Do You Love Retail Therapy and Often Wonder If You Are a Shopaholic? Find Out.
Nothing beats the thrill of a great bargain, or a little impulse purchase when you need a pick me up. The rest of the time your spending should be tied to reasonable financial constraints that ensure you have a balanced budget for all aspects of life’s expenses
It’s when your budget and your buying habits don’t match up, then you might be a shopaholic.
Before you check out, here are 15 signs you’re a Shopaholic
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Is Shopping Addiction Even a Real Thing?
Shopping addiction is a real listed behavioural disorder. Its clinical name is Compulsive Buying Disorder (CBD) or oniomania. People with CBD usually show an obsession or uncontrollable urge to buy things even if it can lead to negative consequences.
So, what are the signs?
Shopping Gives You a Total Rush
In 2015, ABC’s Dateline Show did a study of the brain patterns experienced by shoppers. The experts recording the results were from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. The brain and facial tracking studies proved that the thrill shopping gives is comparable to the joy felt after sex.
The study showed evidence of pleasure and activation in regions that are targeted by dopamine in the shoppers’ brains. This triggers a similar brain region that underlies the craving for drugs, sex or friends. It’s obvious that the thrill of shopping is a big trigger of joy, but when it is replacing healthy ways to trigger happiness, then you might have shopping addictions.
When You Want to Celebrate, You Shop
“If you’re happy and you know it, swipe Amex.” Do you celebrate a promotion, or a second date with a new outfit? Or are you constantly looking for any small reason to justify a purchase, like lunch time or … because Tuesday! Then you’re probably a shopaholic.
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You Forego Need to Have Purchases for “Have to Have” Items
If you didn’t go to the dentist because a pair of new shoes came first, or your rent is behind, but you just scored a new suit; then your shopping habit is getting in the way of actual necessities.
Stick around to find out about one of the most out of control shopping sprees on record.
Shopping Makes You Feel Alive
Shopaholics are addicted to the rush of shopping. The feeling that you’re living dangerously or taking a risk. And while it is a bit wild and free to buy another pair of Jimmy Choo’s even though you can’t make your car payment, it’s also irresponsible.
You might be redirecting your feelings of being alive with the unhealthy feeling that shopping gives you. In reality, it’s a cheap knock off for the real thing.
If you like shopping from luxury brands, you’ll certainly enjoy reading 10 Marketing Fails Of Luxury Brands.
You Shop When You Are Angry or Disappointed
Is shopping the salve to your wounds, or your pick me up when you are disappointed? When something makes you angry do you reach for Visa to bring your blood pressure down? Shopping is often used as a crutch to help us ignore the root of problems. This is termed emotional spending.
In an article for Investopedia Amy Fontinelle described it well: “Emotional spending occurs when you buy something you don’t need and, in some cases, don’t even really want, as a result of feeling stressed out, bored, under-appreciated, incompetent, unhappy or any number of other emotions.”
Overspending Is a Common Problem in Your Life
When you find it too easy to justify buying something new, overspending often occurs. If you take an honest look at your finances, you might start to pick up patterns where you have overspent when you know you shouldn’t have. This is where your shopping habit can lead to stress.
Anytime we spend money, there is a trade-off between pleasure and pain. Pain is from the cost and money leaving your account. The pleasure from the act of choosing, purchasing, and taking home the new item. Shopaholics have dulled that pain factor.
We highly suggest you watch our video, 10 REASONS Why You Don’t Actually NEED More STUFF, to help you along the journey of shopping less.
You Haven’t Unpacked Your Bags or Removed the Tags
A true mark of a shopaholic is having unpacked shopping bags at home, or items with the tags still on in the cupboards. This is a sign that those items were bought for some other reason than needing them.
It can also be a sign that you know you can’t afford the item and did intend to return it. You know that when you go to return an item you will end up buying something else you can’t afford. So, you are stuck in a loop.
The shame of your binge spending can be another reason you can’t go back and return the purchase. More on this soon.
Your Loved Ones Have Commented about Your Shopping
Friends and family might have tried to talk to you or perhaps make indirect remarks about your spending habits. Sometimes its best to trust the ones you love, and even if they don’t approach the subject in the best way, know that their intention is out of concern for you.
Instead of making them the enemy, perhaps be honest with yourself and see if there might be a bit of truth that your shopping is out of control.
You Buy Items You Won’t Use
Have you ever caught yourself buying a jacket for when you finally go on a ski trip sometime in the future? Or bought a pair of jeans on credit even though they aren’t your size because you plan to fit into them by the end of summer? While these are positive goals, you can also achieve a pants size or plan a ski trip without shopping ahead of time.
Be honest, you’re just shopping for the sake of shopping. Keeping the money in the bank will get your closer to the ski trip than a jacket in your closet ever will.
You Are Juggling Credit
Before you shop, do you need to do a juggling act of moving money from one account to the next? If you’re using one credit card to clear another so that you can keep spending, then you’re in dangerous territory.
Credit used like this isn’t going to lead to future billionaire status. It’s time to nip it in the bud and give those credit cards the snip.
You Think about Money All the Time
If you have fallen into a debt trap, or your shopping addiction is out of control, then you’re probably obsessed with your bank balance. You’re always checking your balance, and checking when money is coming in.
Money becomes an obsession for someone who gets their kicks from spending it. If this sounds like you, then we hope the penny is dropping.
You Feel You Know You Have Another Addiction
Compulsive Buying Disorder (CBD) or oniomania has psychological characteristics to chemical dependency. CBD can be a result or in place of another addiction. Sometimes dual addictions like shopping and alcohol or drugs can be present in tandem. Either way, if you feel this might be you, we highly recommend seeking professional help to overcome this.
If you feel you need some inspiration that there is life after shopping, we highly recommend Cait Flanders book: The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store. You can give it a listen on Audible. Go to alux.com/freebook and get a free audiobook when you sign up!
Does Shopping Make You Feel Embarrassed?
We mentioned the shame associated with compulsive shopping. This is a common symptom of a binge shop for shopaholics. It is another reason shopaholics struggle to return items when the euphoria wears off and they realise they don’t need them.
You Make Big Life Decisions Based on Your Shopping Needs
Shopping, like any addiction ends up controlling the shopaholics life. When you turn down plans so you can shop or take a second job to pay for your habit, then you have a big problem.
In an article in Esperanza magazine Donald Black from the University of Iowa explained that nearly two-thirds of all shopaholics struggle with depression or anxiety.
While we don’t profess to be medical professionals, we do encourage you to find someone who is, and get the help you need before shopping takes away your ability to reach the success you want in your life.
What is the biggest purchase you have made that you instantly regretted?