People who have a shopping addiction suffer from what's known as “compulsive spending”. According to a research – “Compulsive shopping and spending is described as a pattern of chronic, repetitive purchasing that becomes difficult to stop and ultimately results in harmful consequences.”
This shopping frenzy is a state of mind and can cause a person immense financial trouble. Some of the warnings of financial trouble include:
Shopping/spending habits causing emotional distress or chaos in one's life.
Feeling lost without credit cards.
Buying items on credit that would not be bought with cash.
Feeling guilty, ashamed, embarrassed or confused after shopping or spending money. Many purchases are never used.
Spending a lot of time juggling accounts and bills to accommodate spending.
An addiction to spending is not financially healthy. As with other addictions, spenders feel lost and out of control.
How to Fight a Shopping Addiction
Cut up your credit cards - Immediately destroy your credit cards if you have a problem with compulsive spending. Make no apologies. Don't scribble down the account numbers "just in case." Don't try to convince yourself that you need them to improve your credit score. You're better off without credit cards if they fuel your emotional spending.
Carry only cash - Use cash instead of a cheque book or a debit card. Inconvenient? Yes, but it is precisely the idea. Your goal if you're a compulsive spender is to break the cycle. You must make sacrifices in order to achieve this. Spending cash serves as a reminder that you're actually spending money.
Track what you spend - You may not even be aware of how much you’re spending. But once you start tracking every dollar that comes into and goes out of your life, patterns become clear. When you see your spending patterns, you can act on them.
Trick yourself - For some people, money isn’t an emotional issue. They’re able to make logical choices and not be tempted to otherwise. They’re lucky. For most of us, however, it doesn’t work that way. If you’re in this majority, find ways to play tricks on yourself. You might train yourself to use the 30-day rule, for instance: When you see something you want, don’t buy it right away; instead, note it on your calendar for 30 days in the future. If you still want it in a month, consider buying it.
Avoid Temptation - Avoiding situations that urge you to spend in the first place is the best method to avoid spending. If books are your weakness, stay away from bookstores. Stay away from the mall if you have a habit of overspending at huge department stores. Stop going to the areas where you usually spend your money, especially if you're in a bad mood.
Remind yourself of larger goals - Whenever you are tempted to eat something bad, ask yourself, “Will this help me or hurt me?” The same question can be asked when you're about to make an impulse purchase. Will your new gadget bring you closer to your goals or move you further away?