Can’t find enough compulsive buying recovery resources? Open this treasure chest!

Have you ever run a Google search to see what compulsive buying self-help resources are out there, but come up with next to nothing? Shopping addiction is definitely a lesser-known, infrequently-discussed, and rarely-diagnosed disease, so finding information about and strategies to battle it can be a real struggle. Fortunately, Debbie Roes has gathered a great many resources, services, guides, and tips for anyone on, or just beginning, the road to recovery. Everything she discusses in this blog post will be invaluable to someone recovering from a shopping addiction. We’ve highlighted some of the most useful resources:

Advice and Information About Clothes Shopping and Wardrobe Management

So many compulsive buyers find that their Achilles heel is clothes or other fashion products, which is why these sections of what Debbie calls her “cheat sheet” are so useful. Even if clothes shopping is not your particular downfall, you can still use several of these strategies to suit your own overshopping tendences.. For example, tip number one in the “Specific Tips for Clothing and Related Items” section is “aim for quality over quantity,” which applies not only to clothes, but also to most other purchases. (If you want to read a bit more about how to develop an eye for excellence, read two of our recent blog posts, “Could reinvention solve your shopping addiction?” and “Time to change the way you approach personal style.”) Similarly, tips “Do a ‘closet audit’ before you shop,” “Determine your ideal frequency of wear,” “Consider having an item limit and/or using a ‘one in, one out’ strategy,” and many others will be pertinent to all compulsive buyers, not just those who overspend on clothing.

The “Other Useful Resources” Section

A bulleted list of tips and strategies to battle shopping addiction will always be useful, but enacting these new habits can be very difficult without someone or something to hold you accountable. At the end of this cheat sheet, Debbie lists several programs that may be just the reinforcement you need as you take on this new lifestyle, moving from mindless buying to mindful being. On our website, and in several broadcasts, we’ve introduced you to passionate and inspiring Jill Chivers, from My Year Without Clothes Shopping. Her own story is the subject of a short documentary, which can be found on her website.  Also included in this list of programs and resources is the very informative podcast “I Can’t Stop Spending,” as well as our very own Stopping Overshopping Text Messaging Program.

Explaining Why People Turn Into Compulsive Buyers

In order to completely recover from compulsive buying disorder, you need to get to the root of the problem and explore why you started spending in the first place and what is maintaining it in the present. At the very beginning of her material, Debbie lists the eleven overarching reasons from my book which explain why most people begin to buy compulsively. Once you’ve read through this list, one or more of these reasons will resonate with you. Knowledge is power and becoming conscious of how, when, where, and why your shopping problem began will enable you be on the lookout for these rationales coming up again and again.  And if you’ve begun to do the targeted work that programs such as the one in my book, To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop, you will find your way out of the problem.

These are just three of the sections in Debbie’s comprehensive resource list; reading all of it will provide you with more effective ammunition in your fight. You can read it in full here, and make sure you also check out her additional resources page for even more books and recovery programs. Whether you’re just beginning to tackle the addiction or you’ve been recovered for years, this complete list of services and tips will help keep you on track.

By Carrie Rattle

Carrie Rattle is a Principal at, a website for women focused on mind and money behaviors. She has worked in the financial services industry for 20+ years and hopes to inspire women to better prepare themselves for financial independence. Read More