Help me develop a healthier attitude to money and spending!
February 3, 2014 6:56 PM Subscribe
Looking for online resources/support forums for compulsive shopping/spending. Books too!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
In a nutshell: I have trouble when it comes to managing money. I spend disproportionately, buying more than I need (I will go to the shop and buy, say, several bottles of shower gel at once, because it comforts me to know I won't run out) or things I can't use (clothes that won't fit because I can imagine the amazing future in which I will be the person in the size X bright purple trousers, not the present when I'm size Y and have nothing to wear them with). I have duplicates of almost everything, and yet I still can't walk away from acquiring more - because it's on sale and I might never be able to find it again/at that price, because I am convinced I need it, because saving up for a holiday or a house deposit will take ages so I might as well spend the money on this now. It's a distraction when I'm supposed to be working or doing other things, it's putting a strain on my relationship (we live together and the hiding of transactions/stuff out of guilt is possibly more detrimental than the buying) and I find I don't even enjoy having/using stuff once I have it. It's feeling like a problem, and I'd like to find some information, practical help or something that will help me understand it and try and change my attitude.
I'm aware of Debtors Anonymous, but that seems to be focused on 'compulsive debting', which doesn't seem to fit my problem - my debt is maintained and is not endangering my financial life (though it is a source of guilt), it's the shopping and its associated problems (too much stuff, distraction from things I need to be doing, guilt and shame, inability to focus on longer-term goals because that time/money is focused on short-term fixes) that is the issue.
I've also looked at books on the AA model, but I'm not sure this applies either - an alcoholic can cut out drinking, but one still needs to shop in order to buy food and essentials. Cold turkey is pretty difficult unless you are a subsistence farmer. I was wondering if there was anything that specifically deals with compulsive or disordered shopping, so I can at least read the stories of others, if not participate. Beauty forums often have threads dedicated to 'no buys' - although reading about all the pretty shiny things others are using can trigger the impulse to believe that that one item will change my life/future/looks/brain, reading about what others are doing to avoid spending is useful.
Note: I have already tried therapy of various kinds, and am on the waiting list for more as I had to quit my previous therapy due to moving away from the area. (I've also found the therapists I've dealt with haven't seen this as a problem or taken it seriously - one just said 'well, make a shopping list when you go to the supermarket', sigh) I have from this identified emotional and past experience triggers that might have led to me thinking this way, but knowing this doesn't seem to have changed things in the here and now. I would like resources I can use in the meantime!)