Some have mounting medical bills. Others have fallen victim to the economy, finding themselves out of work – and out of other options. Frequently these days, bad real estate debt is involved. For still others, the issues may involve compulsive spending. Shopping addiction plagues about two to five percent of Americans.
Contrary to what some would believe, poor spending habits are not at the root of the majority of bankruptcies. Still, when saving trumps consumerism, your household budget is very likely on the right track.
While spending addiction is sometimes discussed in light-hearted banter, it can rip apart families, deplete your bank accounts and destroy your credit. In some cases, filing for personal bankruptcy can be the first step towards helping you get a fresh start.
But as with any addiction, this one requires that you recognize it before you can do something about it.
Even once you have recognized and addressed it, you must realize that, like other addictions, you may always have to battle some form of temptation. Discipline and moderation will help you spend more responsibly and rebuild your credit in the wake of a Louisville bankruptcy.
Battling a shopping addiction is tough because, unlike alcohol or drugs, which you can avoid forever, at some point, you’ll have to enter a store to be self-sufficient.
One of the first things you’ll want to do is recruit those closest to you. Confide in them about how much you’ve been spending and what your financial situation is. Chances are, they’ll want to help you avoid future temptation by opting for outings that don’t involve malls or stores.
You’ll also need to be honest with yourself about the internal dialogue you’re having with yourself when you shop. You may want to consider talking to a therapist to address the underlying problems associated with your over-spending.
Next, think critically about what other activities you might enjoy doing that will help you avoid the mall. You may consider playing a sport or joining a club or something of that nature. At first, it may merely be a distraction. However, the goal is to help you transition to a healthier financial situation.
If you find yourself standing in front of a tempting “bargain,” walk outside for a few minutes. Maybe even wait a full day and sleep on it before you go ahead with the purchase. This will force you to think it through more carefully before you simply make an impulse buy for something you don’t need – and can’t afford.
Also, take a very close look at your daily expenditures. Maybe even keep a log. Things like a cab ride or lunches out – they don’t seem like much in the course of a day, but they quickly add up.
Finally, recognize what your weakness is. Just about everyone has one. For some people, it’s shoes. For others, it might be golf or designer duds. Whatever it is, know that in the long-run, being debt-free will be a greater reward than those new jeans any day.
If you need to speak to a Kentucky bankruptcy attorney or Louisville foreclosure defense firm, contact the Schwartz Bankruptcy Law Center at 866-270-4495 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights.
Are You Addicted to Shopping?, By Kimberly Palmer, U.S. News Money