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What is a shopaholic person? By definition, a shopaholic means that you’re addicted to shopping or have a compulsive shopping disorder, according to Wikipedia. says the term shopaholic “describes people who have an oniomania,” which is an obsessive or uncontrollable urge to buy things.

Can you tell a shopaholic by how they look?

Shopaholics: Learn about shopping addiction, including how to stop

When you think about a shopaholic, you may think of a superficial woman out shopping with lots of makeup and fancy clothes on, like Isla Fisher in the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic.

But the truth is, shopaholics don’t have any one face; they can be old, young, tall, short, stocky, thin, male or female, and all of the people in between. Even the rich and famous can be shopaholics with high debt, and many have even filed for bankruptcy. Take a look at these six celebrities that went broke in 2019.

Free Resources: 

You can have weekly meetings with a counselor or participate in the Debtors Anonymous at

Find a local A.A. Meeting

If you owe above $7,500 in unsecured debt; including credit cards, medical bills, unsecured loans, or collection accounts – Get a Free Consultation with an IAPDA Certified Counselor at (866) 376-9846. National programs are available to help with credit and debt issues.

Subscribe to Golden Financial’s debt blog at

The Devastating Consequences of Shopping Addiction

  • debt
  • disease
  • ruined relationships
  • bad credit

What’s realistic about the movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic, is that Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher), a true shopaholic, shops so much that she is drowning in debt. Likewise, at Golden Financial Services many clients need a debt relief program to help deal with high credit card balances that they incurred from shopping, medical debt, and financial hardships (like COVID-19).

With any addiction, unhealthy compulsive behaviors can land you in serious problems. Just like with candy and junk food, you can eat it in moderation and live a healthy life — but if junk food becomes an addiction of yours, it may kill you at an early age due to heart disease.

7 Shopaholic Symptoms: Who is a shopaholic person?

Here are questions to ask yourself to help determine if you’re a shopaholic:

  • 1. After you go on your shopping binge, do you feel guilty? Shopaholics often feel intense guilt after purchases, but even still cannot stop. Similarly, a drug addict that has been 30 days clean who then slips up and does drugs one night, may also feel extreme guilt the next day.
  • 2. Do you spend a lot of time planning, obsessing, and thinking about going shopping? Maybe, you’re up late at night obsessing over going shopping the next day. Every chance you get, you’re on the iPhone browsing your favorite stores. Or possibly, you ran out of money, so you’re scheming over how you’ll find the cash to go on a shopping binge. “In World Psychiatry, Donald Black outlines four phases of compulsive buying disorder: anticipation, preparation, shopping, and spending. During the first phase, anticipation, a person becomes preoccupied with a soon-to-be-made purchase or the idea of going shopping.”
  • 3. Do you find yourself buying stuff that you don’t need? For example, maybe you have a sneaker addiction. Most people may need 2-3 pairs of shoes per year at the maximum. Perhaps you need a new pair of running shoes and dress shoes for work every year. But if you’re buying 5-20 or more pairs of sneakers/shoes per year, this is shopaholic type behavior. Ask yourself the next time you’re about to purchase items whether it’s something you need.
  • 4. Is shopping interfering with your life, including family time or employment? Shopaholics will find themselves missing work because of their shopping addiction, or not spending time with their family because they’re too busy shopping. 
  • 5. Do you buy items on credit cards that you can’t afford to pay off in full that same month? If you have credit card debt that you can’t afford to pay off in full that same month, that can be a sign that you have a shopping addiction. Carrying credit card balances costs you money in interest every month, therefore, your balances should get cleared in full on a monthly basis. If you can’t afford to pay off your entire credit card balance in full, consider credit card debt relief programs. These programs do require at least $7,500 in total unsecured debt.
  • 6. Do you hide purchases from your spouse? For example, you go shopping but keep the stuff you bought in your trunk to avoid your spouse from seeing the items.  This is a sign of a problem.
  • 7. Do you already have debt problems as of result of your shopping addiction? (e.g., bouncing checks, paying late fees, can’t afford monthly payments on credit cards, creditors calling and harassing you)

Here are a few more personality traits to consider when evaluating whether you have a shopping addiction.

What is the mindset of a shopaholic? (Personality traits)

  • Kindhearted, never rude, and sympathetic (e.g., quickly sold by a store’s salesperson and seeking relationships)
  • Low self-esteem (putting on new clothes makes you feel better)
  • Depressed (shopping can mask your depression)
  • Poor impulse control (what you see, you need to get)
  • Materialistic (wanting to always impress others by wearing the hottest clothes and driving a fancy car) 
  • Image spenders (those that love flashy items) 
  • Bargain hunters (always searching for the next deal)
  • Codependent spender (feeling that you need to buy others stuff to win their love, loyalty, and friendship) 

How to stop being a shopaholic and solutions 

  1. If you have an urge to buy something, never buy it right when you have that urge. Always wait at least one day (your cool-down period). That very next day, you may decide, “Wow, I did not need that item.” 
  2. Only buy something on a credit card if you can afford to pay it off that same month, or even that same day if you really want to play it safe. Credit cards should only be used as tools to build excellent credit. If you can’t resist charging something on a credit card when you don’t have the funds available to actually pay for an item, then you’ll have to cut up all your cards so that you can’t use them. When you pull out your credit card, first ask yourself, “do I have the funds in my bank account to pay for this item today?” If you’re using your cards to buy stuff because you don’t have the funds available right then, that’s a sure-tell sign that you’re a shopaholic (excluding extreme circumstances, like if you just lost your job and need to use the credit card to purchase food). 
  3. To cure a shopping addiction, you must start working towards becoming debt-free. As you pay off debt, you’ll continue to get more motivated because you’ll see positive results. If you can’t afford to pay at least minimum payments on credit card debt, talk to a debt counselor at Golden Financial Services for a Free Consultation at (866) 376-9846. You may also use our free debt reduction tools, including this free budget and snowball calculator. Here’s an article at Golden Financial Services that explains The 10 Best Ways to Quickly Clear High Credit Card Debt.
  4. Just like you can attend Alcoholics Anonymous, you can also participate in Debtors Anonymous. Debtors Anonymous phone meetings can teach you about the 12 steps for Debtors Anonymous. 

The debtors anonymous 12 steps for Shopaholics

Like any other illness, shopaholics have to control their addiction throughout their life. You can do this through self-education, like by reading financial and addictive-behavior type blogs. Get a membership at a credit monitoring service that helps you maintain a high credit score, and that provides you alerts on how to improve your credit. If you’re already deep in debt from shopping, programs are available to help you get financial freedom. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Contact Golden Financial Services Today.

Additional Resources: 

You can have weekly meetings with a counselor or participate in the Debtors Anonymous at

Find a local A.A. Meeting

Subscribe to Golden Financial’s debt blog at






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