The Reasons We Shop Too Much

Since I started “Recovering Shopaholic” in January, I’ve given a lot more thought to my reasons for shopping too much.  I used to think I shopped because I loved clothes and fashion, but I’ve come to understand there is a lot more to it than that.  My reasons for being a shopaholic go much deeper than a passion for style and I suspect this is true for many others who shop in excess.

Compulsive Shopping Reasons

Why do we buy all this stuff?!?

The following is a brief overview of my perspective on the many reasons for compulsive shopping. I will expand upon some of the reasons listed in future posts.

Boredom

I’ve found that when I don’t have a lot going on in my life, I tend to shop more.  I find myself taking a trip to the mall or perusing e-commerce websites.  Shopping provides a sense of excitement which may be missing in a person’s life.  Just the simple experience of being in a mall or store is exciting, as there are bright lights, colorful displays, uplifting music, and lots of treats for the senses.  That sure beats the monotony of day-to-day life which we all sometimes experience.

Avoidance

When I’m dealing with an unpleasant situation or have a challenging task in front of me, I often experience an uncontrollable impulse to hit the shops.  I can remember shopping immediately following a job interview, after a difficult phone conversation, and when awaiting potentially worrisome medical results.  Shopping is such a consuming activity that it takes our minds away from things that scare or confront us emotionally. Of course, when we are done shopping, the things which worried us are still there.

Depression

I have struggled with depression for most of my life and have even been suicidal at times.  I often wrestle with issues surrounding my purpose in life and my worthiness as a human being.  Sometimes I prefer not to sit with these feelings, as I don’t know how to appropriately address them. So I shop, and shopping uplifts my mood, at least temporarily.  In fact, it sends me into an altered state, not unlike the high one gets from alcohol or drugs.   The high doesn’t last, but it does provide relief in the short-term.

Loneliness / Desire for Connection

Despite the proliferation of social media and the numerous methods available to connect with others, many of us suffer from loneliness and a lack of connection.  When we shop, we are out among other people and often develop a rapport with sales associates and fellow shoppers.  I know that I have had a number of engaging conversations while shopping and that has helped me to feel less alone.  However, I have to remember that the salespeople are not really my friends.  They may feel that I’m a pleasant person, but in the end, talking to me and being nice to me is part of their job.

Low Self-Esteem / Insecurity

For most of my life, I’ve struggled with low self-esteem and feelings of not being “good enough.”  A lot of my shopping has been an attempt to measure up and fit in, and to some degree it worked.   As I dressed better, I received more compliments and validation from others.  Of course, with fashion the target is always moving.  The styles continually change, so one must keep buying new things to keep up.

Poor Body Image

Some people refrain from shopping for clothes when they have gained weight or feel bad about their bodies.  For me, the opposite has been true.  When I feel unattractive or fat, I shop in the hopes of finding those “magical” clothes that will provide me with positive feelings about my body.  In essence, I am shopping for a feeling more than for actual clothing, but any improvement I receive in my body outlook is temporary.   Then I must shop some more to try to allay my anxiety and dissatisfaction with my shape.

Peer Pressure

Many women shop with friends and family members more than they shop by themselves.  In some relationships, shopping is the only “fun” activity that is shared.  When we shop with loved ones, there is often a lot of pressure to buy. We often end up buying too much or we purchase things which really don’t work for our lifestyles or personal style aesthetic.  In addition, if our friends are buying lots of trendy new items, we don’t want to miss out or appear lacking in terms of style quotient.

Past Poverty / Deprivation

A lot of people who shop too much experienced childhood poverty or struggled with financial difficulties earlier in their lives.  Perhaps they only had hand-me-downs to wear when they were growing up and now they want to make up for lost time.  In my case, I grew up in an affluent part of the San Francisco Bay Area. While my family wasn’t poor, we couldn’t afford to buy a new wardrobe for me each school year.  Many of my classmates rarely wore the same garment twice and I couldn’t compete style-wise.  As an adult, I wanted to make sure that I was one of the best-dressed people around.

Passive Aggression

Sometimes people over-shop and wrack up credit card bills to get back at a parent or spouse.  Although they may have difficulty expressing their negative feelings to the person in question, they show their displeasure through their excessive shopping.  While the vision of the disgruntled housewife charging thousands of dollars to her husband’s credit card may be stereotypical, anger toward a spouse often fuels compulsive shopping at least in part.  Thankfully, this is one reason for over-shopping that I don’t have!

Symptom Substitution

Often when a person overcomes one type of compulsive behavior, they replace it with another, especially when they have not addressed the underlying reasons.  Many women with eating disorders “graduate” to compulsive shopping.  Geneen Roth illustrated this phenomenon beautifully in her book “Lost and Found.”

As I mentioned in my “History of a Shopaholic” post, I struggled with anorexia nervosa and bulimia for many years.  As I emerged from the acute phase of those disorders, I developed my shopaholic tendencies.  I only recently saw the connection between the two compulsions.  Recovering alcoholics and addicts may also begin to shop too much after they stop using their previous drugs of choice.  The need for escape remains, but the substance used changes.

Other Reasons?

The list above represents only one person’s perspective on the reasons for over-shopping, and my list may or may not be comprehensive.  I welcome feedback and additions from readers!  Do you have other reasons why you shop too much?  Would you like to expand upon the reasons I have mentioned?  Please feel free to add your comments below.


Thank you for reading! If you liked this post, please share it with your friends and subscribe for free updates by email.

I also invite you to join the End Closet Chaos private Facebook group, where you can interact with others about the topics discussed here.

Comments

  1. Debbie,
    I just discovered your blog this morning. I don’t remember writing this , but clearly I did. It is my life – I look forward to following your progress – I am already inspired to finally make the change.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Angie, Welcome! I’m glad to have a kindred spirit and I’m happy that my journey is helping to inspire you! Did you see my guest post on Project 333 this morning? Here is the link in case you found my blog through another venue: http://theproject333.com/fear/. I am both excited and scared to take on the challenge of Project 333. I will be writing quite a bit about that process and what I learn as the weeks go by. I appreciate your taking the time to comment today. Please feel free to comment again!

  2. Francesca says:

    Yes, I love this. I thought I was a minimalist as I journalled my adventures here, http://tasmanianminimalist.blogspot.com in all areas except my closet. I racked up 30k of debt in months on clothes and now gave finally put the reigns on. Great blog.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Francesca, Thanks for your comment! I look forward to checking out your blog. It sounds like we have some things in common. I have made great strides in simplifying my possessions in all other areas than my wardrobe. Now it’s time to fill in that piece of the puzzle!

  3. Pilar Rodriguez says:

    Great post and great blog.
    I see myself in so many aspects you describe, also in almost complete recovery of them.
    Debt is still the issue.
    I keep working on them everyday, so is so motivating found you.
    Go on!

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Pilar, Thanks for your comment and congrats on your compulsive shopping recovery! I know that it’s frustrating to have debt, but if you aren’t adding to it at this point, it will eventually be behind you. I’m glad you like my blog and are finding it motivating. I’m happy to have you as a reader.

  4. I must admit that I miss shopping for fun… I’ve been restricting my shopping excursions to save money & keep an overabundance of clothes from building up in my closet. It’s working, but I miss the casual shopping & sometimes buying. Sticking with it though and glad to know I’m not alone!

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Diane, Thanks for your comment. I sometimes miss casual shopping, too, but I had to stop it because I was just buying far too much! Even if I spent less money, I was still frequenting consignment stores and going on shopping “binges” there. So I had to come up with some rules. It’s helping, but like you, I miss the fun of shopping. I hope to be able to shop casually again in the future, but I also hope to develop other fun hobbies. I would love for shopping to be just one of many activities which brings me joy. Welcome and congrats on sticking to your plan to shop less. You are definitely not alone!

  5. This is really interesting, and I can relate to quite a lot of it but in an opposite sort of way.
    I am overweight and my reaction to this is to NOT BUY ANYTHING. I am still wearing four year old T shirts and refusing to buy new ones because they would be a statement that I have given up somehow. This drives my husband (who loves clothes shopping) up the wall! If I find something I like he is right there saying, “buy it, in fact buy three of it” because he knows it might be another six months before I step into a clothes shop.

    The other thing I can relate to is the poverty angle. I’ve never been well off and while I would say we are “secure” I constantly worry about “what if…” This too makes him despair. He feels that we can afford it and I should indulge sometimes, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

    I found you through the 333 project and look forward to following your journey. We are probably coming at this from opposite sides. If I get rid of the worn out clothes I’ll have 2 pairs of linen pants, two T shirts, three tops, a cardi, a fleece jacket and a skirt! The problem will be convincing myself that I am “worth” new things, and in finding clothes which aren’t just items bought as quickly as possible in order to get out of the store in under five minutes!

    Books, paints, crafting stuff, camera gear on the other hand, these I have no trouble buying at all!

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks so much for your comment. I have worked with a number of wardrobe styling clients who didn’t want to shop until they lost weight. Like you, they believed that buying for their current shape somehow meant that they were accepting that they would stay the way they are. I feel that it’s important to accept ourselves and show ourselves respect and love even when we are not happy with our weight or shape. I know that it’s easier said than done, but I’ve found that when one dresses well in clothes that fit their current shape, it can help her to be more motivated to do what it takes to change in the ways desired.

      You don’t need to buy much, but a few outfits that fit your body now (and that you love) would likely be beneficial for you. Buy at a lower priced store or at a thrift or consignment shop if that feels better for you. I really believe it will help you to have some nicer clothes. I have seen it make a difference with many people, including me. After I started to dress better, I was able to drop about 20 pounds of excess weight. Of course, I took it too far and bought too much, but I don’t think you have to worry about that! I still fluctuate in weight sometimes, but I don’t force myself to wear anything that is tight or binding. Then I just feel worse about myself and that doesn’t help anyone!

      Please know that you ARE worth new and nice things! We all are. Being overweight doesn’t make you a bad or unworthy person. It is only one (small) facet of who you are. I feel very strongly about this! I have had eating disorders for many years and my weight has fluctuated within close to 100 pounds. I have struggled with self-worth for most of my life, which is part of why I have shopped too much. But I know that our weight or what we wear doesn’t define who we are. I’m glad that you treat yourself to art supplies, books and camera gear. Try to take baby steps with the clothes, too. Sending you positive wishes! Thanks for reading my blog.

  6. Hi Debbie
    I just read your entire blog, and especially this entry feels like you’ve written it on my behalf. I couldn’t have said it any better. I struggle with exactly the same issues and coping mechanisms around shopping. While I’ve always loved to shop, my habit has now turned a corner where it’s become a problem and shopping feels like my only real pursuit in life. I’m not a shallow human being and I don’t understand why I do what I’m doing as clearly, shopping isn’t working for me. I need to tackle this constructively and develop a more healthy relationship with shopping again, and at the same time find joy and satisfaction in other areas of my life. This seems so incredibly difficult to achieve. I tried to put myself on a self imposed shopping ban but I didn’t even last a week. I vowed to cut down and tried, but in reality, I didn’t make any changes worth mentioning. I’m not in any debt but I think my wardrobe is probably even bigger than the 300+ pieces you mentioned, and most certainly, shopping is on my mind all the time. I’m reading an interesting book at the moment “To buy or not to buy” by April Lane Benson. I hope it’ll do something for me. It outlines some of reasons you are giving above for why people shop. I shop when I’m bored, I shop when I’m angry, I shop when I’m lonely. I went shopping last night and I completely blanked out the world. I left the shopping center whistling with joy. Then my mood plummeted in the car – I realized that I had totally forgotten that I was expecting news from a member of my family about a potentially very serious illness she may have, and that I’ve been having sleepless nights about this for a week or so. Shopping gave me a break from this feeling of constant anxiety, if only for an hour. Sorry for the long comment – I wish you all the best with your pursuit and I will keep reading to see how you are doing. Thanks for such an inspiring and very honest blog!

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Katja, Thank you so much for your heartfelt and honest comment. I identify with SO much of what you wrote! Like you, I have tried multiple times to control my shopping, but if anything it got worse instead of better. Even the tracking I did for 2011 and 2012 (what I bought, how much I spent, how much I wore what I owned) didn’t help much, although it did help me to better understand the depth of the problem. I decided to do this blog because I thought that if I put myself out there, I might finally get over this problem. I also hoped that perhaps I might touch and help others, and I am delighted to see that is the case and to receive comments like yours.

      I think that part of the problem is that we don’t have something to REPLACE the role that shopping has played in our lives. Like you, I would shop when stressful or scary things were going on in my life. I didn’t have other coping mechanisms. I still don’t, but I am working on it. I was in the mall today and experienced the loss of reason, overwhelming feeling I seem to always get when shopping. I left without buying anything I didn’t intend to buy, but it was a close call. I still got far too excited to go there in the first place.

      I have the book you mentioned. I never finished it, but just pulled it out again. I think that the program can work if you really commit to doing it. I tried another program (“Shop Your Wardrobe“) which was great, but I didn’t really commit or risk anything. There is no magic bullet, but a lot of things can work if you commit yourself to them. Of course, I definitely do not have all of the answers. I’m still struggling and learning, just like you are!

      Thanks for reading. I look forward to hearing from you again.

  7. Hi Debbie,

    I just discovered your blog and I identify so much with so many of your posts. I decided to comment on this post since it really gets to the heart of why we overshop. I want to share my compulsive shopping story (I hope it won’t be too long!) because it’s a bit different than most but the compulsion to buy in the first place are the same reasons you listed on this post.

    I am a shopaholic and a purgaholic! You would never know that I was a shopaholic if you looked into my closet. I have a total of 105 items including shoes, bags and scarves in my wardrobe. I buy and purge constantly. Some items don’t last longer than a week in my wardrobe before I give it away. I would say 75% of my wardrobe was purchased since 2013. Yes, in just 4 months. I have given away over 250 items and sold 50 or so items. Since the summer of 2012, I stopped selling altogether out of laziness, yet the sight of having the items I decided I didn’t want made me anxious so I just started giving them away. The only way you would know I am a shopaholic is by looking at my credit card statements. I have no debt but I’ve stopped using that as an excuse to deny that I have a problem.

    Two other reason I would like to suggest for this post:
    1) Perfectionism – this is my part of my problem for the binge purge cycle. I buy things that I think will go well with certain wardrobe pieces only to realize after one wear that it didn’t but by that time I had already taken off the tags and cannot return it. I am constantly seeking for the perfect wardrobe, where everything goes well with everything else. If something doesn’t seem to work with at least 2 other things, I get antsy and automatically deem the piece to be imperfect and have to get rid of it.

    This brings me to reason #2:
    Guilt mixed with OCD – My anxiety for having unwanted clothes out of my home immediately is the guilt I feel from buying yet another item I ended up not liking, so I get rid of the evidence as soon as possible so to speak. (I sound like a murderer…). I am also obsessively controlling about order in my home. (The OCD part) My wardrobe never has items misplaced. I have very simple furniture and next to no decorative items. I am only a shopaholic when it comes to my wardrobe.

    I’ll stop here before I write an entire posts worth of ramblings! Just wanted to let you know that reading your blog has been a great pleasure. Keep it up!

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Wendy, Welcome! Thank you so much for sharing your story with me and my readers. I appreciate your adding a different perspective on the reasons we shop too much. I actually plan to do a second post on that topic, as I’ve thought of other reasons to add.

      I can identify with a lot of what you wrote. Like you, I am only a shopaholic with my wardrobe. I live in a 2-bedroom apartment that it fairly minimalist in nature. Nothing too fancy and I’m fine with that. I am also very organized and hate when things are out of place, both in my home and in my appearance. I think “perfectionist” or “control freak” is my middle name – LOL!

      I purge a lot of items from my wardrobe, too, but am not nearly as judicious about it as you are. I think my average yearly purchase number before this year was around 200 items, so even though I have quite a few “wardrobe benchwarmers,” I also got rid of a lot of stuff, often after only one wear (or even if I just tried it on and thought “No!”). Sometimes I’m able to return the things that don’t work, but often they go to consignment or charity. I also either get rid of things or hide them because I feel guilty for having bought them in the first place.

      I am going to do a post soon an the lies and duplicitous behavior of shopaholics. I know I’ve engaged in a lot of dishonesty and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. I think that lies and hiding are common features of compulsive behaviors and addictions.

      No worries on how long your comment was! I loved reading it and I’m sure others did as well. I welcome your commenting again anytime. I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog. I wish you the best of luck in your own recovery!

  8. Rachel says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this article! I’ve had trouble with compulsive shopping for several years, but never really thought about the reasons behind it. I’m going to bookmark this and use it to jog my thinking before taking a shopping trip on a whim.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Rachel, Welcome and thanks for your comment. I’m glad my article was helpful for you! I plan on writing more about the reasons for compulsive shopping; that article was mostly an overview, but I will delve deeper into some of the issues in the future. It’s definitely helpful to understand our reasons behind compulsive shopping. It may not prevent all shopaholic behavior, but it can make us think before buying.

  9. Greetings Debbie,
    I’m enjoying your blog and these archived posts so much…tonight I came looking for some added encouragement to try to end my shopping addiction.
    For the past year, I’ve been through some very trying circumstances first with my 20-something son and more recently with my husband who has a serious illness. Earlier this month I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and although I’ve always loved to shop, my current reason for over-shopping is to numb my fear and sadness as well as to escape the loneliness and isolation of my current life situation.
    An anti-depressant was recommended, but because I’ve really struggled with side-effects when I’ve tried them in the past, I decided to try some counseling first. Long story short, my counselor recommended that I do my best to stop shopping, cold turkey. She said I’m self-medicating with shopping so it’s harder to know for sure the extent of my depression, thus whether counseling alone will be enough to treat it successfully.
    Like Wendy above, no one would ever know I have a shopping problem. I too “binge and purge” and am a perfectionist, so my home and closet are very neat and orderly. I’ve justified my habit by not using credit, and since I live in an area with fantastic thrift and consignment stores, everything I buy is used: name-brand clothing, unique decor, and lots of books. Plus I have a special weakness for handbags…forever searching for the “perfect” one. (I’m still looking…)
    So tomorrow starts my open-ended shopping hiatus. I’ve tried not shopping before and have never lasted more than a couple of weeks. But I’m so determined this time due to my circumstances, and I hope the weekly accountability and guidance of my counselor will help. I’ve noticed you’ve done quite well not shopping for the month; I ‘m hoping to find some strength and encouragement from reading about your journey and from your readers’ comments. This is so very helpful…thank you, and wish me luck! 🙂 (please forgive the length of this comment; it’s such a relief to have a safe place to share something I’ve hidden for so long…)

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Mary, Welcome and thanks for your open and honest comments. No worries about lengthy comments! Feel free to comment as much and as long as you want. The reader comments add a lot to the conversation and I know they help other people, too.

      We have a lot in common. I struggle with depression and anxiety, too, and often shop to avoid feeling and to escape loneliness and despair. It seems like things have been quite difficult for you as of late. It’s great that you are seeing a counselor to address these issues. I hope that will be helpful for you. I’ve had a lot of counseling in the past, but it was more for other issues than for the shopping. My shopping problems escalated after my eating disorders were more under control. I think it was sort of a symptom substitution.

      I actually feel it’s easier to not shop at all than to do it in moderation. I’ve struggled much more with controlling my shopping, but I’ve had long periods of not shopping at all in the past (mostly when I had major debt to deal with). I’ve gone about 6 weeks without shopping now and it’s been a good thing to do. I’m going to do a post soon about the value of a shopping hiatus. One thing I want to say to you is to be good to yourself. If you lapse with the shopping, try not to beat yourself up. Just recommit (or modify the commitment) and move on. The self-flogging only makes things worse! I wish you the very best of luck. Please write back to let me know how you’re doing or if you need extra support.

      • Thanks for the encouragement Debbie. I forgot which post I commented on, so I just found your kind response.

        I’m doing pretty well so far, only giving into the temptation to online shop a few times and spending just a short while in an antique store on Sunday. I sometimes wish I only liked shopping for clothes, because they are the easiest thing for me to give up. But I have always loved decorating as it is my primary creative outlet. I spend way too much time arranging and rearranging my surroundings to get things “just right” and I know it’s a way of feeling a sense of control when there is so much in my life that is in chaos right now.

        I once read a comment on the Becoming Minimalist blog that summed up my situation perfectly. Someone named Jan said, “The problem might be that the things you buy are your life. Maybe there is no life without the stuff, nothing to spend time on anyway. It could be a rude awakening for some.” Right now, besides taking care of my husband, my life is my stuff: purchasing it, arranging it, moving it, cleaning it, storing it and finally getting rid of it. When I’ve watched episodes of hoarding t.v. shows, sometimes I cry because even though my house looks nothing like theirs, inside I’m very similar to those people.

        But I sense a shift coming in my life, and I have a lot of hope that things are changing. It’s much harder to sit with my feelings of sadness, loneliness , and anger and writing about them in my journal than it is to bury them with an afternoon of shopping. It is difficult risking possible rejection by reaching out and sharing my heart with people who could hurt me. It is very hard loving and caring for someone with an incurable disease. But there is always something to be thankful for, and I think that is where I’ve decided to land in all of this. To look at what I have, not what I lack. To realize my life is already full, and there is nothing I can buy that will ever give me lasting satisfaction.

        Thanks again for the encouragement and for your blog. It has helped me face so many things that I’ve been hiding from and there is great freedom coming from doing this. You seem to have a very kind and empathetic spirit, Debbie. I hope you, too, will remember to be good to yourself.

        • Debbie Roes says:

          Mary, It sounds like you’re going through so much. It must be very difficult to care for a spouse with an incurable disease. I’m sure I would be shopping all the time if I were in your shoes. You seem to be managing a very difficult situation with strength and grace. I’m glad that my blog is providing you with encouragement and is helping you to face your shopping issues.

          The comment you posted from Becoming Minimalist really resonated with me. In fact, I added it to my (very long) post topic list. I think my “stuff” is far too big a part of my life and that’s a big part of the problem. I think I need to do what you’re doing and journal more, but writing this blog is helping me a great deal. I do have trouble with being good to myself. Thanks for the encouragement and for saying a have a kind and empathetic spirit. Those words brought tears to my eyes. I do think it’s true… I feel very lonely at times, but this blog is helping me to feel less alone. Sending you virtual hugs and wishes for happy moments in the midst of your difficult circumstances.

  10. I can relate a great deal to about 9 of the reasons you have stated above. The few biggest ones that stood out to me was being lonley. For some reason I love to people who work at the mall. Everytime I get there I run into Bloomingdales looking for the my personal shopper from each deparment. I feel like I have more friends there than I do anywhere else. I do have a lot of depression issues and everytime I am feeling sad, fat, ugly, bored, or suicidal I run to the mall and buy a new shirt. Maybe some new shoes. And when I want to avoid my real friends or parents the first place I go to is Bloomingdales. There is just somehting about that place that makes me comfotable and makes me feel safe and wanted and needed and loved and happy. I don’t feel happy if I dont have what I want. For example, today I got new pair of shoes because I had a hard day yesterday. And I know that for the first few times I wear it I will be happy but after the 3rd tim wearing it I just need something else. And I will go back tomorrow and for sure buy new leggings or a new shirt to go along with the shoe.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Welcome, Shan, and thanks for your comment. I can really relate to much of what you wrote! My happy shopping place was Nordstrom, but the reasons I went and what I got from the experience had much in common with your Bloomingdale’s shopping. Of course, there are many downsides to shopping, one of the biggest of which is that the effects don’t last and then we’re right back to where we started and a bit poorer to boot. We have to find other ways of meeting our needs. I am still struggling with that one, but I hope you’ll stick around and we can work it out together in the coming months. I know there are more long-lasting and fulfilling ways to meet our needs besides shopping and I’ll just keep taking things one day at a time and trying new options until I get there…

  11. Your post is excellent with the reasons you posted as to why people shop addictively. Thankfully, I have steadily been moving deeper into evaluating all I nowhave, what really matters to me, where I want to go in my life, and practicing paring down material possessions as a result. I don’t want to shop for myself, but I wonder if I have managed to transfer my tendency to over-shop for me into shopping for others – like my grandkids. It only recently dawned on me that I’ve felt the need to give more than one Birthday and Christmas gift to each child. Having realized this, my goal is to begin just giving one gift to each child and find the satisfaction in that. It will also help the child not to be overwhelmed with loads of material things, and hopefully prevent the child from learning to be addicted to “stuff” or shopping for it. I have a parent who is still a shop-a-holic and was in poverty as a child. She has not been able to realize what she does and massive sums of money have been spent on her ongoing addiction. I live very simply in comparison to my shop-a-holic parent but I still see that I need to be watchful and keep working on not over-shopping for others. I’m grateful to have bumped into your blog. I’m sure it is proving very helpful to many!

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad you discovered my blog and found this post helpful, Kate! I think it’s common for people to overbuy for other people, especially children and grandchildren. It’s great that you’ve noticed this tendency in yourself and have committed to turning things around. You will set a positive example for your grandkids which will likely serve them well!

  12. Annonymous says:

    Very helpful info. I think I have transferred my tendency to overshop for myself to overshopping for grandkids and it’s time to reign that in. I want a much simpler lifestyle with regard to material things. I also want to mingle with people who are recognizing that less is more. I feel compassion for them, but it’s still unpleasant to be around people who are just consuming (if not devouring) as much material stuff as possible – and it’s never enough. I am going to continue to evaluate and moderate my shopping very carefully and I am so glad I stumbled onto your blog.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for your comment. I also want a simpler life and to mingle more with people who feel the same way. There are more and more of us out there these days. Although I still have a long way to go, I do find myself feeling happier as I buy less and pare down what I have to those things that add value to my life. I wish the same for you!

  13. Hi Debbie,
    Following up on your links. I read everything but still don’t recognize the ultimate reason. Perfectionism comes close. I lead a full life, nice job in advertising, have an adorable husband, nice home, loads of friends, lots of laughs…… in other words: rather a perfect life. I am afraid it is my form of creativity which makes me buy things. Just liking to create a picture and then show the creation to the world. Would have been a lot better if I could paint haha.
    Poverty as a child might have something to do with it, but I doubt it. I cannot recall having suffered much because of it. I was never jealous. Didn’t even notice it that other girls had more. OK one thing I do remember: I did not get a genuine Barbie, but a fake one.. .. But to take that as a reason for too much shopping is a bit much LOL.
    Greetje

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I think it’s good that you’re questioning your shopping behavior, Greetje. It may or may not be a problem for you. Shopping and clothing CAN be ways for us to express our creativity. Shopping can be a good thing, but for some of us it gets truly out of control. I would recommend reading “To Buy or Not to Buy” by April Lane Benson. That book will help you to identify more about your shopping behavior. If you decide that you have a shopping problem, there are lots of exercises in the book that can help you get to a better place with it all. I need to do more of Dr. Benson’s exercises myself… I wish you the best of luck! Feel free to comment again anytime.

  14. Everything you mention above I do! I shop because I find pleasure to bay things I don’t need! That’s because I’m lonely, depressed, and existing… I shop because I’m over weight and I hope that one day I’ll lose some weight! Also nobody loves me! I always hope one day! And when I shop the world gets better!it does not keep it long so I have to shop agan and again! I just don’t know what to do with myself anymore! I’m gone into debts just to shop, I even don’t ware this things but I have to bay them, I bay size 10 and 12 because I think I’m training and one day I will fit on this clothes!
    Thank you for the article it made me feel better xxxx

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Welcome, Nati, and thanks for your comment. I’m glad you found this post helpful. I can identify with what you wrote. I often shop when my weight is higher, too, as I’m trying to find something, anything that will help me feel better about my body. I wrote about that in this post: http://recoveringshopaholic.com/weight-body-image-and-shopping/. I can also identify with feeling like the world gets better when I shop. Of course, that feeling doesn’t last, but it’s there for a little while. There is a better way, though. I’m still working to overcome my shopping problem, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope for you, too!

Comments are closed for this article.