Confessions of a Shopaholic

Confessions of a Shopaholic

By: Jodi Cross

During the month of April I started a shopping fast. My self-imposed abstinence meant no shoes, handbags, clothes or accessories would be purchased for one month.  The goal was to see if I could stop shopping and to see what it would feel like if I did. During that time I learned a great deal. There were several benefits; I had much more free time to read or organize things around the house and I saved money. I also became aware of the things that triggered my buying habits.

Fasting from shopping allowed me to see the real picture. Commercials about TJ Maxx and Macy’s one day sale made me anxious. Flyers from Stein Mart with coupons or the Nordstrom’s insider deals would compel me to stop by and see what I might be missing. The ladies from Fox’s would call on my phone and leave a message telling me they missed me and inviting me to see what the new summer shipment of designer clothes looked like. My inbox overflowed with deals from Blue Fly and Gilt Group. I felt like everyone was after me. There was no doubt I had done my part to stimulate the economy.

What was I doing to myself and why was I so addicted to shopping? My closet overflowed with possessions, things are up high and down low, shoes are doubled up in compartments and purses are in bins. On occasion, clothes resurface that I forgot I even had and they still have the tags on them. Shopping was a hobby for me, something that I would partake in nearly every weekend in one way or another. Clearly, something drastic needed to be done.

The deeper questions is how much stuff does a person need? Why do we continue to fill up our lives with things? My vice is shopping, many women use food or cosmetic surgery to feel good. Just like any addiction, it is difficult to break the pattern but once you step back you can see that there is more to life than filling yourself up with possessions or another piece of chocolate cake.  Trying to redirect your addiction to something more positive can help distract you long enough to change your pattern. In the end you have to ask yourself, what is the payoff? What am I really getting out of this? Until you unravel that mystery the addiction will be hard to give up. Right now, I am coming up to the end of one month and thinking I could possibly make two. Baby steps as they say…here’s to breaking a bad habit. 

Jodi Cross is a marketing consultant, speaker and freelance writer and may be reached at or