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Is shopping a hobby or an addiction

Is Shopping a Hobby or an Addiction? Take our Shopaholic Quiz

Ask yourself if shopping is a hobby or an addiction. Could you stop yourself from buying the next great purchase? Take our shopping addiction test and see.

People develop shopping addictions because they essentially get addicted to how their brain feels while shopping. As they shop, their brain releases endorphins and dopamine, and over time, these feelings become addictive.

Shopaholic Quiz

  1. Do you shop when you feel angry, depressed, or disappointed? Does an argument or frustration spark an urge to shop?
  2. Do you hide credit card bills, shopping bags, or receipts? Do you try to conceal your shopping habits?
  3. While shopping, do you feel euphoric rushes or anxiety?
  4. After shopping, do you ever feel guilty or embarrassed about what you have done?
  5. Do you spend hours researching items to buy online?
  6. Do you buy things you will not wear? Do you buy clothes that do not fit in with the rest of your wardrobe?
  7. After shopping do you have feelings of remorse or guilt?
  8. Do you give away new stuff that you never used?
  9. Do you steal because you want it that bad?
  10. Do you think about shopping when you should be doing something else?
  11. Are you always shopping for the perfect item?
  12. Do you purchase items that are on sale when you do not need them?
  13. Do you often say to yourself “I know I should stop but it is my favorite thing to do”
  14. Are you bulimic shoppers who gets caught in a vicious cycle of buying and returning?
  15. When and if you have to say no to yourself or control yourself from buying something you really want, do you feel intensely deprived, angry, or upset?


shopping is an addiction

When taking the shopaholic test don't be upset with yourself. Know it is a time to do self help to become your best self.

It is important to note that going on a shopping spree once in a while does not mean you are a shopping addict.

Compulsive shopping is also known as compulsive buying disorder. Just like gambling or binge eating, it’s uncontrollable behavior. When it causes financial distress and ruins relationships, help needs to be on the way.

Like all addictions, you use the excuse that you are angry or depressed. When shopping is an addiction or a hobby you think it will make you feel better even though you know it is temporary.

However, there are several signs and symptoms shopping addicts display that you might need to look out for.

I am not a doctor so I can not help you score this test. If you answer always compared to once in a while you will know if you have this under control or not. 

The last question is a particularly potent indicator of a serious emotional problem.


Like all addictions, you use the excuse that you are angry or depressed. You think it will make you feel better even though you know it is temporary.



How to tell if shopping is a hobby and not an addiction

If shopping is your hobby, you buy stuff for the experience: to have fun, to relax, to be creative, right in that moment.
Things like whether you’ll actually wear that piece, how it fits in with the rest of your wardrobe, and even how much you like it, come secondary.
When thinking about shopping as a hobby or an addiction think about if overspending has created any problems in your life. I consider shopping to be a very addictive hobby. How can you simplify your life if you are continually bringing in new things?
Hobby shoppers are big at collecting and starting collections. They always need the next piece to finish the collection.
Test yourself and see if you could stop shopping for a month. See how it makes you feel not to shop for a month except for necessities. Ask yourself if shopping is a hobby or an addiction and be honest with your thoughts.
But if you are considering shopping as your only hobby, you are on the wrong path and you may miss a lot in your life.

Compulsive Shopping is a Buying Disorder

Yes, shopping is a hobby. The real question is what benefits do you get from it? Do you cheer yourself up or give yourself a reward by going shopping?

Compulsive shopping is also known as compulsive buying disorder. Just like gambling or binge eating, it’s uncontrollable behavior. When it causes financial distress, help needs to be on the way. It’s one thing to surrender to the occasional impulse buy.  But when your purchases shift from impulsive to compulsive, it’s the first sign that you might be grappling with a more serious condition: a shopping addiction.


If you watch the above little video and really can’t stop and are spending money you really don’t have, you might need professional help like all addictions.


How to stop a shopping addiction

Identify the shopping trigger.  What activates a person’s urge to shop-boredom, guilt, shame anger? Even though this is hard to do try to keep a journal of what leads to the shopping binges. 

Lastly, wait at least 24 hours to make the purchase. No matter what you do, if you don’t find an alternative and healthier way to fill this need, the shopping urge won’t fade.

So the first step in halting compulsive shopping is to identify the psychological need driving it. Does shopping provide pleasure, or does it help you avoid pain?

In other words, do you shop to feel something you don’t feel anywhere else throughout the day (a rush, excitement, variety, stimulation, being in control, feeling naughty), or do you shop to avoid feeling something negative, such as anxiety loneliness, or fear?

 For the non-shopaholic, it may look like “crazy” or irrational behavior. It’s not. The shopaholic is often entirely rational. They shop for a reason — it fulfills an emotional need, so they keep doing it.

Replace shopping with something healthier seems easier said than done but it is the real solution.

How to shop within your means.

Sometimes you just need to shop and can not afford it.

When shopping leads to overspending and financial problems I have the solution. This solution is only going to fix the financial part not the psychological part of your problem.


At first, you will think it is horrible but when you start finding some great things and spending hardly any money. You will change your mind. 

You will get all the shopping and hobby fun out of your system with no guilt.

It seemed like my favorite hobby was viewed as trashy and gross by some of my friends from upper-class, suburban families. I find myself very embarrassed to tell them where I got my beautiful outfit and have lied more than once. Yet I buy nicer clothes thrifting than I do shopping at Marshall’s.

My hobby is satisfied and I hardly spend any money. When I clean out my closet I never feel bad throwing clothes away because they were so cheap. Even when I have money to splurge, I will always choose the individuality of thrifting over anything in retail.

Thrifting is like a scavenger hunt. That adds to the fun and makes it a real hobby for me.

I definitely do not waste time going shopping all the time.  Instead, I love to travel to new places and explore things mainly because it gets my adrenaline up by getting me out of my comfort level. I love to go on adventures with friends, listen to music, or learn something new. Anything that excites you.  I am sure you could find other pleasures instead of shopping. You just need to discover them.

You might enjoy reading my blog on folding clothing The best way to fold clothes.