Health & Wellness Articles

7 Tips to Conquer Compulsive Spending

Signs, Symptoms and Treatments

By Stepfanie Romine, SparkSavings Editor         
Page 4 of 4
6. Talk to a mental-health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist who specializes in compulsive behaviors. You can first contact your primary health care provider for recommendations. Talking to a neutral, compassionate third party can help you sort through your troubles and get to the root of the problem.

7. You can also get help putting your finances back on track. If your spending habits are under control, but your finances are still in recovery, try contacting a consumer credit agency in your area. Such agencies offer free credit counseling and nonprofit debt management programs.

Compulsive spending is a difficult addiction to overcome, but you can succeed. Debts were accrued over months or years, and it can take even longer to get out from under them. Stay positive, be patient and remain diligent. You can and will succeed if you're determined to do so. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, so remember to keep a steady pace and you'll get back on track.
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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

Member Comments

  • 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 - 6/17/2012 10:25:38 AM
  • 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) - 7/28/2010 11:45:34 AM
  • 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!

    - 7/5/2010 1:12:36 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! - 1/24/2010 12:47:37 PM
  • I've known for awhile that I have a bit of a problem but until now I didn't realize how to deal with it. - 10/6/2009 10:35:20 PM
  • 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. - 5/18/2009 7:53:07 AM
  • PAM_S_
    The article hit home. Thank you for the great article. - 12/26/2008 9:44:09 AM

    LOVE THE ARTICLE - 8/2/2008 2:15:26 PM
    Looked the article.
    While I am not NOW a spender, I am in debt recovery. I am happy to say, outside of my mortgage and car note, my debt is down 75%. - 7/22/2008 1:13:41 PM
  • Great article. - 7/17/2008 12:14:14 PM

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