Everyone loves a bit of shopping. A new purchase for the house or a wardrobe can be fun, exciting and even well-deserved. If shopping is an occasional event, and you have no problem walking out of the mall empty-handed – you have nothing to worry about. However, there are people for whom shopping is a real problem – a psychological band-aid for deep-seated issues. Shopaholics usually can’t go more than a couple of days without buying something or anything, and they often spend more money than they have.
Does this sound familiar? Here are a few signs that you might be a shopaholic:
1. Plastic galore
Credit is convenient (for emergencies and travel) but also dangerous – leading many people into debt that they could not conceivably pay off within any reasonable amount of time. If you have multiple credit cards, or even one maxed-out card, and you don’t pay off your balances each month, it’s time to evaluate your credit behavior.
2. No savings
A savings account earns you free money and is the place where you keep money for an emergency like unemployment or a fire that destroys all your possessions. If you have some disposable income (5% or 10% of your earnings) you should be putting it towards savings one a month. If, alternatively, you are keeping all your money in a checking account for immediate spending – there might be a problem.
3. Living in overdraft
A minus in the bank can happen to anyone once or twice – the result of bad budgeting or a forgotten transaction. However, if you’re causing bank overdrafts on a regular basis, there’s a bigger problem. People with shopping addictions often live in overdraft, due to making purchases without checking their bank balances or taking bills into account. This is a sure-fire way to destroy your credit rating and never be allowed to borrow money from any respectable institution.
4. Shopping makes you high
If you find that whenever you’re feeling sad or hurt, you rush to go shopping – it’s probably a sign of something psychological going on. Similarly, if you leave the mall, bags in hand, feeling an unmatchable emotional high – it’s also problematic. Shopaholics often fantasize, mistakenly, that their lives or relationships will be better once they buy a coveted item. For these folks, shopping creates a misleading feeling of optimism. Unfortunately, this feeling is short-lived and can end in deep remorse or guilt when financial consequences catch up.
5. Buying in multiples
Not sure if you’re a shopaholic? Look in your closet. Buying in multiples is a classic sign of a shopping addiction – many shopaholics simply cannot settle on just one item; a shirt or dress that finds favor gets purchased in every available color!
6. Shopping shame
Shopaholics often realize that they have a problem but live in denial. They hide their purchases from loved ones, embarrassed or fearful of an angry response or criticism. While this sneaky tactic may temporarily avoid tension, it doesn’t get to the root of the very serious problem.
7. Price tag cemetery
If you keep the price tags on all of your clothes, you’re either a systematic shopper/returner or simply have too many things that have never been worn. Shopaholics can’t deny themselves, so they often wind up buying much more than they need or could possibly wear.