Addicted to Shopping?

November 29, 2006 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

By Karla Ruzycki-Davis

Do you shop for therapy or necessity? In a day and age with so much to do and see, and buy and become it isn’t surprising that we as North American’s purchase tens of thousands of dollars per year in stuff. We never actually realize how much we have consumed until it is time to move! Why is it that while others have so little we all continue to spend like money is going out of style? Some shop for groceries, which are a necessity. Some shop for Christmas gifts, birthday presents and others just shop to shop. That’s right, shopping as a form of entertainment to pass the time. Find out if you are a good shopper or if you are shopping for therapeutic reasons that you may have never even considered before. Shopping is fun, just don’t make it all that you do for fun.

Signs that You Might be Shopping for Therapy:

1.You shop after you get really disappointed, angry or need a breather.

There is nothing wrong with going for a nice little village window shop now and then. There is a problem when you use it as a way to escape a current situation or reality. Many women in particular shop after a boyfriend has dumped them or they didn’t get the promotion they were expecting. Some do it in the form of changing their image such as their appearance (clothes, hair, shoes, accessories) and others just simply buy whatever they see. These items in some way make them feel like they have replaced something that is missing in their life and heart. Like food to some people, shopping is their comfort.

2.Shopping for Entertainment.

It’s Saturday and you’re bored, you call up a friend and go shopping for the afternoon which gets followed up with a dinner and drinks. Does this sound familiar? You intended to just window shop and found that cute pair of heels on sale and a great belt and wondered the mall with a Starbucks in hand. Then somehow after the shopping is over you are hungry and there isn’t anything appealing at home. So, what’s a girl to do? Eat out of course, and why not have a special drink to conclude another successful day of good shopping-NOT! You need to find other forms of entertainment. This is not only costly, but not healthy. Why not get in a workout or take a cooking class, do some spring cleaning or spend some time volunteering or honing that new skill you promised to follow through with. Like other forms of entertainment it allows you to take your mind off any problems and realities that exist.

3.Searching for a Purpose.

Some people truly have never sat down and determined what they want out of life, what their goals are and how to achieve them. Furthermore many are working at a job that does not fulfill them or allow them to be ignited with passion. There is then a longing for purpose in life. Many women are stay-at-home moms and are happy to be but wonder if there is also another purpose for their life. So begins the next therapy session, shopping for purpose in life. Let’s face it, when we clip coupons and look for great deals in the weekly flyers we feel empowered. We often then get it in our mind that we are going to get some great deals and conquer the stores. We now have a purpose, looking for the items on sale and others alike for a deal. It gives us something to do with our time and makes us feel a sense of reward when we come home with our bargains. Now might be a good time to re-evaluate what you want out of life and find a less-costly means of accomplishing that.

***Just remember every time you shop your credit card increases, your bank account decreases and you get nothing but a false sense of purpose and happiness. When you pick up each item ask yourself if you really need it or if you simply want it? Next, ask yourself what this item solves and if you can live without it. Most of the items we purchase because they seem like a great deal we never really needed. Think about all the items you bought and have never really used. If you got dumped, shopping might make you feel better for an hour after making your purchases but after that you are still on your own. My goal is to help people in any way that I can. I have certainly been guilty of all the above points and want to see women in particular excel in life and drop all of the unnecessary things that can often rob us of our dreams and weigh us down.

Karla Davis is the President of Restoring Order. She is a Professional Organizer, Interior Decorator as well as Public Speaker. She specializes in organizing homes, office spaces and has over 10 years of experience and success within inside/outside Sales and Marketing. Karla is also the wife of Author, Paul Davis and is currently writing two books of her own. Karla’s life mission is to positively transform the homes and lives of everyone she meets.

Please contact Karla for your Professional Organizing, Interior Decorating, or Professional Speaking needs at:

Karla Davis
Restoring Order
P.O. Box 684
Goldenrod, FL 32733
W: (407) 284-1705

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Kick your shopping addiction and get a life

March 16, 2006 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

By Jean Chatzky
“Today” financial editor
Updated: 8:41 a.m. ET March 13, 2006

Think you can’t kick your shopping addiction? You haven’t met Mary Carlomagno, who says that until just a few years ago, shopping was her single biggest vice. Today? It isn’t even on the list.

Carlomagno was 35 and stuck in a major rut. She had lived in the same apartment for 10 years — and hated it since the day she moved in — worked at the same job for eight years and in the same industry for 14 years. She wanted to shake things up, but didn’t know how. And though the thought of moving to the woods to find herself had crossed her mind, she was too scared to do anything that major.

Instead, she settled on subtle changes. For a year, she decided to give up something different each month: alcohol, shopping, newspapers, cell phones, dining out, television, taxis, coffee, chocolate and — for good measure — cursing, elevators and multi-tasking.

She soon realized that as a result of all these small changes she was able to live better on less money, and saved thousands of dollars in the process.

“I cut my spending so much that my financial adviser called to ask what I was doing differently,” says Carlomagno, who describes her year in her new (and charming) book “Give It Up: My Year of Learning to Live Better With Less.” Carlomagno’s response: “I quit buying shoes.”

At the end of each month of abstinence, Carlomagno went back to most of her old habits. Today, she takes taxis, eats chocolate and drinks caffeine (though not as voraciously as she did before.) The one category that did permanently change was shopping.

After many garage sales and donations, she pared down from three double closets and an armoire to one single closet. Shopping no longer consumes all her free time. Friendships do not revolve around it. She even started a company, Order, to help others simplify their lives, manage clutter control, and get over shopping addictions.

If you’re suffering with the same, you may be able to benefit from her advice.

Treat your closet like a store. If you truly love clothing and shopping, you should do the things retailers do, such as:

* Take inventory. That means, first off, knowing what you already own. Take mental notes, paying particular attention to what you have put on your body over the past few weeks. Those are the bones of your working wardrobe. Use the rest of what you have to accessorize.

* Display items with care. Retailers display their favorite products — you should, too. If you love hats, put them on a rack where you can see them. Keep in mind that stores do not give good real estate to unimpressive items. If you come across items that aren’t nice enough to display, chances are they’re not nice enough to be worn. Get rid of them. The upshot of this process: You’ll know what you have in your current wardrobe and can begin to think of filling in any holes you find.

* Hit the stores with a list of exactly what you need.
Adhere to the two-week rule. In her closet, Carlomagno dug up over $1,000 worth of clothes with their tags still hanging. So she created what she calls the two-week rule. “If you purchased an item and haven’t worn it in two weeks, return it,” she says. Two weeks is a long enough period to know that you either don’t a) really love it or b) need it.

* Do not be sucked in by “good deals.” Everyone buckles every so often on a sale item. The problem is, sales aren’t as few and far between as they used to be. “Now you can get everything cheap,” Carlomagno says.

Note, however, that there is a difference between falling for a markdown on an item that you buy on impulse and earmarking an item at retail, then waiting for it to go on sale. The latter represents smart shopping behavior. Cultivate a relationship with a salesperson at your favorite store and make her your ally in this process.
Seek support. If you’re actively trying to curb your shopping, get your family and friends on your team. This can be tricky because, Carlomagno notes, you may have particular people in your circle who instigate shopping sprees. In their minds it may be a harmless pastime. But if you are racking up a lot of debt or spending every penny of your disposable income on clothes, it’s harmful to you. You’ll need to explain this — and to offer other, cheaper, ways to pass the hours.

“There are a lot of things you can do to appreciate fashion and clothing without shopping,” says Carlomagno. Visit a fashion or photography museum. Or simply grab a cup of coffee and perform your own impromptu Fashion Police. You just may find you can have an even better conversation over a cappuccino than over the Bloomingdale’s rack.

Jean Chatzky is an editor-at-large at Money magazine and serves as AOL’s official Money Coach. She is the personal finance editor for NBC’s “Today Show” and is also a columnist for Life magazine. She is the author of four books, including “Pay It Down! From Debt to Wealth on $10 a Day” (Portfolio, 2004). To find out more, visit her Web site,


© 2006

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.