UNITED STATES—Do you know some people who shop too much? I guess the first question we have to ask is what is considered excessive shopping. I would argue visiting the mall or your favorite big box once a week is not excessive. On the flip side, if you’re at the mall or that place seven days a week you might have a problem. Why?

There is no absolute reason to be at that establishment each day during the week unless you work there or we’re nearing Christmas. Even in the case of Christmas, I don’t think most Americans can do more than 2-3 days at the mall before saying they’ve had enough. I think you’re an obsessive shopper when you’re buying things that you don’t necessarily need, but you’re telling yourself otherwise to try to make yourself feel better.

If that closet is so packed with clothing and items you have no room to store any more, than you have a problem. Remember, there are only seven days in a week, 30 to 31 days in a month and only 365 days in a year. Even if let’s say realistically you were to where a completely different pair of shoes, pants and shirt each day of the week, the likelihood of anyone actually doing that is not going to happen. For many, shopping is a way to relieve stress, but it is only problematic if you’re spending money that you don’t actually have.

Yes, if you are swiping that credit card or spending money that you don’t have there is a problem and you have to see it and acknowledge the issue before it places you in such debt that you are unable to get out of it. There is something that I’ve recently come to acknowledge about shopping: what if you’re always finding bargains and spending very little to nothing. Does that make you an excessive shopper?

Hmm, that is an interesting question. I would argue if you’re able to purchase items and not break the bank that is a plus in my book. If you have gift cards to your favorite retailers or free money (coupons sent to you from the retailer) it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize: utilize that money. I’m a firm believer to never allow free money to go to waste. You might be thinking “Oh, I don’t need anything.” Even if that is not the case, you might have kids, siblings, nieces, nephews, friends or others WHO might need a certain item. If that is the case, then you purchase those items.

You can always donate items to local shelters in need. There are so many people living on the streets, who are in need of basic clothing and if you have the opportunity to help those because of free money that you have why not take the opportunity to lend a helping hand. This is NOT just for holidays, but something you can do year round America. The one thing I would argue about shopping that is a must is NOT to spend, just to spend. It is what we call buyer’s remorse.

You purchase something just to purchase it, but in actuality you know you never needed it, but you purchased the item anyway. There are people out there who are excessive shoppers, you know who you are, but in most cases, a vast majority of us don’t even come close to the notion of being considered an excessive shopper.

Written By Zoe Mitchell