Why Do People REALLY Shop?

Why Do People REALLY Shop?

Today is Tax Day, so tomorrow it'll all be over. Once taxes are done, you've got a clean slate and a fresh start. In preparation for the deep breath you're going to take tomorrow, begin to examine the way you approach money in the first place.

In a year, the average person spends 281.05 hours shopping. (That's almost 12 full days of shopping per year!) Remind us again why baseball is the national pastime?

For most people, shopping is a normal—if time-consuming!—part of daily life. But, we saw Confessions of a Shopaholic (whether or not we'd admit it), so we know that the issue isn't just credit card debt. It's more about why someone shops than about how much she's spending.

What's Your REAL Reason For Shopping?

For many, the desire to shop is fueled by certain feelings like stress or insecurity. There have definitely been times when we've bought new stilettos and secretly hoped that they'd make us feel more, ahem, desirable. But we work hard to make sure that we're not leaning on shopping the way some people lean on chocolate—as a crutch when they're feeling down. After all, it's important to know the emotional triggers that make us want to shop...like running into an ex-beau.

How Do You Feel After You Buy Things?

If you feel guilty or ashamed afterward, you might understand subconsciously that your shopping is about more than simply replacing your favorite black cardigan. Another sign that shopping might be a real problem is when someone feels the need to hide purchases from others for fear of what they might say. Again, the question at the moment isn't how much debt you're in because of those Manolo Blahniks, but rather how they impact your view of yourself.

Shop Until You Can't Stop.

On the more serious end of the spectrum, many shopping addicts realize that they have a problem when they try to stop shopping but find themselves unable to do so. About 6% of all Americans have a shopping problem, which means that they're less productive in daily life because they find themselves thinking about or planning to buy things. The best thing for people who fall into that 6% to do is to seek social support. It always helps to know you're not alone.

Can someone pass the chocolate?

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