Shopaholic: Addiction and Apparent Excessive Spending

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Compulsive shopping and spending can be a seasonal balm for the depressed, anxious and lonely. What may start out as nothing more than the odd occasion of overspending, can develop into a habit where the urge to spend gets stronger.

A tell tale sign is when friends and family begin to notice and comment on their apparent excessive spending, the Compulsive Shopper will start to hide their purchases, a typical denial technique of the addict. Compulsive Shopping like any addiction has its bad side effects and the Shopaholic may run into financial problems as they can't pay their credit card bills, their credit rating can suffer and they may run into legal problems. They sometimes attempt to hide the problems by taking an additional job to pay for their bills.

How do Compulsive Shoppers and Spenders change their behaviour and prevent future shopping binges? Here are some tips.

Pay for purchases by cash, cheque or debit card.

Take a list and buy what is on the list.

Destroy all credit cards except one to be kept for emergencies only.

Avoid discount sale shops or allocate a certain amount of cash to be spent if you do visit one.

''Window shop '' only after the stores have closed, or leave your wallet at home if you do look in the day.

Avoid on line shopping, shopping channels on television and mail order catalogues.

Call a friend and tell her your shopping plan in advance and what you intend to buy and how much you want to spend. Then call her later and let her know you stuck to your plan!

Many people who have a shopping and spending problem have already tried to change their behaviour and haven't been able to. Often they feel they have failed, when in truth, what they've needed is some structure and guidance.

Life coaching can help those with this problem to recognise what it is that compels them to want to shop excessively and spend more than they can afford or justify. Once the client understands what it is that triggers...
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