You may be a shopaholic if any of the following applies to you:
- You have unopened items stashed at home.
- You regularly shop beyond your means.
- You purchase items for which you have no use.
- Disappointments trigger your shopping trips.
- You feel a thrill while making a purchase but it’s later met with remorse.
- You hide your purchases from your partner.
- On days that you don’t shop, you feel stressed.
Shopping works to fill a void: Compulsive shoppers may be feeling lonesome, depressed or anxious. When they make a purchase, they feel a rush of dopamine, which calms them – and leaves them craving more.
While it’s normal to feel a thrill when you buy a new phone, it isn’t normal to feel this thrill when buying groceries or pumping gas for your car. It also isn’t normal to feel out of sorts on days that you don’t shop.
Much like compulsive overeating, compulsive shopping triggers guilt and shame. And that ultimately makes people feel worse than they felt before they went shopping.
If you think you might be a shopaholic, don’t despair. With a bit of discipline and support, you can kick the habit for good.
Here’s how to curb the urge to splurge:
Talk it out
When you feel a drive to overspend because of an emotional overload, call a friend. Talk through your feelings instead of smothering them in pricey purchases.
When you’re out shopping, leave your cards at home and only use cash. This will force you to stick to your budget.
If you know you tend to overbuy in certain stores, avoid them until you’ve learned to control your habit.
Identify your triggers
The next time you feel like going on a shopping binge, take note of what’s got you feeling that way. You’ll be better equipped to deal with these triggers when you can recognize them.
When you need to shop for anything, create a list of what you plan to purchase. This will help you only buy what you need.
If you feel like you’ve got a serious shopping problem, we can help. Call, click or stop by Acclaim Federal Credit Union today to ask about our debt management and other financial services.