Stop Holiday Overspending Stress

The Holidays can be loads of fun and terrifically stressful. For women, it's all the extra work to do; shopping, wrapping, parties to plan, cooking and family to be around that may trigger old feelings.
To cope with stressful feelings, some women shop more, spend more and eat more. (Yes, women also overeat to cope with stress.)
Do you love to shop and buy? Are the Holidays a great excuse to do so? Notice if you can relate to these questions and please don't beat yourself up if you do.1) Do you overspend or overshop frequently? 2) Overspend though you can't afford to? 3) Do you shop, buy or overspend as the major way to deal with negative feelings like anxiety, anger, lonliness?  Remember this, you're not alone.
According to experts on you may be suffering from Compulsive Buying Disorder*. Though only a small percentage of the population has the actual disorder and I view addictive behaviors on a continuum (imagine a straight  line across the page) with one end of the continuum those that have no compulsive spending or addictive shopping issues and the other end those whose lives are unmanageable. If you're at the extreme end you're experiencing things like relationship problems (because of debt or money behaviors), money problems, or work issues.  You probably also feel a lot of guilt, but don't know how to stop the behavior. For those that fit here, take a breath, and please deal with the problem, because it's not going to go away. There are therapists online, online support groups and therapists in your area. Use google or ask friends.
For those of you in the middle of the continuum that relate to overspending due to stress or the pressures of the holidays here are a couple things you can do.  1)  Look at money available in your checking or savings account. 2) Make a list of who you're going to buy for and use only the budgeted amount. 3) Stick to the list and take it with you when you go shopping. 4) Try to shop early in the day when your energy is good. 5) If you need to, take a friend with you that knows you're trying to stick to a budget. And, remember, changing behavior requires practice.  Happy Holidays and you can email me at to let me know how you do.


*Uncontrolled Spending: A Clinician’s Guide to Compulsive Buying Ronald J. Faber, University of Minnesota