What is compulsive spending?

Compulsive spending is a destructive habit that people engage in for multiple reasons. It can result in serious financial problems. You may want to save, but you can’t seem to control your urge to spend money. You’re spending beyond your means. Compulsive spending is an addiction. It’s similar to struggling with alcohol and drug dependence. People who have addictions don’t want to engage in unhealthy behaviors, but


Symptoms of compulsive spending

Some symptoms indicate an issue with over-spending money. It’s hard to tell at times what the line is between having a good time and hurting yourself with your financial habits. You might suspect that you have a problem with compulsive spending, but how do you know for sure? Here are some signs and symptoms that may indicate that you have a compulsive spending issue.

  • You have a large amount of debt
  • You want to stop spending but can’t control yourself
  • You’re intentionally hiding what you buy from loved ones
  • You’re accumulating things you don’t need
  • You feel a sense of excitement or euphoria when shopping
  • You’re convinced that when you buy something, your life will improve
  • You don’t utilize the things that you’re buying


Compulsive spending differs from retail therapy

 People buy things that make them feel better from time to time; that’s normal. If you had a bad day at work, and you want to treat yourself to something small, that makes sense. However, there’s a difference between treating yourself occasionally to feel good and self-medicating with money. Compulsive spending, on the other hand, is a severe problem. It’s destructive to your financial well-being and your emotional life. For some, it can be a form of self-sabotage. You don’t think you’re hurting yourself, but little by little, these items are taking a toll on your finances and emotional wellbeing. Even if you buy things that are cheap when spending compulsively, it adds up. You might wonder why you have this issue. Here are some reasons that you might be engaging in this behavior.

  • There’s a history of substance abuse in your family
  • You have an illness that includes impulsivity as a symptom such as bipolar disorder or ADHD
  • You feel buying things alleviates nervousness, signs of anxiety, or symptoms of depression


Why can’t you save if you’re a compulsive spender?

If you’re compulsive spending, you are thinking about instant gratification. You aren’t concerned with what the future holds. Saving is one of the last things on your mind. You want to feel good, and spending money frivolously makes you experience some level of joy, however fleeting. If you’re buying things compulsively, it’s taking away your ability to buy something you need in the future. It’s challenging to control addiction, and it can seem impossible to escape, but you can break away from compulsive spending habits. There are ways to help yourself get through compulsive spending.


Treatment for compulsive spending

Some people feel powerless when they can’t stop spending money. It’s understandable if you’re in that group of individuals. You want to stop hurting your bank account and yourself, but compulsive spending is a self-destructive habit. One of the ways that you can deal with compulsive spending is to go to a support group. There are places like Debtor’s Anonymous with people who can support you and offer a sense of understanding. You can see a therapist in your local area or try online therapy. Regardless of what you choose, it’s something that you can manage with the right treatment. There is hope if you suffer from compulsive spending. Be patient with yourself and understand that you can get past this destructive habit and start saving money for the future.


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