Shopping can be an intensely emotional experience. There are oodles of research that explain the psychological aspects of shopping and why it feels so good to spend money. However, it is very easy for us to dismiss this when we reflect upon our own spending habits. But, if you are here and you have read this far, I hope that even for just the next few minutes, you will be open to exploring this will me. The questions I ask in the rest of this post may trigger things for you, and that’s okay! Because at the bottom of this page, I have a solution for you to try.
Here are 8 signs that you may be buying things just to fill a void:
Retail therapy is a normal word in your vocabulary.
Do you regularly use shopping as a form of therapy or stress relief? Do you feel that spending money is justified if it makes you feel better? Do you buy things just to buy things, whether you need them or not?
You only pay the minimum payment on your credit cards.
Do you avoid checking your credit card balances? Do you auto-pay the minimum payment on your credit cards? Do you disconnect from the financial consequences of shopping?
You spend more time at the mall or shopping online than any other hobbies.
Do employees at your favorite stores know you by name? Do you find yourself at the mall when you are bored and have nothing else to do? Do you spend more time shopping than doing other things that you enjoy or are passionate about?
You have buyer’s remorse, ever, at all, even once in awhile.
Do you ever buy something and then regret it almost immediately? Do you notice that much of the things you buy don’t get a lot of use out of them? Do you regularly return items to the store shortly after you buy them?
You have multiple pieces of clothing in your closet that have never been worn.
Do you have things around your house that have never been used or even opened before? Do you buy things and then forget about them?
You buy things you don’t need just because they are on sale.
Do you get anxiety if you miss a sale at your favorite store? Do you find yourself buying things just because you feel like you will be saving money? Do you get daily emails from multiple stores with their best deals?
You feel the urge to go shopping after a bad day, an argument, or any special occasion (such as your coworker’s sister’s baby shower that you weren’t even invited to because you’ve never met her…)
Are you shopping habits correlated to different emotions you experience? Do you use shopping as a way to celebrate a accomplishment or recover from a setback? Do you often buy things for other people whether they need them or not?
You hide your shopping habits from your loved ones.
Do you feel embarrassment or shame related to your shopping habits? Do you avoid discussing money and shopping with your spouse, parents, or best friends?
Do any of these points resonate with you? Do you see yourself in this post as if you were looking right into a mirror? Do you want to change these habits?
1.Understand that buying stuff will never make you happy. I love this article from Becoming Minimalist about exactly that.
2. Try to figure out what triggers your desire to spend money. Keep track of emotions and events in your life and how they correlate with the impulse to shop.
3. Make a list of others things in your life that you enjoy and are passionate about. Pick up some new (or old) hobbies to spend your time on rather than shopping.
4. Download my guide to start taking steps today towards kicking this habit. In my guide you will:
- Identify the type of shopper you are
- Understand the emotions that trigger your impulse to shop
- Figure out what void you may have that causes you to spend money
- Find a community to support you