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How to Tell If You Are a Shopaholic

Are you one of the 17 million people who have never met an item you didn’t want to buy? You might be a shopaholic.


  • Step 1: Evaluate why you shop Evaluate why you shop. Valid reasons--you need food or clothes. Bad reasons--you’re bored, stressed, depressed, or just got your paycheck.
  • Step 2: Explore your feelings Think about how shopping makes you feel. If buying something new gives you an incredible rush followed by horrible guilt--you might have a problem.
  • Step 3: Look around your home Look around your home--are most of the items in it things you needed, or stuff you wanted?
  • Step 4: Check out your closets Check out your closets. A shopaholic’s wardrobe is filled with clothes that still have their tags and shoes that have never seen the light of day.
  • TIP: If you’re on a first name basis with all the UPS guys, or can name every pitch person on the Shopping Network, you may have some spending issues.
  • Step 5: Examine your conscience Examine your conscience. Do you find yourself trying to justify purchases to yourself and others? Do you ever hide packages? Lie about how much you’ve spent? Have you ever snuck a new garment into the house in a dry cleaner bag to conceal you’d bought something new?
  • Step 6: Assess your willpower Assess your willpower. Shopaholics find themselves unable to resist buying things--even when they know their credit cards are maxed out.
  • Step 7: Get help Get help if you failed our little test. Cut up the credit cards, find fun ways to fill your time that don’t involve buying anything, join Debtors Anonymous, or get therapy to discover the deeper issues behind your compulsive spending.
  • FACT: Marie Antoinette, Mary Todd Lincoln, Jackie Kennedy, and Princess Diana are all believed to have been shopaholics.

You Will Need

  • Self-evaluation
  • Honesty

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