may be a shopaholic, don’t take the problem lightly. Commit to making a positive change that will improve your finances and your relationships.

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