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.


Shopping addiction or compulsive buying disorder which is characterized by excessive spending and purchase of items. It is a behavior that is related to over spending and shopping for things that are not necessary, and they could have harmful and dangerous consequences on any person involved in it.
Although, there are people who see shopping as a way to be relieved from negative feelings such as depression, anxiety, anger and so on, but little do they know that the relief is ephemeral and damages are likely to occur in the long run.
Like all other addictions, shopping addiction can negatively impact a person’s life. It is a significant problem that has both emotional and financial consequences. Shopping addiction is initially prompted with the neutral need to overcome challenges such as depression to solve an issue of low self-esteem. The failure of shopping excessively to actually solve these problems, can lead to degrade or damage to the life of the individual.
The consequences of shopping addiction could range from damage to long term relationships, marriages, friendships and jobs. Others could be financial problems which includes bankruptcy, debt and even theft. Emotional and psychological effects could be issues of anxiety which incurs physical health problems.
Also, shopping addicts suffer from substance abuse or eating and drinking disorders. Damage to relationships can occur due to excessive spending and an immense struggle to cover up for debt and other expenses. This can lead to spending less time with family and friends and other important people in the life of the addict. It gets to a stage where an addict begins to cover up expenses and situations where the addict borrows from friends, lying to avoid repaying may set in and as a result, relationships are severed.
Problems with finances occur when addicts borrow to spend largely. They find themselves in big debts and financial crises when they are unable to pay back. Consequently, many addict lose their jobs when they are unable to perform their duties due to financial constraints. Cases where they have to steal from their boss or the company’s money would result in them getting dismissed.
Also, the level of concentration could decrease when one suffers from addiction. There would be less-motivation and high level of distraction to actually be focused at work and at school. For students and young ones who are addicted to shopping, negative vices such as theft would be common and prominent in a bid to actually meet up with their material desires.


Addiction to shopping is a distinct kind of addiction such that it takes a lot to actually identify and be aware of the signs and symptoms. Over spending unnecessarily on items can be referred to as shopping addiction. Just like any other addiction, a shopping addict can go through any length to purchase and obtain anything barring finances and other things that relates to spending. Borrowing from friends or taking loans from bank and money lenders just to satisfy the urge of spending is very common. Shopping addiction can affect an addict’s financial stability and cause huge debt and even bankruptcy.
The behavior of a shopping addict could be affected in the long run. There is a high tendency to resort to criminal means such as theft, swindling innocent people and even fraud just to fuel the addiction. This addiction is a mental sickness that causes the addict to continue over spending even when the financial resources are absent. It brings satisfaction and pleasure even when the things purchased are not needed.
Financial crisis or debt can have a negative impact on an addict’s personal and professional life. People with compulsive shopping disorders may resort to borrowing money from friends and family in order to fuel and support their addiction. There is a tendency to continually borrow when they run out of funds and finances. Relationships end up getting stained and severed. Running in debt can cause a break in a relationship with loved ones. There would be feelings of insecurity and insincerity on their part. They would no longer trust the addict on anything that has to do with finances, hence leading to a damage in relationship.
The use of credit cards to shop is a common trend today but the responsibility to pay off debt is no longer there. This can put or land a person in trouble financially. Using credit cards to shop is not a bad idea but the need to pay up bills on time is also very crucial.
Also, compulsive shopping negatively impacts an addict’s credit score which prevents him from purchasing items such as a vehicle or from buying a house. Low credit scores can limit the chances of obtaining a job or work due to trust issues on whether the addict is capable to take care of finances. Austere cases of addiction can lower the ability to work efficiently leading to financial issues.


Shopping is an activity that brings pleasure to anyone that partakes in it but when it becomes a compulsive disorder, then there are signs of a potential problem. Purchasing items for a purpose such as clothes for fashion or the latest wristwatch or shoe to look trendy is normal, but when there is an obsession to obtain those items and ending up not making use of them, addiction sets in.
There are certain indications of Behavioural manifestations that shows you have become a shopaholic but there is a need to evaluate oneself to discover if there is any potential of compulsive buying disorder. As it stands, shopping addiction is a kind of addiction that is difficult to notice and observe because when it sets in, it takes proper assessment to actually decipher.
Ask yourself, do you have a shopping addiction? Shopping addiction is a special kind of addiction that requires self-judgment to discover whether excessive spending occurs since shopping involves spending money. Addiction to shopping ensues when one is so engrossed with the activity such that there is no restriction or limit to the purchase of items whether they would be used or not. It involves unnecessary spending probably just to get relieve from anxiety and depression. Once there is a feeling that there is uncontrolled spending, then such a person is seemingly entangled in addiction.
Also, taking records of money spent on shopping can help determine whether there is a slight chance of addiction. Writing down all expenses incurred while shopping can help one keep tabs how money is spent. If there is a situation of excessive spending, determining that will not be difficult, all that would be needed to be done is to go through the records. Also, stating financial goals in the records would help point out the likelihood of addiction such that if there is inability to meet up with the goals, then it is an indication that there has been an instance of over spending.
Ruminating on the feelings attached to shopping at first can help determine whether one is a shopaholic. Taking a constant evaluation on the mood for shopping will help indicate if there is a problem of addiction. Negative feelings such as anxiety, anger and depression can lead one to a state of excessive spending in order to find relieve. Also shopping could be done for pleasure or for the desire for it. Understanding the emotion behind spending is a huge determinant to discover the presence of addiction.


Just like any other addiction, a shopping addiction can affect a person in a lot of ways. There are no restrictions or boundaries as to how much a person can be distressed from the bond of addiction. Also, addiction does not choose whom to affect, it can take a toll on anyone, be it the wealthy or the impoverished. However, the problem of compulsive buying disorder can be brought under control by following some steps.
Firstly, knowing and understanding oneself is a very vital step in the process of controlling addiction. If shopping is a hobby, there should be a reason behind it whether it’s the excitement gained or a strong desire for a special kind of item such as a shoe, wristwatch, clothing or jewelry. There needs to be an evaluation and a positive response to any of this listed reasons does not indicate there is a problem but if there is a prospect of spending unnecessarily, there would be a need to consider various options to solve the situation.
Also, there should be an evaluation on the mood while one shops. Whether anxiety, depression, anger, happiness, or with an intent to cheer oneself or to get delight from shopping. When there is an understanding of the feelings that comes with shopping, then there is a possibility of determining whether addiction has set in and now focus on several means to control them.
Similarly, considering the time spent on shopping or purchasing items can trigger a response. Spending long hours visiting stores or checking records of items and their prices whereas such time could be spent on doing other things is a huge determinant that there is addiction and as such necessary steps needs to be taken to manage it.
It is important for the addict to have a renewed mindset and start taking full responsibility of how he or she spends. There is need to avoid excessive or unnecessary spending by either cutting up all other means apart from paying with cash which includes the use of credit cards which may incur debt. Also, any form of debt acquisition should be avoided in order not to enter into a state of helplessness.
Avoiding platforms that can trigger temptations to engage in unnecessary shopping should be looked at. Platforms such as shopping malls or districts, markets, warehouses should be steered clear of and if shopping is necessary, inviting a friend along to keep tabs on the way money is being spent, could also be instrumental.