When Consumerism Becomes an Addiction

While a spot of shopping can be a great way to cheer ourselves up and treat ourselves after a tough week, for some of us, this hobby can take on a darker edge and become to much. In this article, we’ll take a look at the signs of shopping addiction and how to combat it.

When we think of addiction, we usually think of substances such as drugs and alcohol. However, it is possible to become addicted to behaviors, such as shopping. Just as a drug addict chases the next hit, a shopping addict chases the next purchase, and often, the feelings of pleasure and reward that come from shopping are as real and tangible as the shots of dopamine that come from recreational drugs.

The warning signs of shopping addiction can be subtle at first: Things like excessive window shopping, joyless and mindless spending of money, or being more interested in shopping than enjoying social activities. This can gradually increase to the point that money is being spent recklessly, relationships are being damaged by purchases, and disastrous amounts of debt are being racked up.

If you think you may be suffering from an addiction to shopping, then it’s important to reach out and get help sooner rather than later. Addiction counseling and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be extremely useful in helping to break destructive patterns such as compulsive shopping. It is also important to make sure that practical goals are set, such as budgeting and creating a better understanding of the links between feeling and shopping.

It may also be helpful to speak to a financial advisor, and to look at the bigger picture of your financial situation. Often, those suffering from addiction to shopping don’t fully understand how much of an impact their habit is having. It is also important for those with a shopping addiction to focus on spending their money on non-retail activities, such as experiences and social outings.

Some may be more prone to developing a shopping addiction than others, and in these cases, it may be helpful to avoid temptation as much as possible. Technology can be both a help and a hindrance in this regard. Web blocking tools, for instance, can be a great way to limit access to online shops, while apps like Earny can help to track and manage finances in a more secure way.

In conclusion, although it is okay to treat yourself from time to time with a spot of shopping, it’s important for us all to be aware of the dangers of shopping addiction. With the right level of support and understanding, it is possible to tackle and make meaningful changes to our spending habits.

Too Much Shopping Can Lead To Unsustainable Spending

Shopping has always been a part of modern life, but in an ever-more digital world it can sometimes seem like we are setting ourselves up for more trouble than usual. As the cost of goods rises and temptation lurks around seemingly every corner, too much shopping can lead to unsustainable spending.

Shopping more often and for more than we need can cause a big financial strain on anyone’s budget. With the multitude of choices available through online shopping, it can be easy to get caught up in the browser and checkout without actually thinking about the bigger picture. Indulging in a little retail therapy might seem like a great way to lift spirits, but if it starts to add up to more than one can afford it will become a problem in no time.

An even bigger issue is that shopping can become a way to replace or distract from something more meaningful in life. Shopping, without proper perspective, can make us feel good in the moment, but it often doesn’t bring the lasting satisfaction that comes from achieving a personal goal or engaging with relationships and activities. Shopping can be fun, but when it takes the place of more valuable pursuits it can have negative consequences such as an inability to save for long-term goals or reduced time spent with family and friends.

To reduce the chance of drifting into unsustainable spending, it is important to establish boundaries. This could mean making a budget with specific amounts allocated for different types of shopping places or always shopping with a list of what is needed. Even steps such as having a wait period between wanting something and actually buying it can be effective in bringing more mindfulness to shopping.

Any plan for controlling spending should also include a good system of tracking budget items. Being able to track where the money is going will make it easier to see when too much is being spent in a certain area. This way, steps can be taken to adjust and bring everything back into alignment.

Shopping can be a great pastime and a way to reward ourselves for a job well done, but when it’s taken too far it can lead to unsustainable spending. To help avoid this, it is important to establish boundaries and develop a good tracking system. When done correctly, shopping can be a way to enjoy life without overspending.

Understanding the Difference

When it comes to spending our hard-earned money, most of us are careful about how much and when we buy. We know that impulse purchases can quickly add up, while compulsive purchases can be even more costly. But what exactly sets compulsive and impulsive shopping apart? Under the right circumstances, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two, especially since they’re not mutually exclusive.

Compulsive shopping, also known as shopping addiction, is a mental health disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to buy things. People who suffer from this disorder become fixated on shopping and buying. They often feel a sense of relief or an emotional high after making a purchase, and the behavior is usually completed in secret. In addition, it often involves building up debts and excuses for buying unneeded items.

On the other hand, impulsive shopping usually isn’t linked to a mental health disorder. Instead, it’s considered more of an emotional response to specific shopping triggers. People who engage in this type of behavior often have difficulty making decisions prior to buying an item and may regret their purchases afterward. This often leads to poor budgeting and high levels of debt.

Despite the differences between compulsive and impulsive shopping, they each have negative impacts on mental health and well-being. Shopping addiction has been linked to other mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Meanwhile, impulsive shopping can lead to social isolation, strained relationships, and financial problems.

The good news is that the underlying causes of compulsive and impulsive shopping can be addressed. A licensed therapist or qualified mental health professional can help those suffering from shopping addiction identify the triggers behind their behavior and provide support in developing healthier habits. There are even support groups and online forums available for those dealing with difficult shopping decisions.

It’s important to remember that compulsive and impulsive shopping are not mutually exclusive. Most people can benefit from shopping responsibly and making mindful purchase decisions. Shopping itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but understanding the difference between compulsive and impulsive buying is essential in order to keep our finances in order.

To sum up, compulsive shopping is a mental health disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to buy things. Impulsive shopping is usually more of an emotional response to specific triggers and usually involves immediate decision making with regret afterward. Both of these behaviors can have negative impacts on mental health and finances, so understanding the difference between them is key to developing healthier spending habits.

How to Identify Shopping Addiction

Shopping addiction is a type of compulsive disorder that can be unhealthy, financially debilitating, and even dangerous for individuals and their families. While shopping addiction may be hard to identify, there are some signs that one could be developing this compulsive disorder. It is important to be aware of these signs and to seek professional help in order to avoid long-term consequences.

What Is Shopping Addiction?

Shopping addiction is a type of disorder in which people become dependant on shopping as a way to cope with emotional distress, stress, and other issues. Shopping is used as a form of self-medicating and it can lead to a person relying on buying new items to feel better, to feel more in control, or as an escape from an underlying problem. Shopping addiction can have serious financial and psychological consequences and it is important to recognize when it is becoming a problem.

Signs of Shopping Addiction

Shopping addiction is often hard to identify, but some of the signs include excessive spending and a compulsive need to shop. Individuals struggling with this condition may also be living beyond their means and their addiction may prevent them from making necessary financial decisions. Other signs of shopping addiction include:

• Spontaneous purchases that are out of character and are not made after careful consideration

• Hiding purchases or avoiding discussing spending

• An inability to control spending or set a budget

• Anxiety or guilt after shopping

• Lying or cheating to make purchases

• Taking unnecessary risks in order to get items

• Making purchases with no intention of using the items

Recognizing these signs is an important step in identifying shopping addiction.

Impact of Shopping Addiction

Shopping addiction can have a significant impact on an individual’s life, their relationships, and their financial situation. These are some of the negative consequences of shopping addiction:

• High levels of debt due to excessive spending

• Strained relationships with family and friends

• Increased stress, anxiety, and depression

• Low self-esteem and a negative body image

• Health problems due to increased stress

• Loss of job or career potential due to financial problems

It is important to take these consequences seriously and to seek professional help if you or someone you know is struggling with shopping addiction.

Getting Help

If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of shopping addiction, it is important to seek professional help. Shopping addiction is a serious problem that can be damaging if not properly treated. Treatment often involves therapy sessions with a therapist or counselor that specializes in compulsive disorders. Additionally, support groups and medication may be used to help manage the symptoms of shopping addiction. No matter what type of treatment is recommended, it is important to get help in order to develop healthier behaviors and to avoid the negative impacts that can result from this compulsive disorder.

Shopping addiction is a serious problem that can have serious consequences. If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of shopping addiction, it is important to be aware of the warning signs and to seek professional help in order to manage the condition and to avoid long-term consequences. With the proper treatment and help, it is possible to overcome this disorder and to lead a healthy, successful life.

Great tips for shopping to avoid being a shopaholic

A shopaholic is someone who is extremely fond of spending. They spend impulsively without thinking of the implications. This is why many of them run into financial problems because of poor planning and compulsive shopping habits.  

In this post, you will learn some important tips on how to shop the right way

Create a budget

This involves making a list of what you want to buy, and their estimated prices. When this list is created, you will realize that not everything is important for that moment.

Some of them might be urgent, while others may have to come later. This will lead you to creating a priority list, where you spend on the more important ones.

Having a budget prevents you from overspending and it keeps you within your financial goals.

Track your expenses

Another way to avoid being a shopaholic is to monitor your expenses. Many people do not track how much they spend daily, weekly and monthly.

This is why some of them end up being financially down because they don’t know where their money is going.

There are many expense tracker apps that you can install on your phone to help you keep track of your expenses.

In the long run, you will know the things that are taking your money unnecessarily, and cut them out of your budget.

Set financial goals

To prevent yourself from becoming a shopaholic, learn to set financial goals for yourself. You can begin with creating a savings target, where you put a particular amount every week or month.

It is equally essential to have an emergency savings. This would help you foot expenses that you didn’t plan for.

Get help

You can also talk to trusted people if you are finding it hard to be financially prudent because of your shopping habits. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to people around you, then you can see a counselor for professional help.

How to prevent shopping addiction

Shopping addiction is sometimes known as compulsive spending. This happens when an individual goes shopping based on their emotions.

With time, they begin to add other traits like lying about how much they spent, buying items with credit cards, etc.  

Many shopping addicts have a strange relationship with money, this is why they believe shopping makes them happy, and they end up broke because they cannot control it.

In this post, you will learn some salient tips on how to prevent shopping addiction, and develop habits to do the right thing.

Unsubscribe and unfollow emails

Many marketers know that when you set sight on their emails, you are likely to shop impulsively.

Therefore, most of them will send emails containing products and services you are likely to fall in love with. This is why you end up spending more than you bargained for.

If you know that online shopping has made you an overspender, then it is time to unsubscribe from those emails, and unfollow some of those stores on social media.

Track your money

It is important to know how much you are spending. If you don’t monitor your daily or weekly expenses, you are likely to not observe the habits and patterns that are making you spend more than necessary.

When you observe these patterns, it gets easier to cut some expenses and instead save the extra money.

Set saving goals

Another way to prevent shopping addiction is to set saving goals for yourself. Imagine if you had emergency expenses, and you reached out into your account balance only to discover you had nothing there.

You will feel bad knowing that you could have saved up some money to foot emergency expenses.

Most times, it is impossible to deal with our issues alone and we need all the help we can get. Therefore, you can reach out to trusted family and friends about the problem, and seek their advice.

You can also see a counselor who will help you identify the root cause of your addiction, and proffer treatment types on how to overcome it.


Shopping addiction is the need to purchase or possess an item regardless of financial status or previous possessions.

While shopping addiction does not seem to pose as much problem as say drug or alcohol addiction, there is usually a damage to financial reputation and important relationships.

Similar to other forms of addiction, it results in an imbalance in the brain’s reward centres – modification in the structure and performance of the brain.

Some factors that may cause shopping addictions are: stress (people who are overwhelmed by stress may shop as a way of dealing with it, this.

If unchecked could lead to addictions), the need for enjoyment, esteem issues, lack of self-control, females are also slightly at a higher risk than men, so being female could be a likely cause of a shopping addiction.

Ordinarily, shopping feels positive on a short term – there is a new gadget, new set of clothes, the feeling of never running out of shoes or never being out of vogue. However, the real issues come in the long run:

  • Debt

Non-stop shoppers often run into problem with managing their income and they sometimes end up buying on credit to satisfy their cravings.

Some even run into problems at work because they have either spent too much to spare for other job related expenses or have decided to tamper with their organisation’s treasury. This leads them into incurring debts that could otherwise have been avoided.

  • Relationship disasters

Other times, they may want to tell lies just to borrow money they need for shopping. Ordinarily, an average person is likely to be angry especially if money lent out on more important grounds is spent frugally, thus there is a damage to relationships.

It could be more disastrous in marriages especially if only one partner is an addict, this could result in confrontations and anger from the other partner.

  • The need to hide

A number of times, shopaholics feel the need to hide what they have purchased from loved ones, probably so as not to be seen as too frugal a spender or for the shame that comes with not being thrifty enough.

  • Hoarding

Usually, goods purchased are not needed and shopping addicts sometimes do not want to let them go, thus piling up unwanted clothing or shoes.

  • Depression and anxiety.

As it is with other forms of addiction, a shopping addict may soon come to terms with how much they have damaged – their relationships, their financial life. And this understanding may cause worries and anxieties. Also capable of causing depression is the shame they feel from their lack of control.


Maybe it is super easier to just get into that grocery store and buy than spend minutes raking your brain for what and whatnots. Definitely not when just going round the store will help you remember most of all you need. Okay, that’s nice.

But have you ever stopped to really think about what budgeting has to offer? And why people seem to just want to talk about it? Especially those financial guys (yeah, you just rolled your eyes, rightfully so).

Okay, no worries, this is no financial guy, just a spender like you who may have found a hack around this whole thing and understands a bit of their talks now.

First, what comes to mind when people say budgeting?

Well, basically, budgeting is just creating plans to spend your money. And it works a lot of magic;

Now one important thing budgeting does is that it allows you have enough money for more important needs. Planning your spending ensures you have jotted down all you need and attached a certain amount of your income to it, this creates a scale of preference kind of scenario as you are able to move the very important stuff up the rank.

Budgeting easily tackles the ‘no-money’ palaver. When your needs are jotted down, it will be easier to cancel out the ‘not-so-necessary’ ones while duly saving enough money.

Planning over longer time can help you forecast periods, say your vacation and even save for them, thus you get to have fun without the feeling of guilt that comes with not spending money rightly

It helps you know where all the money went. Budgeting helps you see what you have spent the money on and this alone especially if spent rightly gives a feeling of right living. In a situation of overspending, say on clothes, it helps you put a pause on such spending.

It reduces stress or worries about finances.

Helps you become debt-free. Through budgeting, you are able to see your debts as important, so instead of spending half of your income before realizing how much debt you still have, you are able to quickly pay up.

Budgeting also allows you the luxury of investment, not everyone gets to do that these days.

Quickly, it is important that you know that one of the best and easiest way to budgeting is to just start. Also, allocating every penny you have to a course, helps you keep a better budget.


Conventionally, shopping addicts are people who suffer from compulsive spending. Compulsive spending refers to a pattern of protracted continuous spending which is usually very difficult to stop, and it eventually results in adverse consequences. It is said to be a control disorder which can be likened to other forms of addiction disorders, which does not directly or indirectly require the use of a drug which causes intoxication.

For shopping addicts, typically, they would spend ample time thinking about going on shopping. Eventually, they set out to go for it, and they are most times usually anxious before they make a purchase. When they make the purchase, there is usually a feeling of euphoria and relief. Much later, the feeling of shame or guilt sets in. These are the phases which a shopping addict has to go through from time to time.

Shopping addiction is known to develop overtime, as it does not happen in an instant. It is usually affected by a good number of many factors, with the regular risk factors being gender and age, and young women are known to be those who are usually at the highest risk.

Basically, the four points below are typical of someone who regularly undergoes compulsive buying or can be regarded as a shopping addict.

  • Anticipation: There is always this feeling to shop, it is something which cannot go away, as you cannot stop thinking about it.
  • Preparations: When it comes to shopping, you usually put extra measures in place. You would make choices on where and when you should go. You would also decide on the cloth to wear, and even the credit card to be utilized. You would also find out that, you spend extra time checking up the latest fashion movements.
  • Shopping: During the activity of shopping, you would realize that there is this great excitement within you, which you cannot seem to control.
  • Spending: This is the phase which marks the end of the shopping addiction. After you have made your purchase, there is first a sign of relief, then a feeling of regret and dissatisfaction in yourself.


Generally, shopping is an activity a lot of people like to engage in, and they end up spending too much just to get their desired item. It is sometimes referred to as a buying disorder and the ability to control it becomes difficult. There are signs and symptoms that show there is a potential crisis of a shopping addiction.
Firstly, purchasing items that are not required is a crucial factor that there is a tendency to get addicted. Having an obsession for materials that can actually be done without, can cause susceptibility to addiction. The temptation to resist those items would become intensive thereby leading to addiction. Also, there could be excessive acquisition or the inability to do without large quantity of items. This is actually referred to as hoarding and a hoarder would intentionally purchase all these items and may end up not using any of them. The urge to add to a collection of items keeps increasing despite financial hurdles or other problems associated with spending.
Similarly, issues of anxiety and depression may lead to shopping addiction. When someone suffers from depression, spending and buying may become an addictive problem. There is a high tendency to be exposed to over spending when one is not psychologically balanced, because purchasing new items could cause a sensation in the mind allowing a recurrence of the behavior.
The pleasure derived from acquiring new things could cause a temporary relief or release from the burden of depression according to a person suffering from it. Shopping or spending could be a form of self-medication and treatment for those suffering from depression and anxiety. Although, the relief derived could be temporary, it is still a relief and as such there would be a prompting to continue in the act of shopping and spending which may end up in addiction.
Also, there are individuals who have issues of low self-esteem and this could be for various reasons and the degree or extent may vary in them. Importantly, there are different ways they react to this issue.
Sometimes, they give themselves high expectations and hopes to feel better and to try and impress others. This is common and observable in people who want the best out of anything they can purchase and spend on. They are not contented with something of less quality but try to acquire the best and latest trend. When this behavior becomes more pronounced, they see the need to keep sustaining their self-worth and lose control of how they spend.