Shopping and spending money can be a great pastime, but at some point it can go overboard. Shopping can be a way to hang out with friends, a good time to relax during downtime at work or just an excuse to get out of the house for awhile. But, if you come back from every shopping trip with bags of purchases, it can indicate a deeper problem.
Of course, if you’ve just moved into a new house and need to stock it with all the small items necessary for equipping a new home then you may have good reason to spend. Or, if the new school year is about to begin and you need school supplies and books, or even if it’s the holiday season. While there are legitimate periods where a lot of spending is acceptable, it’s worth evaluating your spending habits to determine that you don’t have a problem in this area. Depending on the cause, people with a spending problem can begin to have trouble in their relationships, financial worries and problems on the job.
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Knowing the Signs of Spending Problems
Here are 7 signs to help you know if you or a loved one might be experiencing a problem with too much spending:
1) Enjoying an exciting rush when you make a purchase – People who love to spend money can experience a rush of adrenaline like a “high” when buying something. Even if it’s not something needed, just the experience of making the purchase sends them a thrill. According to experts, this can be caused by dopamine, a chemical in the brain associated with pleasure. Seeking this instant rush can become an addiction.
2) Feeling remorseful after a purchase – Compulsive shoppers might buy because they find a good bargain but then feel guilty about it afterwards.
3) Hiding your purchases – With some of the same characteristics as alcoholism, big spenders like to hide their bags so no one realizes how much they’re buying.
4) Feeling nervous on days you don’t buy something – Feeling anxious until you buy something new can run into spending problems. People without spending problems do not feel a need to spend on a daily basis.
5) Credit card debts are piling up – The easiest way to get into spending problems is by buying everything your eye sees and putting on your credit card. This can spiral into severe financial problems.
6) Buying things you don’t need – Sometimes people become “collectors” of things they don’t need. Like a 5th place setting when 4 is all they need, or an extra strand of pearls just because they’re on sale.
7) Shopping when upset – Compulsive shoppers often calm their mood through buying things. It can make them feel better while fulfilling an emotional void. This can lead to problems with relationships.
Do you know of anyone with a spending problem?
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