In case you hadn’t realized, we love a touch of retail therapy as much as the next person. In fact, we love splashing the cash on bits and bobs so much we set up a blog about it. It is just that gorgeous feeling of surrendering to an impulsive purchase.
Those six-inch heels with the studs, that little clutch bag with the Jo Malone-esque finish, that cute little Marc Jacobs watch that called out our name from beneath the glass countertop, and that business suit that fit us better than anything has ever fit Beyonce. Yeah, we love shopping.
However, there is a monumental difference between buying impulsively and buying compulsively. That is when you need to check yourself and seriously consider that you might have an incy-wincy-teeny-weeny problem called a shopping addiction. That’s right, you might be a shopaholic.
Don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact, around seven percent of the population falls within this bell curve. It may have started innocently, and your desire to shop until you drop may have been tongue in cheek, but when spending becomes a problem, debts start to mount and the fun slips away, that is when you need to realize you have a battle on your hands.
If this is tickling a few nerves of yours, but you aren’t sure if you are a fully-blown shopaholic, then we urge you to read on because we have pulled together some telltale signs that you have an issue. We have also come up with the solution on how to overcome your spending habits. Hopefully, it helps.
Your Closet Is Full Of Unworn Items
If your closet is home to unworn, unopened or even bits of clothing that still have their tags on, then you may need to accept that you have crossed the line. We’re not talking about that cat jumper your mum bought you last year, the one you hated and vowed never to wear. We’re talking about bits of summer clothing that you went and got from Asos, buying them on your own accord and yet never wore. Shoes, jackets, bags, sunglasses, jewelry; anything that falls into the category of bought and not used could suggest you have an issue. To overcome this kind of compulsive buying, we suggest you find an entirely new activity to pursue so that you substitute your shopping issue as a means of removing the temptation. Then, once you are ready, start trying to work out what triggers your buying needs. Is it stress, is it an argument with your boyfriend or a battle with your boss? Whatever it is, try to identify it so that you can move on.
You Can’t Afford Your Habit
If you are spending way beyond your means – or even just slightly beyond your means – then you need to work to fix this issue before a much bigger problem starts to arise – money. If that has already happened and you are stuck in a black hole of financial woe and debt, then your first move should be to fix this and start paying off what you owe. It could mean budgeting, looking at online secured loans to manage your repayments, or strategizing how to best manage this through either the snowball or avalanche approach. It could be that you are maxing out your store cards, it could be that you are opening more and more as a means to keep up your spending habit, it could be that you have credit cards debts as a result. Perhaps it has even gone so far that you are stealing. If any of these ring true, then you need to chop up your credit cards, start working to pay off your debts and find professional help that you can rely on.
You Can’t Resist Temptation
In fact, if you have the words of Oscar Wilde on your wall, as your iPhone cover or tattooed on your body, then you probably need to accept your issue. Being tempted to buy stuff that you had no prior intention of buying or no need for is a big sign that you need to address the fact you are an addict. Buying another centerpiece for your dining room table so that you now have twelve centerpieces is not necessary. Neither is three bedside lamps. Buying a new watch just for the sake of buying a new watch is the same. Even if your weakness is specifically shoes, it doesn’t matter. Chances are, you are a shopping addict. The first thing you should do on this front removes the temptation you can’t resist. That means limiting the amount of times you need to go into town, not walking down that street where your favorite boutique is, avoiding the mall during sale season, and putting your phone/laptop out of reach when online shopping springs to mind. Another great thing to do is only leave the house with cash, and just enough cash to get what you need. That way you have no chance to indulge your temptations.
You Are Hiding Your Habit
If you go and splurge a bunch of possessions you didn’t need, then feel guilty about it enough to hide your bags in the closet in the spare room then you have definitely got an issue. The same goes if you are worried about being spotted by someone you know – friends, family, co-workers – while out shopping, then you may need to accept your an addict. If you are making the trip to a different town because of your panic about being spotted, then the same result could be deduced; you are spending money you don’t have, possibly even at the expense of your financial health or even your family’s financial health, and that needs to be addressed. Once again, it could be that you need to find a new activity to replace this go to hobby of yours; it could be that you need to seriously consider what the triggers for this reaction are; maybe you need to use those card-chopping, temptation-capping techniques we mentioned; or perhaps you need to skip straight to the seeking help stage.
There is nothing wrong with seeking help, there is only something wrong with not seeking it when you know there is an issue at hand. We all have our cruxes – our weaknesses – but the best thing we can do is address them.
(Featured Image source)