I have never told anyone about this which is probably why it continues, but I have a serious spending problem and I can’t seem to stop on my own. I need help.
Hi Pnksis, thank you for joining this forum and opening up. I'm sorry that you're struggling with a shopping addiction- I know all too well the stress, powerlessness and anger at myself that it brought me when I was in the throes of it and had a recent "shopping binge relapse" that I had to hold myself accountable for and recover from. have you tried therapy for it? A lot of places have sliding scale fees that reduce the cost of each session or in some cases health insurance covers it. Therapists are trained on a wide variety of issues and with the prevalence of online shopping, subscriptions to brands etc shopping addictions are more common than ever, so there is no shame in reaching out to get help. Here are my tips: buy and expense tracker journal and list every single purchase big or small for the month with date/items or store/ and total price and then tally them all up by the end of the month- it makes you take accountability for your shopping and see firsthand in pen to paper how small purchases add up and it allows you to compare month to month in trying to spend less. Ther's a great self-help book I always recommend called "To Buy or Not To Buy" that has greatly helped my shopping addiction. Unsubscribe from all marketing emails from stores- they're a major trigger for shopping addicts.
Run errands with only cash and keep your credit cards at home when going to non-spending places like the gym, walking the dog or a friend's house- it may make you feel powerless or antsy to just have $20 or so cash on you, but it really helps when managing a shopping addiction. When I go to the gym that has all of these clothing boutiques and stores nearby, I don't bring any cash or cards with me, just my house keys and it helps a lot. Lastly, try to get back into hobbies that can occupy your mind for an hour each day- mine are cooking and baking desserts, watching movies or TV, weightlifting, art and self-care with doing my nails, makeup and hair. My hobbies are incredible tools for when a shopping impulse hits- I go right to a hobby and it tires out my mind and distracts me from an immediate urge to shop. When I really faced my shopping addiction, I realized that I wasn't shopping to buy things, I was shopping to cover up feelings I didn't want to face and placating low self-esteem, depression, loneliness with being single sometimes with the temporary high that shopping gives- therapy could really help uncover why you shop, because there's always something deeper to this addiction. Thank you for taking the courage to post and I hope this helps!
@MiniMeltdown07 thanks so much for your help!! Turns out I AM a therapist and I am that much more embarrassed by all of this. I have purchased a spend tracker and the book you recommended! Thank you!