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7 Warning Signs You Are Overspending and What to Do About It

16 July 2019
Edna Hill
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The American Journal of Psychiatry estimates that shopping addiction may be found in roughly 5.8% of the population. Unlike other addictions, shopping addiction is difficult to pinpoint.

Overspending could lead to many problems, such as debt traps and relationship issues. It’s important to know when you have a spending addiction and what the signs are.

Warning Signs

These warning signs of overspending will potentially give you the tools you need to overcome your addiction. You could help others overcome their battle with overspending too.

1. Secret Shopping Sprees

People who overspend tend to be secretive about what they’re buying and where they’re going. Do you feel embarrassed about going on a shopping spree? Do you want to hide the items you’ve bought because you know you don’t need them?

There could be an underlying problem that you’re facing. When you feel the need to buy something, ask yourself if you’d survive without the item. If the answer is yes, you don’t need to buy it. Speaking to a friend or loved one might help you overcome your shopping addiction.

2. You Shop By Yourself

Shopping by yourself ties in with secret shopping sprees. You don’t want your loved ones witnessing how much you spend, so you always go alone. You feel if you cannot shop alone, you won’t be able to buy yourself an item you like.

Buying luxury items all the time adds up and could lead to you being broke at the end of your shopping. To overcome your shopping addiction, take a loved one with you to the store and allow them to keep you accountable with every purchase.

3. Retail Therapy

Retail therapy is when you buy luxury items to make yourself feel better. You tend to spend more when you’re under stress or when you’re feeling depressed. It’s because buying products gives you a sense of euphoria when you are feeling down.

You get addicted to that feeling because you don’t want to have negative emotions; so you keep on buying as it sparks positive emotions. But this can lead to significant financial problems which could amplify your stress and depression.

Perhaps talk to a counselor about your stress and addiction. Professionals can help you discover skills to overcome your habits.

4. Monitoring Your Money is Difficult

Another warning sign is you can’t understand where all your money is disappearing to. You remember buying all your items, but you feel that you should have left more money in the bank than you do.

If you check all your till slips or bank transactions you will notice how much money you spent; perhaps there were more shopping occasions than you realize? A solution: you should allocate money to your basic cost of living first. Then consider if you need to buy luxury items.

5. You Have No Savings

Saving might be difficult because you’d rather use the extra money on your spending habits. But saving at least 30% of your salary is smart and might help you in the future.

Having money saved will provide immediate funds for emergency expenses. It can also help you have a comfortable future when you put money away for retirement. Instead of buying the items you don’t need, opt for saving instead.

6. You’re Unable to Make Ends Meet

Do you find that you never have enough money to pay your rent or to buy groceries? You never seem to have enough money to make ends meet.

The solution to this problem comes back to saving and budgeting for the month. Always make sure your basic expenses are paid before spending money on entertainment or luxuries. You’ll have more peace of mind knowing you’re covered for the month.

7. You’re Stuck in a Debt Trap

Being stuck in a debt trap is a notable warning sign of overspending. Your credit card debt is sky high, and you’ve accumulated so many loans to accommodate your spending habits. Debt traps can affect your relationships with family and especially your partner as they spark stress and even guilt.

Debt counseling might help you with your financial problems in this situation. Besides, talk to your loved ones about your spending addiction and ask for the support you need.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a shopaholic, you may have an underlying problem you’re not addressing. Perhaps you’re simply stressed or feeling depressed. The best way to overcome any addiction is to admit that you have a problem and then talk to someone you trust.

Perhaps another solution is allocating a small amount of money towards going out with friends once a month or buying one inexpensive item you like. This is the balance between doing nothing with your money and going overboard. According to the CNBC, studies show that spending money on experiences rather than on items could also make you happier.

So save your money and always budget your expenses. You’ll feel less stress and definitely more free.

References and Sources

1. 6% of Americans Are Affected by Compulsive Shopping. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/americans-with-compulsive-buying-disorder-2015-12?IR=T

2. How to Get Out of the Overspending Trap. Retrieved from https://money.cnn.com/2017/11/30/pf/credit-card-debt-pay-down-debt/index.html

3. How to Escape a Shopping Addiction. Retrieved from https://www.today.com/money/how-escape-shopping-addiction-2D80554292

4. How to Control Excessive Shopping. Retrieved from https://www.pacificawealth.com/how-to-control-excessive-shopping/

5. The Psychology Behind Why People Buy Luxury Goods. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/091115/psychology-behind-why-people-buy-luxury-goods.asp

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