Shopping addiction has left me dead broke – words of support?

posted 2 years ago in Finances
Post # 16
514 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

This might sound a little weird but my dad was totally addicted to buying things on eBay for a long time. He created thousands in credit card debt and it was really hard. Then he started selling items instead and he got addicted to the “thrill” of selling things. Now he finds items (at like thrift stores and garage sales) and resells them for a profit and he rarely purchases things. I know that addictions can be really hard to overcome so maybe replacing it with something that is a “positive” addiction could be helpful. 

Post # 18
15 posts

I do offer my sympathy. I’ve strugged with money management and one small thing that might help is really talking to yourself before you make a purchase. Ask yourself what you really feel this item will do for you, how will it better your life? How will it truly make you happier? Asking these questions often show that the item is trivial. Or if you truly believe it will make your life happier it will push you to ask WHY. I do think therapy is a great option. Good luck!

Post # 19
738 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

tamtam86 :  You’ve got a lot of great advice so far. It’s great that you’ve realised that this behaviour is harmful to your mental and financial wellbeing. The fact it’s an entirely legal (and heavily-encouraged in terms of marketing) activity doesn’t lessen the seriousness of it.

I think the pinterest idea you got from a PP was great. Basically get the instant shopping gratification, but then give yourself a time before you can buy anything from the list (payday?). When I noticed I was spending more than I should on things I didn’t want or need, I started using spreadsheets to track my income/expenditure and started getting encouraged by saving rather than spending. I kept trying to spend less each month either across categories or altogether. It became something of a game, to try and save more each month or reach savings goals. I also realised I was using shopping to cheer myself up, is there anything that’s triggering your shopping? Do you shop more when you’re stressed at work for example?

Post # 20
1149 posts
Bumble bee

tamtam86 :  I’m not sure if this is technically allowed, but how about setting up an etsy or ebay shop dedicated to reselling your clothes and things? Even if its just a small portion, you can start to use that money to build your savings account again?

Post # 21
6276 posts
Bee Keeper

You’ve had really good advice here. And yes shopping is an addiction with the same roots as any other addiction. Debtors anonymous or another 12 step programme for overspenders will help. Youve already done step one!! 

Post # 22
131 posts
Blushing bee

If you need to make money, try selling some of your stuff on ebay. I make around 100 dollars a month, sometimes more, because I do it as more of a hobby.

I used to be like you a few years ago, but I learned how to control my impulses by basically taking a look at all the shit I had and it just dawned on me one day that I was wasting all of my hard earned money. It made me sick to my stomach, and I am still disappointed with myself that I never started saving until recently.

To get yourself out of the addiction, you can replace the shopping with saving. Set a goal amount of money that you want to save by the end of the year. Every paycheck, put aside how ever much you can, and as you watch it grow, you’ll become obsessed with putting more and more aside that you won’t want to spend money on frivolous things anymore. It worked for me.

And for those things that you want to buy, make a list, with the amount of what it costs. Figure out how much time you have to spend working to afford that purse you want, or those shoes, etc. Once you start to see that you’re actually working to buy “things” instead of working to save money, you will eventually kick the addiction.


Post # 23
2610 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club

tamtam86 :  the first step is admitting it. You’ve already made your first step. Good on you to recognize this. It is going to be a hard battle for you to overcome this, but with a little will-power and support you will get through it!

As for your finances, maybe you can sell some of your clothing to start getting yourself back on track?

Post # 24
9604 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

tamtam86 :  sell on Poshmark. Go cold turkey from buying. Cut up your credit cards. Immediately pay bills and move money into savings after you’re paid, leave yourself with only what you need to eat. Find a therapist, research articles and books on the topic. You can turn this around!

Post # 25
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Hi I had a shopping addiction. I worked at nordstrom for 5 years and ya I used my discount well. I poshmark. I’ve sold about 3k worth of stuff over the years. Stop using credit cards. I use my debit 99% of the time now. Whenever I go shopping now I’m super picky. I try to equate it as how bad do I need this? Could I use this money for something fun or meaningful or savings. My first year of getting off the credit card train I had to learn I didn’t need so many things. I now wear out my clothes. Haven’t bought a new purse in years because I had so many. Finding a new hobby is also a good idea, something that can give you a high like shopping does. It sounds like you’re on the right path.

Post # 26
4840 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

tamtam86 :  Big hugs to you.  Don’t be hard on yourself.  I think it is wonderful that you are seeking counseling.  You have taken the first and hardest step.   Please be kind to yourself.  

Post # 27
4254 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I enjoy shopping, but found that for online shopping especially I would leave it in my “cart” overnight.  I would go back to it the next day and usually half of the items I don’t love so much anymore.  I know I also tend to overspend when I’m with friends and they convince me that YES I need that neon yellow top because it looks sooooo good with my complexion!  I do most of my shopping on my own now, mostly due to too much time spent being convinced by friends that I should spend above my budget.

If you have apps on your phone for online shopping delete them.  If you have your card associated with any of your accounts at different stores, delete the information.  For example my iTunes has my credit card programmed into it and it is SO EASY to just click “buy” next to everything that I love.  Whereas if I had to go get my card for the number every time…I wouldn’t buy as much, if that makes sense.

Good luck!

Post # 28
685 posts
Busy bee

You need to figure out WHY you’re doing this. What is triggering your urges to shop? What hole are you trying to fill?

It’s good that you recognize it’s a problem because that means you now have the power to change.

Post # 29
1979 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

look for places that will buy your gently used clothes (in florida there is a place called platos closet). And im sure plenty of states have variations of these places. You may not get a ton of money back, but youll get some, so its a start. 

Post # 30
253 posts
Helper bee

You’re only 30 years old so you have plenty of time to dig yourself out of this debt and start saving for retirement. You can fix this and you’re already taking all the right steps. Just stay the course. Good luck!

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