My Shopping Addiction Airs October 15th

My Shopping Addiction, a new reality TV show, will air on October 15th on Oxygen!

Crazy About Money: How Emotions Confuse Our Money Choices And What To Do About It

Maggie Baker's book, Crazy About Money, offers a comprehensive look at our complex and variable relationship with money throughout the course of our lives.

Eat, Shop, and Be Merry?

I attended a national conference on eating disorder, where one of the keynote speakers asked the audience what we thought were the two major activities traditionally pursued by women to deal with life's ups and downs. She then answered her own question: "Dieting and shopping."

The Web of Overconsumption Tangles Farther

Four recent reports from three continents-Europe, Africa, and Asia-point to the widening net of shopping addiction. Coupled with my recent post, "Compulsive Buying: A Passage to India?" there's more and more evidence that it poses a serious and worsening global problem.

Compulsive Buying: A Passage to India?

Recently, I discovered an article called "Attention Shopaholics" that was published in The Hindu, an Indian newspaper. To get a better idea about compulsive shopping in an Indian context, I contacted Dr. Sanjay Chugh, who was quoted extensively in the article.

Shopping Your own Closet

Last Wednesday, I had a delightful and very informative Skype call with Jill Chivers, an Australian woman who took her compulsive buying bull by the horns. She decided that for a full year she'd refrain from buying any new clothes and shop only in her own closet.

Response to Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture

As a reforming bookaholic and bargain shopper, I recently borrowed-borrowed, please note-a fascinating audiobook from the library, Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, by Ellen Ruppell Shell.

Compulsive Buying: An Impulse-Control Disorder

Although not all compulsive buyers are particularly interested with such distinctions, there's some uncertainty among the mental health profession about whether to see overshopping as a genuine disorder or merely a bad habit.

Have a Good-Not a Goods-Holiday: The good life comes from doing, not having

With the holiday season upon us (and retailers lathered up for it), I want to remind us all (as I remind myself): a good holiday doesn't have to be a goods holiday.

Takeaways From the Rebound and Recover Panel at the Texas Conference for Women

The panel, Rebound and Recover: Strategies for Emerging from the Recession and Taking Control of Your Finances, definitely delivered on the promise of giving the audience members practical skills and tools and I was delighted to be a part of it.

The Smartest Way to Save: Why You Can’t Hang on to Money and What to Do About It

Samuel K. Freshman and Heidi E. Clingen’s new book, The Smartest Way to Save: Why You Can’t Hang on to Money and What to Do About It, is so deceptively simple and reader-friendly that you almost don’t notice until you’ve finished how comprehensive it is.

A Web Filter for Online Overshoppers

As the holiday season rolls toward us, online overshoppers may find themselves hideously tempted. Internet merchants are leveraging their natural advantages in convenience, price, and selection, and, like bricks-and-mortar retailers, they’re starting holiday sales earlier than ever.

Kick Yourself If Need Be…Don’t Use Shopkick!

Yet another inviting technological marketing ploy has emerged this season—just in time for holiday shopping.

What's Wrong with Haul Videos?

Last April, I wrote: "I'm scratching my head about-and steeling myself for the potential fallout from-a new internet phenomenon, the "Haul Video," examples of which are popping up on YouTube like mushrooms after a rain." There are now over a quarter of a million of them!

The Curious Case of Parkinson’s Medications and Compulsive Behavior

A study in the recent Archives of Neurology documents the connection between certain Parkinson's disease medications and a significant increase in the likelihood of an impulse-control disorder.

Compulsive Returners

A sometimes unrecognized (or unacknowledged) form of overshopping is compulsive returning. Here, the overshopper regularly attempts to undo her habit by taking impulsive purchases back to the store for a refund. This, however, is an extension of the problem rather than a solution to it.


Lee Eisenberg's Shoptimism is a journey into the psychology of shopping from two sides of the cash register, the buy side and the sell side. It could easily be the upbeat textbook for Retail 101, exploring in its first half the buy side-why we consumers shop-and in its second half the sell side, how different retailers target different demographic groups.

Money Buys Unhappiness

In a new study, published in the current issue of Psychological Science, Jordi Quoidbach and three colleagues demonstrate that money-even the thought of it-undermines life's simple pleasures. Specifically, the authors found that wealthier people were less able than poorer ones to savor, to enhance and prolong positive emotional feelings such as joy, awe, excitement, contentment, pride, and gratitude, and that this "negative impact of wealth on individuals' ability to savor undermined the positive effects of money on their happiness." They also found that even the thought of money reduced the ability to savor. 

U-Haul? She-Haul, Me-Haul: The Newest Shopping Temptation

I'm scratching my head about-and steeling myself for the potential fallout from-a new internet phenomenon, the "Haul Video," examples of which are popping up on YouTube like mushrooms after a rain. For the past several months, teenage girls and young adult women have been creating video narratives of their latest shopping caches. The vlogger (video blogger) typically shows and tells all: what she's purchased, where, when, how much it cost, what she'll wear it with, and what she told herself to justify her purchase. Her video is in essence a five-to-ten-minute "soliloquy on my new stuff." The most popular hauls have been viewed by staggering numbers of people, even into the millions.

Beware: Creative Old Dogs Inventing New Dirty Tricks

On Monday, February 22nd, the Credit Card Act of 2009 takes effect, outlawing several of the most egregious practices of the credit card companies. Can you finally relax? C'mon-by now you know better than that!

Secrets for Cutting Down: What Others are Doing

Here are some stopping overshopping tips straight from the front lines of the struggle. They're from the Web's "frugalati," bloggers who share their secrets for cutting down. Kathy M. Kristoff, of Tribune Media Services, assembled these and more in a January 3rd piece.

Holidays Beckon: What's An Overshopper To Do?

Since retailers make much of their year's profit over the holidays, expect to be bombarded with highly stimulating ads these next months. Given the deeply sluggish economy, sales will be tantalizing. What's an overshopper to do? Keep it real.

Weighing In (Part IV)

We've now looked in some detail at the Daily and Weekly Weigh-Ins, a keeping of numbers that will tell you how much you've spent, what you've spent it on, and how much you could have saved had you bought only what's more necessary rather than less. In order for these numbers to begin revealing the particular figures in your shopping carpet, the patterns that characterize your spending, expect to keep this data for two-or better three-months.