Are You a Shopping Addict?

In today’s society, shopping is seen as a fun activity (much of the time) and many men and women like to get out there and make some purchases that make them feel good. I’m sure you can relate to heading to the mall or department store for that “thing” that you’re eager to have, purchase it, and smile all the way home.  Shopping can certainly be a recreational activity, but what about those who overdo it.  Those that overspend because shopping has become more than just an occasional outing.

It’s become an addiction.

How do you know if you’re a shopping addict? Well, there are certainly some signs.  A shopping addict will most likely be shopping out of compulsion whether he or she needs the products or not.  She may not even have the money, so will go ahead and put the purchases on her credit card.  One trip to the mall can put someone back hundreds or thousands of dollars for sure.

Here are some signs that you may be struggling with shopping addiction:

·         Buying things you absolutely don’t need.

·         Charging items on your credit card when you know you don’t need them.

·         Feeling depressed and deciding to go shopping so you can feel better.

·         Lying about how much money or time you spend shopping.

·         Getting angry when you can’t shop for some reason.

·         Shopping more frequently even though you keep telling yourself you’re going to stop.

·         Getting a huge rush when you go out and buy that big purchase.

Help for shopping addiction

Should you feel you are a shopping addict or you simply shop too often, there is help available. Just like overcoming any addiction it requires you to surrender to the fact that you have an addiction.  Then you can reach out for help via a counselor, 12 Step group, or look for an inpatient shopping addiction rehab.  The good news is that you can overcome shopping addiction and go on to lead a life where you shop as necessary. 

Do you think you have a shopping addiction or shop too much?



  • 40 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • Sometimes when you quit one addiction another one will take its place. When I quit drinking I started to buy useless things which I didn't need. I think it was because I didn't really know how to fill my days, so I went shopping. The good part was I didn't have much money at the time, so I couldn't buy much, and then I got things under control.
  • I don't shop too much, but I agree with the last commenter that a new addiction can arise to fill the void that giving up the previous addiction has left. Maybe it's a good thing that I don't like spending money and I'm not super rich...otherwise I might have a problem :/
  • Actually I feel like anything could become an harmful addiction if you are fixated on it to the point where you skip eating and sleeping or other important normal activities to engage in it. Shopping is one of the hidden addictions that look perfectly normal on the outside. One of my good friends is a major shop-holic. I always see her holding shopping bags whenever I meet up with her and her idea of a date is going to the mall. Sometimes I can see her getting a high right after she exits a store with her new purchases, however shortly afterwards, she's disinterested, saying she might return it etc.
  • Anything that can cause you to become codependent should be considered an addiction. I know that I am not a shopping addict because frankly, I am very careful with my money whenever it comes to spending. I am extremely aware of what I am buying and what the price is.
  • I like to go shopping if only i have the money to buy the important things that I need. Let's face it we are now in a world where there are many shopping malls that offers the latest fashion trends that sometimes we are tempted to buy even it is not within our budget. I may say that I am not a shopping addict because like what I said I only go shopping for important things because I always set aside my excess money for emergency things and not spend for non sense things that are not important and can be bought at a later time.
  • I do think I have a discount shopping addiction. I struggle with this because I know I am addicted, but I kind of don't care. It is like hobby to me and brings me pleasure. I really don't spend a lot of money and in a way it is part of my artistic expression, finding things that are the perfect color, pattern, or texture, at a great price. I would love to be a buyer, importer/exporter, or own a dress boutique or home decor shop. So I don't know what to think of my "addiction", I don't buy useless things, I don't spend a ton of money, and it brings me pleasure, I would happily make a career out of it. So it is still bad, because it is an "addiction"? 
  • I won't lie just thinking about going shopping puts me in a real good mood. I love to hit up the dollar tree. They have so much for crafting junkies like myself. My husband on the other hand not so much. I get excited like a little kid I have to touch, and look at everything. I wouldn't say I'm addicted, but I do like it.
  • I am the exact opposite of a shopping addict. I can not stand being in any store for over 30 minutes. I can't stand the mall or the crowds. I hate looking through clearance racks for good deals and trying to find my size in anything.
  • Well on the upside, I don't think shopping has as harsh an effect on your mental health as does drugs or alcohol. However, I can see how it could negatively affect your financial situation. I personally have never suffered from a shopping addiction. I've always hated shopping. I had a friend who was addicted to shopping and eventually became homeless and would steal a lot. I eventually helped this person to recovery. It's interesting to see how some of the things she went through while recovering resembled some of things I went through.
  • I got into a bad shopping addiction from around 2003 through 2007. At the time I was making a good amount of money, and the area I lived in had a very low cost of living, so I had a lot of extra money (that I really should have been saving) and my "tastes" started to get the best of me. To make matters worse, I lived literally like a mile away from our local shopping mall, so I was always going there after work to browse around, during which time, I would always and up buying some stuff.

    In particular I got really hooked on buying clothes and colognes. At one point, I had like 40+ bottles of cologne, for whatever "mood" I was in. I would wear a fragrance for a week or two and get bored with it, then hit up the fragrance counter at Dillards and Macy's constantly. The employees there knew me so well, they used to give me fistfulls of samples with every purchase I made there.

    Constant shopping for clothes also became a bad habit. I was going out to the bars in the evenings regularly, especially on the weekends, and for some reason I felt the need each weekend to go out and get a new "outfit" instead of wearing the tons of clothing I already had in my closet. It didn't help that I had large walk in closets either.

    My shopping addiction kind of came to a head when I had to move in 2007, and it was one of the most frustrating moves I had ever gone though because of how much crap I had accumulated. I had to give away so much stuff because I simply could not move all of this crap without having to make two trips in the moving truck, which I was not going to do.

    Ironically, what "cured" me of my shopping addiction was the DUI I got shortly after I moved. From then on I wasn't able to go out in the evenings and blow money. Plus, the $10k the DUI cost me put a huge dent in my wallet.
  • I really love shopping, but don't really have the money for my whims I would want to buy a lot of new clothes, a lot of exotic food to eat, new makeup and really everything that doesn't come up my mind at the moment, but I guess that a lot of people would want too. I'm not a shopping addict by that.
  • @KNH I agree with what you said to the tee.
  • I definitely used to be. When I got my first real job on campus and I was getting paid every other week, I was blowing through my money like it was nothing because I thought that I could and I didn't have any responsibilities to spend it on. I swear for a while there was a package coming in from Amazon at least every other day! And even when I got another job at ShopRite and my earning online, I was buying things online all of the time! Now not so much though because I'm desperately trying to save every time I make.
  • I am somewhat a shopping addict but I'd call myself a recovering one. I believe it is financial circumstances that has curbed my habit as well and now living on my own. When I moved into my apartment and had to use the second room as a second closet and storage I saw my addiction in hindsight. It kinda healed me of the addiction a little. I window shop more often than not and that is if I even allow myself to step foot in a mall or department store. It is very rare now that I take a mall trip. I'm much more about living stable, having the necessities and making sure my bills are paid.

    I was a blessed to earn a lot of money at a young age. I lived with my parents a long time into my adulthood and although i did contribute money to them to help with bills, I was out shopping almost every weekend. I accumulated so much through the years and saved a lot of it because of quality and attachment. I try to go through my clothes a couple times a year to get rid of a lot of things but it's always only a few items I actually get rid of and that's usually due to damage only.

    I have not bought clothing outside of necessary work garments in what seems like ages. I really have enough to get me through all seasons. There are other things like beauty items I have a lot of. But I think I'm good with those now too. I only replenish when I run out of something like mascara or my signature perfume.
  • I wasn't a shopaholic before because I just don't have much time to go to the mall and shop for the latest fashion trends. But with the advent of technology, I found online shopping quite convenient. With just a click, you'll be able to pick your favorite item and it will be delivered on your doorstep not more than a week. Due to the convenience of online shopping, I'm afraid I have already been hooked to it. However, I'm trying to control my splurging habit now.
  • I do have some personal experience with this, and some of it is because my wife got bit by the bug before we had kids, but once we knew we were pregnant she stopped just like that. I'll always love her for that.

    Anyway, my sister-in-law is also addicted to shopping. My wife's family had always come from money and they pretty much got what they wanted. It was in their lifestyle. Fast forward to a few years ago,  my sister-in-law started defaulting on her payments because she didn't have a steady job due to the '08 crisis. She was still shopping like crazy at the time, even when she struggled to pay her rent.

    We eventually helped her stop her bad habits by sponsoring her in one of those meetings for addictions.
  • @KNH I am glad that you agree with me. I really do not have to fill the void in my life with something like shopping because material things really do not do all that much for me.
  • Shopping is good if you have the time and excess money to buy the things you want or ardently desire. It just happened that I am not being materialistic and I only shop for things that are important to use. And I rather save my excess money for emergency funds because nowadays it is hard to raise or borrow money like for example if someone in your family was hospitalized and other situations that needs money. That is why you should have your own money coming from your savings rather than you are always being addicted to go shopping which sometimes is not necessary.
  • I'm not exactly a shopaholic but I do have a propensity to buy stuff that obsess me. My obsessions are few and far between, but when something strikes my fancy, it's going to be a buy or die situation for me. I love to window-shop, though. The endeavor is therapeutic.
  • Well, when I really desire something I just go for it, as I know the stock is limited (I mostly shop from local second-hands). But I don't think this means I am a shopaholic. And I don't get people who do this.
  • Part of me misses the days where I was making enough money so that I could shop all of the time, but I'm not anymore. I was making so much money from bubblews last year that I was able to order stuff online all of the time and strictly use that money for my spending, and use the money I get from my regular job for gas and food and responsibilities. But now that I'm making significantly less at my new job and I don't get that bubblews money anymore, I can't afford to shop nearly as much.
  • I go shopping when I am really depressed. But I do not buy things I cannot afford. I just go to the mall to feel good and buy something, like a scented candle, or a shirt or anything that is not pricey. So I don't consider myself a shopaholic for I am very aware of every money I spent. I don't earn that much, so I don't have the luxury to spend that much either.
  • I am not a shopping addict, but I can see how people are. Buying new clothes, gadgets, you name it is always exciting! However, it can be a financially bad decision to do so too often. I make sure to keep logic in my mind and practicality as well when I go shopping. It curbs my desire to buy new things wherever I go. It's worked for me.
  • I'm not a shopping addict either. Besides not being able to afford much anyway, I always feel guilty about spending the money and wonder if I could have got it cheaper someplace else. So when I do buy anything, it's always a carefully made decision. 
  • I usually consider myself quite the opposite of a shopaholic, but I’ve definitely succumbed to smaller forms of retail therapy. I never spent beyond my means, but my cosmetic-shopping habit did turn into something to fill a void and bring me temporary relief. The small amounts I’d spend here and there started to add up. Running out of space was a big factor in stopping, as was realizing I’d bought yet ANOTHER red lipstick that looked a lot like the others I already had.

    Now I just have to ask myself, would I rather have this latest and greatest product everyone's raving about, or would I rather keep that few extra bucks in my pocket for something else? The money wins out every time, and I just find a way to be creative with what I already have.
  • I'm not right now, but sometimes I wonder if it isn't in me to become that. Right now I just don't have any money.
  • @LittleCowprint I do that too, I think it works really well - I'll say to my self would I rather have X amount of dollars or this particular item? And I can always come to an easy decision if I want to buy or keep something versus pass it up or return it. Even for small dollar items I will realize that I'd rather have a few bucks than some additional clutter. Then for other items I just know that yes this particular thing is great and I'd easily give up 15 dollars for it! But I am a bargain shopper too so that helps. 
  • I never have time to ask myself anything. I never even give myself a chance to think about it. I see it, I want it, I buy i, I pretend to regret it even though I never do. Not for a while, at least.
  • I'm not really a shopping addict. I like to save up my money and buy something really expensive but good when the time comes around. I always do my "homework" and read about the product I'm about to buy before actually purchasing it.
  • I try so hard to save up money to buy expensive stuff. But as soon as I have even 5$ I'm thinking of a million different things I really, really need that cost 5$ or less.
  • @beatrice made me smile.  get an envelope and write down on the front what it is you want (one item) and the price and put little bit each time you get paid and no matter what....don't touch it... see if the visual helps you to get the money you need for a more expensive item.
  • @dominica
    I like that idea! I'll have to give it a shot. I may have to add a picture to it of my husband with his arms crossed and his head tilted to the right, and his "why did you spend all of our money on that?" look. Or link a small, yet noticeable camera that is looking directly at the envelope and link it to my husbands phone. LOL If he ever read this, he would make me do it, I bet...
  • I sometimes might have a problem shopping... I recently found a place where they sell 3-free nail polishes for so very cheap, so I definitely lose a bit control when I go there. It's just it's so cheap, and 3-free nail polishes are so expensive everywhere else!  So I definitely love to buy them there and end up buying several... I end up feeling a bit bad and guilty though. 
  • I have to admit that shopping feels really good. The smell of new things, the shiny boxes, everyone commenting on your acquisition, etc. Even so, I'm not really addicted because I value my money and I then to overthink potential purchases. I like new things, but I'd prefer to save a few money for emergencies and for things that will bring me an actual benefit.
  • I go through phases where I like to binge shop and during those times I feel like I'm not as much in control as I usually am since in the moment it just feels so fun and refreshing. During this time I usually don't notice how much I'm buying or I don't think much about what I buy although I try to be more careful. I'm not at the point of getting mad when I can't shop yet so I think I'm still okay but going through these phases helps me empathize a lot more with shopping addicts.
  • I don't know actually I am addicted or but I really love shopping. In every I have to go <womens dress shops for shopping for me and for my mother and sister. I can't control myself when I go for shopping. I always feel excited to shopping. Now if you think I am addicted than I agree with you that I am addicted. 
  • I know many friends who spend at least 1,000$ every time they go shopping and it adds up big time over the long run. I can guess they are very addicted as they usually go shipping three times a month and spend over 5,000$ in shopping! They might be loaded but its still a pretty big addiction.
  • Shopping used to be the case where I went and did it just because I wanted to get away from the house. I usually went to buy things even if I didn't want it. This started my addiction into shopping. I have since been getting better and I realise how much I used to spend just so I could feel better about myself. I know I don't need to do that anymore but it is a long road and things get tough at times.
  • Thank God I am not but have met several in my lifetime and it is a senseless addiction and even the name addiction is fake here. It is simply a justification of their senseless shopping spree. It is easier to say you are an addict than spoiled breath with no moral compass.
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