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We all know the rush of getting a great deal — they call it “retail therapy” for a reason! But if that rush is coming at the cost of other parts of your life, it might be time to dig a little deeper and see if there’s a bigger issue to solve. 


Did you know shopping addiction can be a real problem? It’s also called compulsive shopping disorder. Lots of times shopping addiction can be related to another mental illness, like anxiety, eating disorders, or mood disorders, and it can run in families. 


Here are some tips for breaking free from the cycle of behavioral disorders like shopping addiction




Ask yourself some questions about your spending habits. We’ve all done some shopping to de-stress, but do you do it all the time? Do you set a budget and then never stick to it? Are you maxing out credit cards without paying them off? What about your mind when you shop, are you thinking about shopping all the time and never want to stop? Are there some items you’re always looking to buy, even when you know you already have enough? How about when it comes to other people, is your spending coming in between you and your loved ones? Would you get angry with someone if they asked about your spending habits?


If any of these questions made you a little uncomfortable, it might be a good time to read more about shopping addiction. 


Or you can explore tips to calm your mind, so you don’t stress shop.




It’s always better to shop with friends — you can make saving fun with friends, too! Tell a trusted person in your life about your compulsive shopping disorder. This can be your spouse, a friend, your mom, whoever you’d like! Let them know you’re looking for accountability for your spending habits. Then you can work out with them what kinds of check-ins would work best for both of you. 


Maybe you’ll want to call them once a week and tell them how often you went to the store, or text them as you’re about to click “Add to Cart.” You can even go shopping together so they can remind you of your budget before an item goes in your basket. 


Remember, the point of this is to get your spending on track but also to take care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask them to be gentler with reminders, or more frequent with check-ins. Ask for what you need, and work together to move forward. 




There are all kinds of places to learn more about money. Personal finance and money management classes can be a great resource for many people, and you can find them all over (in local credit unions and banks, the econ departments of high schools and colleges, and even your community center might have them). 


Learning about money doesn’t have to come from a class, though. You can also learn about your personal relationship with money by going to therapy. And since compulsive shopping disorder often shows up with lots of other mental illnesses, sometimes you can treat both of them at once with dual diagnosis treatment


You can even find groups built just for people with shopping addiction like Shopaholics Anonymous and Debtors Anonymous. The best part about groups like these is that everyone in them is living proof that you aren’t alone. Lots of other people are also working on their compulsive shopping disorder and are making great progress in places like these, and they can help you find better ways to spend what you can without breaking the bank.