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Credit: V-Shopaholic on Blogspot
Dear Budget Fashionista,
I am a shopaholic. I love buying clothes, yet I never have anything to wear. I spent $1,500 on Bluefly purchasing shoes, a beautiful leather Lamarthe bag and other clothes. When I don’t shop I feel irritated, like a junkie who needs her next fix. I shop vintage, online and in stores. And it’s not just the clothes. The process of buying just gives me a rush and makes me feel happy. I read your book, but it just made me want to purchase more items. People laugh when I tell them I have a problem with shopping, but it really is serious. I am trying to find therapy for this problem. Do you have any advice for shopaholics? Help!
According to MSN, one in 20 women AND men are shopaholics, and although we joke about shopping until we drop, it’s really become a problem for many of us (read about my struggles as a shopaholic).
Here are some simple tips, based on my own personal experience as well as the experience of experts, to help you address your shopping addiction.
Tips for Shopaholics
1. Admit You Have A Problem. Done, by reaching out to us. This is a HUGE and important step to addressing your problem. If you can’t open any of your closets, your credit cards are maxed out, or you cover up crazy spending behavior, you probably have a problem with shopping. The first step in developing a solution to any problem is to admit you actually have a problem, which you’ve done by reaching out to us.
2. Examine the problem. Every compulsive spender is different. Do you spend only occasionally but in big splurges? Or are you on a constant spend-a-thon, moving from one credit card to the next? Do you go nuts for a particular commodity—electronics, food, jewelry?
3. Name the feelings. “What are you shopping for?” To boost your ego? Relieve depression? Get back at your spouse? Is it a creative outlet or a form of self-expression? Does being at the mall ease loneliness? If so, see if you can find other ways to meet those needs.
4. Look at your time. Ask yourself how much time you spend browsing on the Internet or stalking some great deal. How else could you spend your time in ways that would truly improve your quality of life?
5. Seek Professional Help. There’s many organizations available to help you with the psychological aspects of your shopping addiction, like Debtors Anonymous as well as local psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists specializing in the treatment of addictions. Most likely, your shopping addiction arose from a void you feel in some other part of your life. In my case, it was from being isolated from my friends and family.