Do I have a problem?

shopoholica

Member
Aug 5, 2014
174
4
Hi fellow Purseforum-ers,

I have been thinking about my shopping habits lately, and I am starting to feel as though I've developed some really unhealthy habits. So a little background: I grew up in a family where my dad was really frugal, but my mom loved shopping (especially sale shopping), although she always shopped in moderation and only bought things when they were great deals. I never really liked shopping all through my teenage years, until I got my first Tiffany's item at 18. And since then, I've been spending a huge amount of money on jewelry and watches (mostly in high-end jewelry stores), and I would justify my spending, saying things like "it's an investment". To give you guys an idea: one year I spent over 60K on jewelry and watches, which I can't really justify at all, since I am a phD student, and am not raking in a ton of money. I am not going in debt since I do work a lot, but I do feel kind of bad that I don't have much in my savings. So I started to shop through another outlet: namely, skin care items. I became VIB Rouge in Sephora after 3 months of shopping, buying mostly skincare items. I thought it was normal since I never really had a skin care regime until this summer, but the other day I looked at all my products, and I haven't used up a single cleanser yet, and I have 4 different ones lined up on my vanity. I never thought I had a problem until now, since I never really shopped until I was in my late teens, early 20s, but now I truly think I have a shopping addiction. I don't buy compulsively (with the exception of 2 jewelry items and some sephora products), and I am not going in debt, and I know that I am a god-send for companies who want to take advantage of consumers like me. I understand all of this. But I shop so much: every time I am stressed, or something bad happens, I can't deal with the emotions and I go shopping to escape the stress, and I don't feel happy unless I am shopping. I don't feel regret or guilt, but I do feel like my shopping is excessive. Do you guys think I have a problem?
 

remainsilly

bye-bye
Aug 15, 2014
6,470
9,544
Hi fellow Purseforum-ers,

But I shop so much: every time I am stressed, or something bad happens, I can't deal with the emotions and I go shopping to escape the stress, and I don't feel happy unless I am shopping...Do you guys think I have a problem?
I think YOU being concerned says there's a problem, more than anyone here could.
Please consider the part of your post quoted above.
Your school may offer free counseling, to help identify the fears driving this behavior--there's no shame in seeking that more private guidance.

Best wishes to you & thanks for sharing. Many will understand & connect.
 

LuxeDeb

Member
Aug 28, 2013
1,232
468
Texas
It does sound like you are shopping to fill a void. It is good that you are not going into debt, but you need to start a savings plan that automatically deducts money from each paycheck. You should also give yourself a budget of fun money each month & stay within in that amount.
 

katran26

Bargain Hunter!
O.G.
Aug 25, 2008
6,264
158
Boston
But I shop so much: every time I am stressed, or something bad happens, I can't deal with the emotions and I go shopping to escape the stress, and I don't feel happy unless I am shopping. I don't feel regret or guilt, but I do feel like my shopping is excessive. Do you guys think I have a problem?
I think it's definitely stress-related; have you tried stress-relieving activities that might help? Yoga, meditation, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine. Sometimes we do things when stressed that become automatic, as a form of coping (think stress-eating, etc.)

I would say reach out to family/friends about this, and see if you can gradually cut back on shopping whenever you feel stressed. Try doing a healthy activity instead.

I think a lot of us either shop/browse online quite a bit, and to some extent that's normal, but it definitely seems as though you're reaching out for help. We're here for you. :hugs:
 

jellyv

O.G.
Mar 29, 2006
8,757
6,838
Any time spending is out of whack with actual economics, and you're not dealing with the real priorities of a young person's adult life--savings, independence, etc.--that is a real problem that needs addressing. You might want to browse and post in the Money forum.
http://forum.purseblog.com/money-talks/

Note that you can't lay this off to companies trying to "take advantage of consumers like me." You are the actor in these situations, and you have to be in control and make the changes. There are ways, definitely, to get on top of this. Good luck.
 
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Swanky

Admin
Admin
O.G.
Jan 12, 2006
87,230
9,353
Yes, I think you have an issue. I'd never say that normally but I think it's pretty glaring. . .
 

JetSetGo!

Never not trying
Admin
Authenticator
O.G.
Feb 6, 2008
25,360
791
valley girl x city girl
Shopping does feel good - that's why so many of us love doing it! But doing it to avoid your feelings is probably not how you want to live your life.

I would highly recommend you start talking to a someone, a good, qualified therapist, to help you figure out how to handle your emotions in a way that is healthy for you. I have been amazed at the things I've learned about myself through talk therapy. It's one hour a week where I can sit and really focus on myself without any distractions or anyone else's agenda getting in the way.

I think it's great that you are looking at your habits and wondering if they are good for you. That's huge. I also think it's great that you have not put yourself into debt. You are in the perfect position to get yourself on track.

Wishing you great success.
 

rainneday

Member
Feb 8, 2013
8,056
1,511
If it bothers you, it's a problem. That being said it doesn't seem like it has impacted you financially in a terrible, unrecoverable way...yet, so as suggested above I would start by putting aside some "fun money" for use every month. This way you don't feel completely restricted from buying.
And step two would be my suggestion to be more mindful when you are purchasing items. Who needs 4 cleansers? Those were compulsive purchases. Shopping feels much more satisfying when you get good use out of what you buy, and then you tend to buy less, or I do anyway. You wouldn't take that money that you spent on those extra 3 cleansers and throw it away, but that is exactly what you are doing if they go bad before you use them up. Also, samples are your friend! Don't ever feel ashamed to ask for plenty of samples before you invest in skin care products.
Shopping in your own closet is another one, when you feel an urge to buy take a look at what you have and try to put it together in a different way. Hmmm...what else...sell one item for every one that you buy? I am working on that one right now. I'm an emotional shopper too, but I am a bit older and at this point I only want what I will definitely use and what has amazing quality, and I can't always buy the items that I want as soon as I want them.
I think you will feel really good about yourself if you put away in savings a match to what you are spending (on shopping) on a monthly basis. Good luck!
 

shopoholica

Member
Aug 5, 2014
174
4
Thank you guys so much for all your advice. Shopping has become a vice ever since I stopped swimming competitively. I haven't found anything that I like as much as shopping, and I honestly feel like I have a general lack of motivation for anything recently :wacko: Unfortunately, I don't really know where to go for help...therapy is really considered taboo in my family, and I don't want to burden my friends on this issue (as most of them don't really understand my shopping addiction). I think I might just be a little burnt out and stressed, and another "vice" would be perhaps more healthy...

@jellyv: thanks for the concern! I really wasn't really trying to place blame on companies for my own issues, nor was I trying to displace any responsibility. The comment you quoted was just a small ounce of truth that companies do love consumers like me, as well as most of us on purseforum. I am wholly aware that I have total control over this, except sometimes it doesn't feel that way.
 

katran26

Bargain Hunter!
O.G.
Aug 25, 2008
6,264
158
Boston
Thank you guys so much for all your advice. Shopping has become a vice ever since I stopped swimming competitively. I haven't found anything that I like as much as shopping, and I honestly feel like I have a general lack of motivation for anything recently :wacko: Unfortunately, I don't really know where to go for help...therapy is really considered taboo in my family, and I don't want to burden my friends on this issue (as most of them don't really understand my shopping addiction). I think I might just be a little burnt out and stressed, and another "vice" would be perhaps more healthy...

@jellyv: thanks for the concern! I really wasn't really trying to place blame on companies for my own issues, nor was I trying to displace any responsibility. The comment you quoted was just a small ounce of truth that companies do love consumers like me, as well as most of us on purseforum. I am wholly aware that I have total control over this, except sometimes it doesn't feel that way.
I think maybe if you found a hobby (like you used to do with swimming) it might help displace shopping as your go-to stress-relieving hobby. It might actually help a lot. Maybe take classes? Read, or do something outdoors next time you fee like shopping.
 
Oct 30, 2014
15
0
Good that you are not going into debt which can lead to greater problem. But I think you should discipline yourself when it comes to shopping. When your stress or bored, you can divert your emotions to some physical activities such as swimming like you used to. And it can even lead to healthier lifestyle.
 
May 31, 2008
453
6
New York
I would say , you are not alone ! if you can afford it why not! You mentioned you are not even in debts so I don't see any problems. Are you stressed all the time that you been shopping every time you're stressed? Anyway you're lucky that you can spend without having debts...