Does shopping make you feel better after a bad day? Has shopping become an obsession? Do you buy unnecessary items compulsively? Do you hide what you buy? Keep it a secret how much you spent?

I recently saw a segment on the The Today Show that stated 15 million people can’t stop shopping!

Ann Curry interviewed psychologist, April Benson who wrote I Shop Therefore I am. She said people compulsively shop as a way to fulfill social, psychological and spiritual needs. The shopping provides a temporary ‘good’ feeling but does not address the real issue.

How can you recognize if you’re just shopping for fun or actually have a problem? You have a retail problem, if you’re buying stuff as a way to fulfill needs. Do you say to yourself: I’m buying this because I feel depressed…needy… inadequate… someone wasn’t nice to me… Buying with these motivators is a big mistake because you’re never going to get enough of what you don’t really need. If you’re lacking companionship, making friends with the saleslady won’t provide an enduring lasting friendship.

Tips to Stop Overshopping

Before you enter the store stop and ask yourself:

  • Why am I here?
  • How do I feel?
  • Do I need this?
  • What if I wait?
  • How will I pay for it?
  • Where will I put it?
  • How much money could I save if I don’t buy it?
  • Where could this money go in the long run?

Change the way you shop

  • Bring a shopping list
  • Put items that you want “on hold”
  • Don’t be a sucker for sales

Track what you spend
Use cash and cut up credit cards (if you’re in debt from shopping)
Pay off yours debts
Seek financial advice