Do you spend excessively?
1. You spend more when you're emotional. Do you spend money when you're blue? Do buying new clothes make you feel better? If your answers to these questions are "yes," then you may have a spending problem. Much like people who eat when they're upset, those who spend when they're feeling down are at risk for larger issues. Try to consider a less costly way to deal with your feelings like going for a run, taking a yoga class to decompress, or writing in a journal.
2. Your spending habits result in added stress. Often when a shopaholic goes on a binge, the results are more costly than he or she expected. With excessive spending comes debt; and with debt, comes phone calls from debtors, lowered credit scores, and in extreme cases, bankruptcy. If your spending habits result in temporary happiness only to be overcome by financial stress, you may have a problem limiting your spending.
3. You can't live without plastic. The credit card is king, and overspending is commonplace. In fact, the average American household has over $8,000 in credit card debt. That number may sound like a lot to some, but to the shopaholic that statistic may ring true. Do you think you could live one week paying for all your purchases with cash? If not, then you may be too reliant on your credit card. Try to limit your credit card purchases to emergencies and use cash when shopping.
If any of these sound familiar, you might be addicted to shopping.
4. You're a compulsive spender. There's a big difference between going to the store and buying one DVD and buying ten. Compulsive spenders do not know how to set limits or differentiate between necessity and desire.
5. You're constantly making excuses. "I just had to buy that." "I couldn't live without it." "It wasn't that expensive." If you need to justify your unnecessary purchases with excuses such as these, you may be a shopaholic.
6. You've tried to control your spending in the past. Whether we are dieting, trying to exercise more, or trying to spend less money, it is a common sign that there is a problem when we try to alter the way we do things.