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7 Top Tips to Curb Compulsive Spending

Written by Catherine Hales and Dr Bhavna Jaiswal

If you’ve been reading the entertainment news, you may have seen what Johnny Depp has been up to lately. No, not releasing the 704th installation of Pirates of the Caribbean – the other thing. The huge, unchecked spending resulting in millions of dollars worth of debt thing.

Depp is now locked in a legal battle with his ex-financial managers. They allege that the Edward Scissorhands actor knew he was spiralling into the red but kept spending anyway. Depp himself denies this, claiming he was kept in the dark about what was going on. His more lavish expenditures are supposed to include spending $3million on shooting Hunter S Thompson’s ashes into space and $30,000 a month on wine.


compulsive spending


Although most of us aren’t likely to end up paying $18m for a 150ft yacht, anyone can get into debt. Like anything else, spending or shopping can become an addiction; it can get out of control fast and become dangerous. If you find yourself in a situation where your spending becomes compulsive and you can’t help yourself, that’s the time to seek help.

If you’re not sure whether your shopping habit can be classified as compulsive spending, you’ve come to the right place. Doctify psychologist, Dr Bhavna Jaiswal, has some tips for identifying and controlling unhealthy spending.

What is compulsive spending?

“Compulsive spending is an addictive behaviour and people use it or become involved in it unconsciously,” says Dr Jaiswal. “As with other addictions it is possible to control this behaviour. To do this requires focus and support from others and if not controlled can become a downward spiral of decline. There are many causes of compulsive behaviours such as guilt, depression, anxiety and other emotional problems.”

7 simple tips for controlling compulsive spending

  1. Do all your shopping in cash
  2. Before shopping make a list and stick to it
  3. Don’t window shop, or if you do don’t carry your card or cash at the time
  4. Do not watch TV shopping channels, where you can easily buy products
  5. Always go shopping with a friend who can stop you spending needlessly
  6. Identify the root cause of your behaviour and its trigger point. A trigger point could be fear, guilt, shame, doubt, anger, anxiety or depression
  7. Engage yourself in alternative activities such as sports, book club and volunteering



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If you have been affected by anything mentioned in the above article, or know someone who is, and want to know more, you can contact Dr Jaiswal by clicking the button below.


Book an appointment with Dr Bhavna Jaiswal