Do You Really Need Another Pair of Shoes?

What's the difference between overspending and compulsive buying? Think of overspending as having a couple of pairs of shoes to compulsive buyers ten pair. Overspending & Compulsive buying have similar addictive challenges and consequences (debt, low self-esteem, family problems), but compulsive buying puts that model into overdrive. This problem is hard to avoid in a consumer-oriented, advertising driven culture.

Another distinguishing feature between the overspender and compulsive buyer is the amount of energy/time spend worrying about money. Both do, but the compulsive shopper is much more consumed by the anxiety and the consequences are more severe. (Klontz & Klontz - Mind Over Money) Compulsive buyers treat shopping or buying like a drug. The getting ready to, and the act of buying, provide an addictive high or drug like rush of anticipation - the "gotta have it" driver - that I mentioned in yesterdays blog about overspending.

Heads up women -  75% of compulsive buyers are women. Not all compulsive shoppers are actually buying, but spend hours and hours LOOKING. As I've said to women I've counseled that have weight concerns, "What could you do to make your life (& others lives) better if you weren't spending/wasting all that time and energy on worrying about your weight or dieting (shopping)?" Shopping to fill time or to ease anxiety once in awhile is no big deal. But when it's a major part of your life, time to take a breath and do a reality check! When you're 75 and look back on your life, will you feel good about this time spent? If not, stop judging yourself, but start right now to put a pause between the urge to shop/spend and the act of. (See blog on Overspending Doesn't Fix Anxiety 8-16-11)

One last thought: If you put one-tenth the energy you spend on shopping into improving your life - whew - that's a powerful use of your energy/time and MONEY.