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

posted 4 years ago in Finances
Post # 31
355 posts
Helper bee

You’ve gotten a lot of good advice so far. The only thing I want to add is don’t underestimate the power of daily affirmations. My brother was taught to use them in rehab for substance addiction. The best way I can think of for you to use them would be a stickynote on your computer and in your wallet in front of your card or cash that says “You are stronger than your addiction.” That way if you’re putting stuff in am online shopping cart or about to check out at a store you can have a reminder to being you down from the high your brain gets from these experiences. 

Post # 32
9633 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

the are all sorts of addictions, shopping, impluse buying is one of them.  some people have addictive personalities and may trade a bad addiction for a good one but it is still an addiction.


for example.  i know a few people in the triathlon community who were former drug addicts.  they were addicted to various substances.  they cleaned up their act but still have that addiction gene. now they are addictied to exercise and training for triathlons that it gets to the point of craziness. 



Post # 34
316 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

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tamtam86 :  I like reading books when I need some guidance. This one looks good: https://www.amazon.com/Buy-Not-Why-Overshop-Stop-ebook/dp/B00DC6Q32I/ref=pd_sim_351_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=QP5KPTQ8PE1GTTFJ3K45

Please don’t be ashamed – I think what you’re going through is very normal. It’s a matter of figuring out what “triggers” you to shop/spend and treating the root cause.

In the meantime, I have a suggestion: Poshmark/ebay! Start listing some items to sell, it will help you declutter and make (a little) money back. In addition I would begin purging items you’ve not worn in a year and aren’t resellable. Sometimes having a smaller amount of stuff you really love can change how you think about shopping.

Advice from a fellow shopping addict in recovery!

Post # 35
93 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

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tamtam86 :  Wondering if you had any updates on how things are going? I hope all is well! 

Post # 36
58 posts
Worker bee

Well done on recognising and taking ownership of the problem, and for seeking help. It’s a huge step to take!

It would be very easy to think “Well I’ve spent so much, what is the point in stopping?” but that would be giving in to the sunk cost fallacy. Work with the debt counselors and therapists to bring yourself out of debt and deal with the root causes behind the addiction. Don’t expect a miracle all at once – things will happen slowly, but WILL get better if you stick to the advice the counselors give you.

Post # 37
10997 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

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tamtam86 :  

Anything that alters your mood can become an addiction.  You need not downplay the seriousness of your problem.  

Addictions are pretty hard to manage on your own.  Have you looked online for support resources?

Post # 38
1023 posts
Bumble bee

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tamtam86 :  Be kind to yourself. People can develop addictive behaviors to things that other people would not become addicted to.

For example, some people become addicted to porn, sex, computer or cellphone usage, gambling; none of which include an addictive chemical.  Then other people get hooked on drugs, smoking, or alcohol. Addiction is a wide disease.

I hope you get the therapy you mentioned to seek treatment.

The fact that you can see you have a problem is an encouraging sign!

Don’t give up hope. Seek help. You can live through this.

Post # 39
343 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Shopping really does give you a dose of dopamine– which is a chemical substance. I’ve felt it before. We all have through one thing or another. Research for yourself any steps you can take to combat the cycle, in addition to the help you’re pursuing. The internet has a wealth of knowledge. There are other activities that naturally give you a “high” without spending money that you might want to pursue– some with positive benefits, like running.

Unlike chemical addictions, you won’t need a detox period thankfully. It is more about behavioral conditioning. With that in mind, you may want to give yourself rewards for going periods of time without shopping or create an organizer with incentives for saving. Any way in which you can train your brain to transfer the dopamine/reward to saving. It’s okay to get that dopamine feeling but it’s basically taking a shortcut to that high when you’re not actually going through the process and time of saving before you buy. Good luck!

Post # 40
757 posts
Busy bee


Good on you for trying to get help. That’s half the battle! You WILL get through this! PPs have already posted some great suggestions. I am just being a cheerleader! laughing

Post # 41
379 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

 I am like this. It is HARD for me to not just charge stuff. Which is why I have about $14k in credit card debt. I will say the best thing I have found is Dave Ramsey’s plan. I listen to his channel on youtube daily and it helps curb the impulse to buy. I also read his book The total Money Makeover. I am now really focused on getting out of debt and only spending money I have on hand. I reccommend his plan to everyone wanting to get out of debt and change their spending habits in order to have a brighter future!

Post # 42
1832 posts
Buzzing bee

I just want to send you a big warm hug and say that you have taken great first steps here.  When you meet with someone about this maybe they will have some suggestions where you can sell some of these things and not take such a huge loss.

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