6 signs you’re a compulsive buyer

Compulsive shopping: What is it? Is it an actual problem?

If the shoes in your closet are filling up and you have just maxed out your credit card again, you may begin to feel concerned. But there is a difference between people who like to shop and buy nice things and those who suffer from a real mental health problem also known as monomania. Pathological buying is when you are unable to stop yourself from making purchases for very different reasons than simply not wanting to pass on buying that dress that you like. Here are some signs that may suggest an underlying problem to your shopping habits:


  1. You feel guilty after you buy something
  2. Your purchases are unnecessary
  3. Your house is full of things you barely use
  4. You feel extremely happy when you’re about to buy something
  5. Some of your clothes still have the tags on
  6. You lie to friends and family about how much you’ve spent/bought

If some or all of these signs sound familiar and you feel like you would like some help in dealing with the issue, don’t worry. There are ways to start healing and set some guidelines. 


 –See a therapist if you need to. Psychologist and financial bestselling author Suze Orman says that “our emotions influence up to 80 percent of our financial decisions”. Shopping can take a heavy toll on our finances. Therapy may be one way to solve the problem.

Have a budget and don’t go over it. You can use a prepaid card in order to ensure you’re not spending more than you can afford. Restrict your access to your bank account and especially to any overdraft arrangements or credit cards to avoid going into debt. 

 –Every time you’re going to buy something give yourself 30 minutes to think it through. You can still buy it, just not within the first 30 minutes after you have discovered an item you’d like. If after half an hour you still feel like you would like to make the purchase, go ahead and buy it. Staying consistent with this practice will give you time to think before you shop, which can reduce your spending greatly. 

If you recognise a problem, don’t wait to resolve it. Speak to others who you trust or seek professional help and find a solution that works for you


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