Love shopping? You’re not alone, but buying a few things here and there is totally different than developing an unhealthy relationship with the mall. It’s surprisingly easy to get addicted to the thrill of the find, but constantly making unnecessary purchases as a means to feel better about yourself isn’t healthy.
Think you might be teetering on the edge of purchase-obsession? We’ve nailed down some tell-tale signs.
1. You shop to feel better
No one likes to feel down, stressed out, anxious or depressed. In fact, most of us do whatever we can to make negative feelings disappear. But if your go-to feel-better remedy is shopping, you might have a problem. Scoring a great deal on a new dress or pair of boots feels great. Finally finding the coat you’ve been coveting all season is a moment to be savoured. But hitting the shops whenever you need a boost can be a sign you’re a little too in love with buying. Shopping can’t solve your problems. It might make you feel better temporarily, but it’s not a fix-all solution for stress, sadness or other emotional issues. Find healthier ways to beat boredom and minimize stress: talk to a friend or hit the gym instead of shopping.
2. You buy things you don’t need
Your favourite sweater shrunk? You’re entitled to look for a replacement. You’ve worn your gym shoes down to the ground? Do your knees a favour and buy new ones. You can’t find your hat and mitts from last winter? Get new ones before you end up with frost bite. But if you’re constantly making excuses to go shopping for things you don’t need (now or ever), you could be looking at a burgeoning addiction. If you don’t need it why are you buying it? The odd impulse buy happens to the best of us, but a daily excursion to pick up something you’ll never use is a sign you need to curb your need to shop.
3. You’re in debt
One of the most glaring signs of shopping addiction is a dwindling bank account. If your credit card is pleading for mercy and you can barely pay interest on what you owe, you need to look at why. Where is all your money going? If you can track your recent credit card crunch back to overspending on unnecessary items (how many purses does one person really need?) it could be time to say no to the next store you pass by. We need to put certain things on credit (a vacation, car repairs), but when every purchase is paid for with plastic because there’s just so many of them, the shopping spree needs to end.
Jessica Padykula is a Toronto-based writer and editor who regularly covers style, beauty, health, travel and lifestyle trends. When she’s not writing or researching a story she can be found planning trips to places near and far in a never-ending quest to travel the world. You can follow her on Twitter @JessPadykula.