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April Lane Benson
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To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  30 reviews

 Are you a shopaholic?

Do you use shopping as a quick fix for the blues?
Do you often buy things that you don’t need or can’t afford?
Do your buying binges leave you feeling anxious or guilty?
Is your shopping behavior hurting your relationships?
Have you tried to stop but been unable to?

If so, you are not alone. Nearly 18 million Americans are problem shoppers, un

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Published June 22nd 2011 by Shambhala Publications, Inc. (first published December 30th 2008)
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3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  139 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Hm, mixed feelings on this one!

So for starters, I'd like to say that this book has a VERY specific target audience, that is:
- Older (35 upwards, I would say, maybe even older than that)
- In a longterm relationship
- In steady professional employment
- A parent
- Absolutely friggin' DROWNING in credit card debt

As I am a 24 year old who recently graduated from my post-graduate degree, with no dependents and (I am proud to say!) no credit card debt, this is not me. The only overlap is I'm in a long te
May 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, one of the only that I could find on the subject, does a really good job of looking at and helping the reader control overshopping through a cognitive behavioral therapy approach. I think this book is more relevant to everyone than other reviewers have suggested, especially in today's mass-consumption culture. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of triggers and outcomes that were very close to what I have felt on occasion.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am not a shopping addict, but i witness a lot of shopping addicts in my job and around my workplace (in the retail business) so I was interested to read more about the subject and the psychology behind it. Many of the behaviours mentioned in the book are exactly like so many of our customers.
I am also really into shopping mindfully so I did connect with a lot of the points in this book. This book was really a gem and it had some great tips. Many tips can also be applied to other addictive beha
Feb 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book to better understand people's issues with shopping and how they can deal with their problems. The book is only for people who have that type of problem - there are lots of exercises and ways to get your shopping issues under control. I think it could help people to even admit they have a problem. If you are looking for a sociological in-depth analysis of why people end up with these issues, this is not the book for you. I feel better equipped now to deal with someone I know who ...more
Kellie Korte
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although this book was, at times, a pain in the ass (lots of journaling and reflecting) I absolutely loved it and I'm not sure it would have been as effective if it did not prompt the reader to put lots of effort into it. There were many new concepts explored, new and different tools, and great new perspectives. I know recovering from compulsive shopping is a long journey, but I have seen MAJOR improvements in the time that I have been reading this book. I definitely recommend reading if you're ...more
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're already familiar with cognitive therapy, the second half will be a lot of refresher. Otherwise, before the last half I'd already implemented what was in here and more that I extrapolated from it. Now, I have a working savings plan and have implemented more responsible spending. I've also learned to plan, and wait, for things I want and focus more on memory-making things that really matter, ultimately.

This is more than a workbook for spending. It gets to the root of WHY you do it - chil
This book would make a good infographic. Allocating it any more space than that it’s laughable and would be a waste of bandwidth and/or paper.

While the book is not totally devoid of value, leaning on CBT practices and more know works ... it’s just so poorly written. If you’re unemployed 50k deep in CC are the heroes of some of the anecdotes... I doubt that breathing exercise will be the solution to your self worth issues.
Logan Hughes
I found this book through Debbie Roes' Recovering Shopaholic site, and it lived up to the hype. It's a really thoughtful, grounded self-help book dedicated to helping you identify the psychological and emotional roots of compulsive shopping behavior, complete with exercises and case studies. While I don't feel that I necessarily have a compulsive shopping problem, I do shop more than I need to, and the book gave me plenty to think about.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the book I thought it would be. I thought it would be more about how businesses manipulate us through our psychology to increase sales, and it’s that too, but it’s really written for clinical-level shopping problems or if shopping is negatively impacting your life in some way. But there were still some very thought-provoking discussions and exercises, and I bet this would be an excellent book for someone seriously struggling with overshopping.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love shopping, a little too much, then i definitely recommend this book. Reading this book and doing the exercise activities really helps educate us that shopping is not always the answer. April Benson wrote this book in such a way that is easy to relate too and helps you find out if you truly are a shopaholic.
Yumuşak Top
Oct 16, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book has journaling exercises in literally every other page. If you hate journaling like me, you won't get much out of this book.
This book helped me realize that I do not have a shopping addiction.
Jason Comely
This eye-opening guide uncovers the various types of overshopping and the emotional patterns that drive us to buy. Anyone could benefit from reading this.
Mikaela Sayyah
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very well written book and an interesting, fun read about overshopping, the reasons behind it, and the actions that one must take to resist and let go of this constant urge. I recommend it especially for compulsive shoppers, but also for anyone, like myself, who is intrigued by this topic. This book leads you to discover a richer and more fulfilling life, and that overshopping just gives a temporary satisfaction and does not solve your problems. This book will definitely not bore you a ...more
Kirsty ❤️
This book took me a while to read. It's a simple enough book and like some, not full of jargon and psycho-babble but it doesn't hook you in enough to be one you can't put down. I often put it to one side to go read something else.
I saw a review that said it was only for people with addictions to shopping and wouldn't suit anyone else. Well, first the book is aimed solely at over-shoppers so that makes sense to me that it would only be suitable for those people (me formerly included). However fo
Somehow I received the impression that this book was going to be more of a study on the societal pressure to shop, and not so much a self-help book... I feel that I can't give a proper review, as I am not the target audience for the book.

Because I am not an overshopper, it was hard to hold my interest in the book, although it seemed to be well-laid out and a basic, step-by-step guide to analyzing one's one tendencies to spend more money than one should.

I was interested in the stories of specific
"Sadly, I misread the description on this one - I thought it was more of a sociological study on why people (in general) overconsume. But it's actually a self-help book for people who overshop themselves. [return][return]As I do not fall into that category, I find it hard to say how helpful this book would be, but it certainly seemed like it did a good job examining multiple reasons why people would feel compelled to shop, explaining how to determine your own unconscious impulses, and showing ho ...more
Feb 13, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is really written for people who have a tendency to overshop, which I think we are all guilty of from time to time. The author focuses on the individual – recognizing one’s own triggers and how to deal with them.

If someone has a real issue with shopping, this is a great book because it’s a really easy-to-follow step by step guide for self-help.

However, I was hoping it would be more of a social/anthropological approach to overshopping as a modern cultural phenomenon, so I was a little d
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bit pop-like but interesting read with tips on giving up our shopaholic lifestyles in place of something much more meaningful! A workbook to help identify all our psychological foibles that lead to us opening up the purse strings...and stockpiling goods that we are lured to buy!

Guilty as charged!
Alyssa Nelson
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book that provides valuable steps for learning how to gain confidence and take control of your life and your debt. The program Dr. Benson provides is not an easy one, but if the reader puts in the work, they will definitely become more mindful of the underlying causes of their compulsive shopping as well as their shopping habits.
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won't say that I am cured from overshopping, but this book gave me alot of exercises that will help me to make better decisions. I definitely reccommend reading this book before the Christmas holidays. I can't wait to practice what I have learned.
Will Jeffries
All you need to do is either spend less than you make -- or make more money so that you can comfortably spend.

No need for a book like this. Just take the advice mentioned above and you will be A-okay.
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding book for those with or without an over shopping problem!!! Great info on how to cut through addictive behaviors. I will use all of this info and keep re-reading this book to keep the info current. I definitely will recommend this to anyone I know.
Alona Perlin
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book addressed some issues with overshopping. There were some helpful hints to cope with this problem, but Im not sure there were that many effective solutions to this dilemna. Still, it was an important book and had some helpful advice.
I do not suffer from a shopping addiction, which is the intended audience for this book, but I am interested in what makes us do certain things, including shopping, which this book covered in great depth on the psychological side.
J Crossley
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book looks at our "need" to constantly buy things, and how to overcome those compulsions.
Smart, surprisingly deep and ultimately very helpful.
Mar 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
found this very helpful. Fingers crossed I can finally kick the overshopping habit! >.<
Cyndy Sandor
rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2015
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Jan 14, 2012
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