The answer c9814708_san be, I believe, both.

For me, and many people like me, shopping certainly had many of the elements of addiction.

I would obsess about buying something. I would seek out opportunities to go shopping although I knew it was damaging my relationships and credit rating. I’d often have trouble stopping and would feel restless and irritable or even depressed, when I stopped or hadn’t been shopping in a while. I denied I had any problems with money and was never open about my purchases regarding price or quantity. I would also be out of control sometimes e.g. buying 2 pairs of shoes when I only needed one or none at all!! One of my clients told me of going into a shop to buy a white t-shirt and coming out a short time later with many t-shirts of assorted colors!

These are all common characteristics of addictive behaviors as described here http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/hints/addictiveb.html .

So, I now readily admit, I had a spending or shopping addiction for many years.

For me shopping was not the cure. It was merely a temporary patch or plaster over some wounds, namely my low self esteem.

Buying stuff made me feel better about myself and more worthy of others’ love and attention, in the moment.

It was temporary at best.

Many people who use shopping, or spending money, as a salve for their wounds report having feelings of remorse and even self loathing afterwards. They regret that they have again succumbed to the seduction of shopping. Their self esteem is hit again as, once more, they have broken the promise they made to themselves to stop using their credit card.

Just as alcoholics wake up the next day and regret last night and vow to, this time, never drink again, so does the shopaholic regret the shopping and vow to never do it again. They promise that they will pay off their credit cards and never use them again.

I would, secretly, make statements like that all the time and then further knock my self esteem by not keeping my promise to myself. I couldn’t be relied on, even by me.

Now what about the other part of the equation…that retail therapy is a cure?

For many people an afternoon of shopping is a very enjoyable way to spend time, either with friends, or alone. The buzz and visual stimulus of the shops and malls make them feel uplifted and brighter. It elevates their mood.

One of the questions I ask people when they start working with me is about their attitudes to shopping. If they describe shopping as a hobby it does raise a red flag for me.

Does it mean they are addicted? Not always.

However, it is worth remembering that shops and shopping malls are in business to sell stuff and make a profit. If you are spending lots of time there, the chances are you are going to spend more money than you intend and often, than you can afford.

So if, for you, the occasional outing to the shops lifts your mood and makes you happy then by all means go for it, at least occasionally. We are meant to be happy.

If, on the other hand you find yourself spending more time or money than you intended when you go shopping maybe it is time to evaluate these trips and find other less expensive hobbies or ways of making you feel better or relieve the boredom.

If you found yourself being a bit alarmed or all too agreeable, when you read the first part of this article contact me and set up a clarity/strategy call with me and we can talk about. You can schedule it here :-http://www.financialclarity.co.nz/schedule-session.html

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4532597_sOver the past week I have participated in a business challenge.

It was challenging, I’ll admit. For one thing it had me video myself dancing. Unless I’ve had several drinks I am very late to any dance floor!!

But better than that;( although to be fair bettering me having to dance wasn’t that hard!) it gave me huge insights and aha moments. One of them was about my own underearning.

I am sharing it here:-

I’m Jill Porter, the money coach who helps women, in particular, sort out their money shit and I am over being only partly, and erratically, visible.

I’ve had this business for more than 6 years now but really only stepped into it, if still only gradually, this year!  I am now ploughing forward.

Before, I would get the business to a certain level and then something would stop me, and the business progress. Genuine stuff like my Mum dying and having major surgery; but I let them derail me. Over and over.

It was more comfortable to be a victim of my circumstances than to stand up and own my past, and claim my future.

I felt even more uncomfortable than I do dancing and that’s saying something! (Unless of course, the party has been going for a while and I am well lubricated!!)

I was happy to claim that I was an overspender; there was something kind of cute about being a shopaholic or succumbing to some retail therapy!  I was much less keen to admit that now I was also an underearner.

I had sorted out some of my money shit but more had reared up.

It was shit scary!! Why?

What would people think?

Would people still like me?

Would it scare potential clients off?

How could everyone else do it but not me?

I can do lots of scary stuff. I had repeated major surgeries and faced them with courage and used my awesome resilience to recover and come back better than before.

I came out at 52 and told my 90+ year old mother…and that got the heart rate up I tell you…as well as my friends and family. Mostly it was incredibly positive and I was so glad that I had.

So now I been brave and admitted this, not only to myself, but also to you.

With the other brave stuff I could see myself as a bit of a hero. This is trickier. I feel vulnerable and maybe some of those fears may come to pass. I know I will cope with them, if they do. I know I am strong and resilient.

Why do I want to?

I want a successful business. I want a profitable business.

I want to prove the nay sayers wrong!

I am also passionate about children and really want to make a difference for children living in poverty. First in my city Auckland, but then to spread that help as far as it will go.

But way more than any of that I really want to help more people sort out their money shit.

I know how stressful it can be.

How much sleep you lose worrying about money.

How many arguments it causes with your partner.

How it robs you of the enjoyment you should be getting out of life.

How it robs you of your self esteem and causes you shame.

How it costs you some of the opportunities you are given.

So, I really want to support women as they traverse this tricky path and help them find some shorter routes and, if possible, avoid the really hard yards.

To help them reduce their stress, recover their restful sleep and help to make them happy and joyful again.

If any of this resonates with you click this link and book a free strategy/clarity session with me by clicking the link below and we can have a chat.

http://www.financialclarity.co.nz/schedule-session.html