I know spending can be an addiction. I have experienced it myself. I didn't realize it until recently that when I went into a store I always feel like I have to come out with something. There are a few reason why I would go into a store:
a) someone needs something
b) someone wants something
c) I am stressed about something
d) I had nothing else to do and/or want to procrastinate on something I don't want to do so I tagged along with someone else.
While both a and b are very valid reasons to go to the store, they still present a horrible excuse to over and/or unnecessarily spend money. Why? Because I always feel like I need to buy something. Even if the store did not have was I was looking for to satisfy reason a or b. I always feel like "since I am here, I should get something" or "wow, this is on sale, I should get it", or "this would be good to have" regardless if I or someone else need it or not. Sometimes I return the stuff I bought, some times not. The return trip will always bring on more buying. I also spend a ton of time just browsing, because I wanted to buy something.
This is spending addiction. At least to me it is. Since I had made up my mind to reduce my spending, I started thinking about when, what, how and whys of my shopping habits. That's when I started questioning this feeling of the urge to linger in the store when it didn't have the things I was looking for. It was a strange revelation that I was lingering in the store so I can find something to buy. WTF? I think it's not just stores, but online shopping too, which can secretly creep up on you since you do have to out anywhere.
Realizing this, I decide that I need to break the habit. I don't mean taking a vow to not buy anything or cut up my cards. I mean tracking my spending on a spread sheet, then analysis compare it every month. Then make a game of trying to beat the last month by reducing a small amount $10-$20. Also, I budgeted in some free spending money that rolls over every month to satisfy some splurge urges. Next time, I'll post about my progess.