Who doesn’t like a little retail therapy after a bad day, or even a good one? But what happens when that therapy veers into being a shopaholic?


This is what we usually call someone who shops a lot. Who are we kidding? That’s what we call a person whose habits are out of control! We all know someone like this.

There’s clearly a spending problem at play, and sometimes it can be difficult to determine if there’s a true addiction or if the person just needs help controlling their spending.

There are typically signs that indicate whether someone is just an opportunistic shopper adhering to a budget or someone who is a bonafide impulse shopper.

The effects impulse purchases can have on your budget

Impulse shopping can produce life-changing consequences. The emotional highs and lows mirror a physical addiction because of the adrenaline rush that occurs when engaging in the shopping spree.

If not addressed, then there can be deleterious consequences such as financial problems that can lead to bankruptcy, broken relationships and even divorce. Even though most impulse shopping is benign, it can spiral out of control if you aren’t staying within your predefined budget limitations.

Tips on when to give in, when to abstain and how to adjust budgets accordingly

Give in when your budget allows, abstain when you’ll violate the rules you’ve set up for yourself and allow for some flexibility. There may be occasions where a splurge is necessary, so plan for this by reducing the amount you spend in this area during the next pay period. Envelope budgeting is a fabulous way to keep track of what you’re spending while giving yourself some flexibility.

An impulse buy might be tempting, but hold back on that new purchase if you didn’t plan properly. Your shopping emergency shouldn’t become your wallet’s priority.

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