A shopaholic is someone who shops compulsively and is unable to control their shopping behavior. Some people refer to it as ‘shop till you drop’, spending your money on everything you are attracted to. Research shows that compulsive shopping has similar characteristics as other addictions to video games, alcohol, gambling, etc. It can create emotional and financial distress.
Here are some of the signs that might indicate that you are are a shopaholic and how you can control the behavior.
1. You Purchase Things You Did not Plan to Buy
Sometimes you might not have planned to buy anything when visiting a Shopping Mall or an online store. You might even not have enough money to spend on shopping. Although you may be visiting the Mall for some other reasons, immediately after seeing a big sale sign, you change your mind and a shopping spree ensues..
2. You Have Many Items That Have Been Used Only a Few Times.
Shopaholics tend to buy items that they will use once or a few times and then leave them in their closets or stores. Sometimes, they might not use the purchased item even once because its acquisition was not intended in the first place. They will continue buying new things as the old ones collect dust in their closets.
3. Shopping to Deal with Self-Esteem Issues
While shopping is supposed to be enjoyable, Shopaholics tend to attempt to fill an emotional void such as loneliness, lack of control or low self-esteem. Just like people who drink alcohol because of the frustrations in their lives, Shopaholics ,would go shopping as a way of reclaiming their lost sense of esteem. Most might not be conscious of this.
4. You Spend More than You can Afford
Shopaholics tend to shop beyond their means, spending above their budgets. They will l try to find means to get money, like borrowing and even sometimes lying, in order to keep on purchasing things. They will rack up huge debts in order to finance their shopping habit.
5. You Might Feel Guilty After Purchases
The guilt comes after buying things due to anger or stress. Research conducted shows that most of the compulsive buyers do not even use the items they buy and sometimes they dispose some of the items in various ways.
How to Avoid Being a Shopaholic
Here are some tips on how to deal with impulsive shopping
1. Make A Shopping List
When you are going shopping, make a shopping list with estimated costs and stick to it when you’re at the supermarket or shopping online on sites like ZoomTanzania.
2. Take Time to Think and Decide First
Ask yourself questions like how you are going to use what you are buying or whether you can actually do without it. If you come to the conclusion that it is not a necessity, you are better off not buying it.
3. Monitor your Spending
Learning how to use your money in a smart way will lead you to a debt-free life. Make sure that you assess your monthly spending by looking at your ATM withdrawals, mobile money balance and other expenditure receipts. This will help you to eliminate unnecessary expenditures in the future.
4. Ask for Help.
Ask for professional help if you feel that you can not control your spending behavior. Start by asking your friend or a family member to keep you in check. Ask them to help you make a shopping list or even go with you to the Supermarket so you can avoid the temptation of buying everything you find there.