New to the Group - Introduction

Hi! I just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Charlie. I’ve been aware that I have a problem with compulsive spending and shopping addiction, but it’s only recently that I’ve decided to take charge of it. For the past few years I was working on completing my Master’s degree and Ph.D. and was living on a small stipend from my school as well as government loans. In January I was offered a nice paying job and thought to myself, 'Here’s my chance to become financially responsible." I failed miserably. Instead of spending my money on the things I should have (monthly condo assessment fees, car insurance, etc), I spent the money on my two obsessions: collectable board games and music downloads. It all came back to bite me. And I took none of the advice my partner gave me (getting a financial advisor, investing in a retirement plan, etc.) This month it just all hit me. I realized what I had done. So I resolved to: set a budget and stick to it; make a financial plan for the future; and abstain from spending money on things I want rather than on the things I need. But I realize that I can’t do this alone, which is why I joined this support group. I realize that, like alcoholism, compulsive spending/shopping is not something I’ll ever be “cured” of - I will be in recovery the rest of my life. But I think, with help, I can control it and choose better spending habits. Hello and thank you for reading this.

2 Hearts

Hi! I think this is a brave first step. Recognition is critical to improving.

This is a great community.

1 Heart

It sounds like you’re on your way. You recognize that there is a problem and are starting to take steps to gain control. A spending plan is very important, and “keeping your numbers” by filling in the amounts that you spend on a daily basis is equally important. It does help to talk with people who have been in the same situation you are in and managed to turn things around for themselves. I recoomend that you check out Debtor’s Anonymous. You can attend meetings virtually via Zoom on your laptop or phone. There you’ll hear from newbies who are in a similar situation as yourself, and long-timers who have figured out how to live in “financial sobriety” - not incurring debt and living within their means. I have found it very comforting to know that it is possible to do things differently. You can Google their meetings and pick an online one that works for you. You don’t have to say a word if you don’t want to. Just listen to what others have to share. They have great literature, too. And speaking of literature, there’s a book that has helped me that I think you might benefit from. “How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously” by Jerrold Mundis. It’s very informative - filled with common sense advice and it’s highly readable. I can’t recommend it enough. So, those are some steps to consider. I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do. Your situation can be turned around. And you can do it with the help and support of others. If you’d like to correspond with me, just reply to this message. I understand, have been where you are (PhD in Engineering Physics) and am turning my situation around. I’ll be happy to share my experiences with you.

1 Heart