Do You Have a Spending Problem?

By Randall Orser | Budget

If you have a spending problem it can severely affect your finances and lead to serious issues such as debt, bankruptcy, home foreclosure and marital problems.  

If you think that you have a spending problem, you need to acknowledge it and get professional help. If it is serious you will also need to start working to get your finances under control.  Here are some common signs of overspending.

  1. You hide your purchases from others – from your spouse to avoid arguments, from a roommate because you don’t have the money left to pay your share of the bills, or from your parents or friends.  
  2. You feel better after going shopping – if shopping gives you a high and you crave the experience like an addiction and count down the days or hours until your next “fix” then you may have a spending problem.  You don’t even have to buying expensive items, just buying everyday items can cause you to overspend.  You don’t even have to go into a store, many people get the same high from shopping online. 
  3. Maxing out your credit cards – if you have multiple credit cards and they are always maxed out or you continue to max them out after making a payment each month then this is a sign of a spending problem.  It is also a problem if you are constantly juggling between them to figure out which has enough credit left on it for you to spend more.  
  4. Continuing to spend, even when you don’t have the funds is a serious sign of a spending problem as is being in denial about the amount of debt that you are in or denial about the amount of money that you are spending each month.  You need to take a good look at what you spend each month and if you are buying luxury items or things that you do not need on credit then you have a problem.
  5.  You lose track of what you have – if you can’t remember what you already have or are running out of space at home with a lot of extra items or boxes being stored in your closet or spare room, this is a good sign that you have a problem.  You need to take an inventory of what you have and if you have duplicates of items then you have a problem and need to get professional help.
  6. You are a zombie shopper – if you go into a store and put random items into your cart this is not about what you are buying but just the act of buying something.  People who buy for the sake of buying or overspend on gifts for family and friends may also have a spending problem.

Once you recognise that you might have a problem it’s time to get help before it is too late.  Think about going to a counsellor to work through your issues, join a support group for people who are compulsive spenders.  Lastly and very important start working towards getting your finances back on track.

From an article by Miriam Caldwell 

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About the Author

President/CEO Number Crunchers® Accounting Inc. Learn how to just say stuff it to this bookkeeping thing with our 'Just Say: "Stuff It" To Bookkeeping program.