Help for Spending Issues
Everyone knows someone who spends a bit too much money. In fact, there is likely a time when you have overextended yourself a little bit because of a good sale or poor planning, and found yourself scrambling to make ends meet. You may be having a difficult time following your budget and spending below your income, and you may feel like you have nothing to show for all of your hard work. These are not uncommon problems, and so it can be difficult to tell when you have a serious spending problem or addiction and you need to seek outside help.
First if you are having a difficult time following your budget or staying within your income, then you look at your spending habits. You have one of two problems you either do not make enough money to cover your basic expenses or you are not exercising enough self-control when it comes to your discretionary spending and you need to cut back on that. If you have an income problem you will need to look for ways to increase your income.
If you have a spending problem, you may want to take a class on basic budgeting such as Financial Peace University or another class offered through your community or a local church. This is a good option because it gives you a second set of impartial eyes that can look at your budget and help you find ways to cut back on your spending.
Some signs that you are addicted to shopping include needing to shop every day or two on things you do not necessarily want. If you shop when you are depressed and justify purchases because it will help you feel better about yourself, you may have a problem with emotional shopping.
If you have friends and family tell you that you need to stop buying so much at birthdays, and at Christmas, you may have a problem with shopping. If you have a difficult time finding places for everything you buy, or you find that you are making monthly trips to drop off things at your local thrift shop you may have a spending problem.
The reason that you should worry about a spending addiction is that it often leads to massive amounts of consumer debt. The spending habit can hamper your future, and cripple you when you want to do other things like buy your own home, start a family or travel. It can affect your family and drive you to a point where you may be struggling to make minimum payments and force you into bankruptcy. If you are already behind on payments or struggling to make ends meet, but still can’t seem to stop shopping, you need to seek help for your problem.
Shopaholics Anonymous offers a good option for finding support in fighting your addiction. You may also want to seek professional counseling. Many employers offer a few free counseling sessions through their Employee Assistance Programs. You may also be able to visit a financial counselor through this program. The counseling sessions can help you get on the right track as long as you follow up with a support group in the future.
Acknowledging that you have the problem and seeking professional help is just the first step. You will need to make a real effort to change and set up a system so that you do not slip into bad habits again. Then you will be able to deal with your debt issues.You will need to find a new way to deal with your emotions and new activities that do not involve going to the store or shopping online.
Making the changes will help you recover financially and prevent you from ending up in the situation again. This can stop you from continuing to sabotage your finances and make changes in all areas.
If you are in a relationship with someone who is addicted to shopping and continuously overspends, you will need to show the same support as you would to someone that is a recovering from another addiction. At the same time you will need to hold firm to any ultimatums or guidelines that you set up in your relationship. You may need to take over some of the shopping as well. You should likely attend counseling together to work through any rifts this has caused in your relationship.