Am I a Shopaholic?

It is estimated that up to 12% of Americans suffer from a shopping compulsion. You may be a shopaholic if this checklist describes you:

  1. You have unopened items in your closet
  2. You shop beyond your means
  3. You purchase items for which you have no use
  4. Disappointments trigger shopping trips
  5. You feel a thrill when you make purchases
  6. You feel remorse following a purchase
  7. You hide purchases from family members
  8. On days that you don’t shop, you feel anxious

Shopping works to fill a void. Compulsive shoppers may be feeling lonesome, depressed or anxious. Shopaholics experience a rush of dopamine from shopping, which makes them feel better and has them craving that rush again.

If you think you might be a shopaholic, don’t despair. With a bit of discipline and help from family and friends, you can kick the habit for good.

Here’s how to curb the urge to splurge:

A.) Talk it out

When you feel a shopping binge coming on because of an emotional overload, call a friend. Talk through your feelings instead of smothering them in unnecessary and expensive purchases.


B.) Cash or debit only

When you’re out shopping, use cash or a debit card connected to your checking account balance. This will force you to stick to your budget.


C.) Avoid temptation

If you know you tend to overbuy in certain stores, avoid them until the habit is under control.


D.) Identify triggers

The next time you feel the urge to shop, take note of why you’re feeling that way. You’ll be better equipped to deal with these triggers when you can recognize them.


E.) List it

When you need to go out and shop for anything, first create a list of everything you need. This will help you buy only what you need and minimize spending.


Your Turn: Do you think that a little retail therapy is ever warranted? Why or why not? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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