I've been a compulsive spender most of my adult life - I finally admitted it relatively recently and with the support of my sister who is now (in her own words) my Financial Engineer, for the first time I feel almost in control! We are working to clear my debts and I am now on a weekly budget, which really works for me as my brain can understand it - with a monthly one, the first week is "woohoo, lets spend money", closely followed by tears and worries as I realise I don't have enough to get me to the next payday
I completely identified with these "symptoms". I used to be exactly what they call a compulsive spender. In the last 4 years, though, I have worked with a debt management program to learn how to budget. In those 4 years, I totally paid off my nearly $30,000 in credit card debt. Overcoming compulsive shopping IS doable and I'm proof of that!! Now I live frugally and have learned the difference between needs and wants. :o)
Debtors Anonymous is a wonderful program that encompasses even more than the money aspect of debt -- indebtedness to self, friends and community. It's a life saver. It helps to ameliorate the shame of compulsive spending. Of course when we give up one addiction (food, booze, unhealthy relationships) other addictions get to have their day in the sun!
1/24/2010 12:47:37 PM
Wow, this made me realize I replaced food with shopping. Crap! I better find a hobby, that's inexpensive or free, because I'm broke from shopping all the time instead of taking up space in my kitchen all day!
I tried retail therapy during a marriage and life of benign and not so benign neglect. Over $40,000 in credit card debt I declared bankruptcy. Being mostly debt free, I owe on a loan and the IRS I have much less anxiety. I am now able to stay on a budget and have stopped the behavior. Since every dollar counts, I evaluate each purchase, even the thrift shop ones to be sure I will use what I have. I am so grateful to be able to overcome this habit.
12/26/2008 9:44:09 AM
The article hit home. Thank you for the great article.
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