Soon it will be time to” hit the shops” to do some shopping – which means spending – usually money we don’t have just to make others happy so we can suffer later.
So…when does shopping become an addiction? Is there really such a thing as spending addiction?
Those with a spending addiction often buy things just for the “thrill of it” without thinking about the consequences of their shopping spree, consequences that include “maxed out” credit cards, increased debt, a concerned spouse or an empty pantry.
They “shop ‘til they drop” to feel better, ease depression, “treat” loneliness. They shop because they need a little "pick-me-up." They feel “high” on a spending spree, feeding their compulsion, just like any other addict.
More women than men are shopaholics and they often find themselves buying things they don’t need. They have unworn clothes with the price tags still attached and stacks and stacks of shoes they never wear.
The holidays are especially common times for spending binges for many who aren’t shopaholics all year long, and make those who are, much worse.
How can you avoid overspending?
- Use cash only – no credit cards
- Don't shop unless you need something – then buy only the items you need
- Take a walk or exercise when the urge to shop comes on
- Make a list, buy only what is on it
- Avoid “point of purchase” displays at checkout counters that feature items you really don’t need
- Stay away from the “home shopping” channels on television
- Delete emails from websites that feature limited time discounts/promotions
- Get rid of all credit cards except for one – use in an emergency only
Recognizing an addiction, and admitting you need help, is always the first step. There are self–help groups, therapists and credit counselors available to provide you with the help you need to eliminate the compulsion to spend and to feel better about yourself without the need to spend.
To determine whether you may have a problem with spending, we invite you to take the test at http://www.banksite.com/debtconsolidation/shopaholic.htm.
Dr. Levy has been practicing at the Woodbury Chiropractic Center since 1980. The Center is a full service Holistic Health Care Center providing Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Spinal Decompression and Therapeutic Massage. Visit http://www.woodburychiropracticcenter.com/ or http://www.woodburyphysicaltherapy.com/ for more information.