How to Know if You’re Addicted to Spending

Spending can become an addiction, just like any other unhealthy habit that’s hard to break. There is even a word for it: oniomania. Some just say shopaholic. Either way, it’s defined by an abnormal impulse to buy things. But what’s abnormal? Everyone likes to shop now and then and occasionally purchase things that aren’t absolutely necessary for their survival.

If you’re unsure whether you have a problem, here are some telltale signs to look for:

Spending is a Compulsion That is Difficult to Control

The root causes of overspending can be anything from childhood poverty to pressure from friends and family. What makes spending a compulsion is that it feels irresistible in the moment or is a subconscious behavior – one that even goes against your own wishes – and therefore is difficult to control.

The bottom line is, if spending money is causing financial problems and adding to money-related stress or other complications to your life, then you know it’s time to face the issue and start addressing it before things become even worse.

You Often Buy Things You Don’t Need

The most obvious sign you’re a spending addict is a house full of products you don’t really need or use. Especially if you bought them due to an uncontrollable urge to spend against your best interests, or even your own desires. Online shopping and curbside delivery make this habit easier than ever and harder to break.

Is your closet half full of items with the tags still hanging off? If so, it may be time to cut back and focus on developing some healthier spending habits.

Consumer Debt Is Holding You Down

This country makes it easy to overspend by making credit widely available, even for people who might not be helped by having access to it. First, a few statistics from Bankrate that shed light on the state of debt in the US:

  1. The average American holds a debt balance of over $96,000.
  2. 60% of people with credit card debt say they have been in debt for at least a year. One in five have been in debt for at least five years.
  3. 38% of households making between $50,000 and $74,999 a year have more credit card debt than emergency savings.

For younger people, day-to-day expenses are the primary reason for their credit card debt. In other words, having this type of debt doesn’t necessarily make you a spending addict. Maybe you’re just trying to survive or pay for school. If your debt is mostly due to buying things you don’t need, however, then you likely have a problem that needs to be addressed.

Over-Limit Fees and Other Financial Penalties Are Adding Up

When someone charges over their credit limit on a credit card, certain card issuers will decline the transaction. But others will let the transaction go through and then hit them later with an over-limit fee, sometimes starting at $25. This can hurt your credit score. The card issuer might even raise your interest, essentially punishing you by charging you even more money.

The good news is, you can’t overspend and get blown over by fees if you’re using a prepaid debit card from a Currency Exchange. If you spend over the amount on this type of card, most will simply decline the transaction.

Let Currency Exchange in Illinois and Beyond Help You Handle Your Expenses

As previously mentioned, credit cards are a necessity for some people, but they can also exacerbate a spending problem, particularly if it’s become a compulsion that is difficult to control. While there may not be one simple solution to that problem, prepaid debit cards are a convenient tool because they only allow you to spend the cash you’ve loaded onto them. Currency Exchanges throughout Illinois and other areas of the Midwest are a convenient way to obtain one, as well as help you manage your finances.

Here’s what you can do here:

Contact Community Currency Exchange (CCEA) to check out the many financial and auto services that support local neighborhoods. Best of all, we provide all our quick and convenient services under one roof. Stop by your nearest location to find out what else we can do for you!

A woman with multiple shopping bags.

With over 350 locations, many open nights, weekends, and holidays (and several stores with 24/7 availability), you can rest easy knowing your financial needs can be taken care of when you need them most. We’re in the heart of every community. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.