Imagine experiencing a full body power surge, like being plugged into the national grid, and you're pulsing with energy whenever you want to spend money. Generally, a lot of money...

What I tend to do is walk about the shop, casing the joint and mentally selecting what I want. I have an overwhelming compulsion to buy everything I've picked out. I'm incapable of walking away empty-handed.

When I'm manic, my spending is frenzied

There's no other way to describe it. I order masses of books and DVDs from Amazon - more than I could ever hope to read or watch. I go shopping for clothes I'll never wear. Many still have their tags on when I inevitably take them to the charity shop.

Even when I'm not manic, I spend more than I should or can afford. In fact, after discussing it with friends, many of them also talked about the 'high' after purchasing something. I guess that's where the term 'retail therapy' comes from!

What I've learned to do

I've got rid of my credit card to discourage online binge buying and now I try, as much as I'm able, not to shop solo. When I'm with a friend, their influence can rein in my spending. Certain friends actively monitor my spending when I'm out and, far from annoying me, it makes me so relieved that I haven't spent excessively.

I'm not perfect and just yesterday I went on a spending spree in John Lewis' haberdashery department - on my own. I often buy items I'll never use and the money I must have wasted over the years is sobering.

In conclusion, there are little tricks you can try:

  • leave your debit card at home
  • only shop with other people
  • only taking cash and setting yourself a limit
  • get rid of your credit card (yes, I know it offers consumer protection but it doesn't stop you from spending too much)

There are more tips to manage your money here