How Can I Help A Compulsive Spender?

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3 Answers

lakeesha Hennessy Williams Profile
I'd suggest trying to get to the 'root' of the problem. I believe that compulsive spending is linked to some sort of underlying condition or disorder.

Anything from low self-esteem to OCD could make someone want to splash the cash like there's no tomorrow.

How to curb a compulsive spender 

I was surprised to find out that there actually exists a term for someone who can't keep their money in their purse/wallet. The term Oniomania is used to refer to:

  • Compulsive shopping/buying
  • Shopping addiction
  • Shopaholism
The truth is that science doesn't even fully understand what's going on in someone's head when they get the urge to spend, spend, spend.
Not understanding the condition fully makes it a lot harder to help someone suffering from it.

Helping a compulsive shopper


One suggestion I've read about is that people who are addicted to spending money and shopping usually suffer from loneliness and a need to feel special.

Buying things gives a shopaholic a buzz, and replaces the kind of attention and companionship that they could be getting from other people.

If you think this is the case, just being there and supporting your friend will help.

Another suggestion is that the condition is based on an addiction to the adrenaline rush that shopping offers. My advice in treating this would be to get a cheaper hobby!

Try and get your friend to join a sky-diving club or something, see if that gives them enough of a rush.

My friend is a compulsive buyer: How can I help?

Getting to the cause of the spending is the only way you'll be able to help your friend tackle their problem.

Remove all temptations from their sight (no more glossy magazines and QVC).

You may also want to convince them to speak to a therapist (although they don't come cheap either!).

It's widely accepted that disorders like OCD and bi-polarity often manifest in behavior like overspending.


Anish Chandy Profile
Anish Chandy answered
Compulsive spending is a disorder that has direct correlation with the proliferation of credit card companies.

People are turning to shopping as a form of therapy in order to counter maladies such as low self esteem and obesity.

Compulsive spending can be curbed by simply separating the credit card and the spender.
This is a task that is easier said than done.

Most compulsive spenders have multiple credit cards. One way to curb the spending is to 'shock and awe' the spender.

This will be possible by calculating the amount that he/she is paying in interest and penalties to the credit car company.

This is money that could be spent more constructively. The problem should be tackled at the root, if the spender is in relationship trouble then he/she should be helped on that front, if weight is the issue then fitness levels should be addressed.

This is possible if the spender has someone to call whenever he/she is about to go on a spending binge.

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