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Everyone has those moments in the store — those shopping trips when, no matter how hard you try, you still end up leaving with two (or four) pairs of shoes you really don't need.
But how do you know if you have a more serious problem? And if you are a compulsive shopper, what can you do to break the emotionally-taxing, bank account-draining cycle?
Psychologist Dr. April Benson told TODAY that the key is to create a pause between the impulse to buy and the action.
She suggested compulsive shoppers ask themselves six essential questions before making any purchase.
- Why am I here?
- How do I feel?
- Do I need this?
- What if I wait?
- How will I pay for it?
- Where will I put it?
It's also important to take note of when the urge to swipe the credit card is strongest.
"(Some people) may be more vulnerable at times of stress or loss," Benson explained.
Analyzing shopping patterns can help many people find a path away from compulsive spending.
And although this approach may work for some, others, Benson said, have to remain "vigilant for the rest of their lives."