• Mya K

Retail Therapy

Does shopping make you feel better?


Do you feel like shopping is a have to instead of a want to?


Do you often have buyer’s remorse and then return your purchases?


Do you have credit card debt you can’t pay down?


If you answered “YES” to any of the above questions you may be using shopping as retail therapy. Retail therapy is term that is used in a humorous manner, but I think it is a very real thing that people use to feel better.


I’ve done it before. I can think of times that a stressful day triggered me to want to purchase a certain food to eat or a certain drink. I’ve even had weekends where I was feelings sad or not good about myself and have gone shopping to purchase a new outfit, accessory, purse, candle… It could have been an item I was thinking about purchasing anyway and just hadn’t because it wasn’t a need. Or it could be something that was on sale, I liked the price, felt it was a good deal, so I bought it. Depending on the magnitude of this behavior, it could lead to compulsive buying disorder which, according to the Cleveland Clinic, affects 7% of Americans.


Shopping can feel good. It can ease your feelings of sadness, boost your mood because you purchased something new, and the bright colors used in stores distract you from your thoughts and worries! Is that why I always love going to Target?


Shopping can become compulsive however when it’s done to deal with stress or loss so it’s important to do a self check in of your mood before you make a purchase. This can save your hundreds if not thousands of dollars over time depending on how frequent you buy things you don’t really need or want. If you are or have been haunted with credit card debt, using retail as therapy could be a culprit.


In surveys it sounds like the typical purchases made are those that offer a sense of comfort. This can be things like I already mentioned; food and drinks or clothing. An interesting takeaway I learned was that people who purchase clothing when they are sad, 9 times out of 10 those items have never been worn. That makes me want to go through my closet and check for items that still have price tags on them! I’m sure I’ve done this before.


Now I don't have anything to support this yet, but I can bet depending on your interests, retail therapy can also show up in the purchase of vehicles, firearms, motorcycles, furniture, luggage, I mean it could really be anything. The key is what were you feelings when you made the purchase?


I’m very health conscious so I've mood checked before I scarf down a pizza or brownie fudge sundae. That doesn’t mean I still don’t eat it…but at least I’m aware of why I want to and can make a choice to do still or not. It sounds like I should do that same before making an impulse purchase. With the investment vs spending approach combined with the check in I think it will help me to defiantly cut down on overspending.


Have you used retail therapy to feel better? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

#Retailtherapy #buyersremorse #creditcarddebt #credit #debt #moneymanagment #spendingmoney #savemoney #shopaholic #compulsivebuyersdisorder

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

New month! It’s time to make sure your spending plan is ready to go for the month. I know for some this will be a different kind of budget. I recently spoke to a friend who was let go from her job. I