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Strapped with College Debt but Can’t Stop Shopping? 7 Warning Signs of Shopping Addiction
We have all experienced buyers’ remorse at some point in our lives. Shopping is a common social activity and, let’s face it, a stress-reliever for many. But how do you know when shopping has turned from a fun activity to an all-consuming addiction? For many of us just graduating from college, the financial realities of the working world can come as a bit of a slap in the face. While it can be easy to disregard our student debt and opt for spending, there are limits that we should follow, and, unfortunately, many young people suffer from an addiction to buying that supersedes financial intelligence. Although many of us have experienced one or two of the following symptoms in the past without being a total shopaholic, if you recognize these feelings or situations as regularly occurring in your own life, it may be time to come face to face with a potentially harmful shopping addiction:
While excitement from a shopping spree or guilt over spending are common responses post-purchase, they are definitely not normal reactions to have every time you shop.
2. Physically Hiding Purchases
If you find yourself physically hiding purchases so your spouse, siblings or children don’t see them until later, that is a guilt-related action and could represent covering up a habit that you know is not right.
We all go back on decisions once in a while. But, if you are returning to the extent that you feel guilty about it or are returning more than 30 percent of what you buy, then you could be making purchases to get that feeling of euphoria, not because you actually need or like the items.
4. Not Using What You Buy
If you have tons of clothes in your closet with the price tags still on, shopping bags filled with products you haven’t unpacked, or boxes of kitchen supplies or other items that you haven’t even opened, then you are not using what you are buying and should be second guessing why you have purchased the items.
If you feel naked without your credit card in hard, you may have an unhealthy attachment to it. Try heading out with just a debit card or select amount of cash for a week and see if you can handle it.
6. Moving Debt Around to Allow for Spending
If you are in debt and find yourself shopping often, you are not much different from the rest of the country, even though that is not the best habit to keep up. However, if you find yourself juggling credit cards and moving debts around just so you can go shopping for fun, then your shopping has gotten out of control and you have begun to live dangerously outside your means.
7. Previous Addiction Diagnosis
If you have been diagnosed with any kind of addiction issue in the past, it is very possible that an addiction has formed when it comes to shopping, as well. Addictive behavior is less about the substance or action you have become addicted to and much more about the highs and lows of euphoria and guilt associated with the actions.