Jean Chatzky
Robyn, a 41-year-old self-proclaimed compulsive shopper, has over 500 pairs of shoes, four spare rooms and closets overflowing with clothes—even a walk-in closet for her handbags. When Robyn was 17, she says her mother passed away from breast cancer, and that's when her problems began. "Honestly, I was always afraid I was going to die by 40 of breast cancer so I shopped 'til I dropped and I spent everything that I had," Robyn says. "I didn't plan on living after 40, honestly, and it surely did not help my financial plan."

With over $200,000 in credit card debt, $415,000 owed on her home's mortgage and no steady income, Robyn says her out-of-control spending has put her on the brink of financial ruin. But with the recent birth of her first child, Robyn says she's finally ready to overcome her addiction, and reaches out for Jean's help.

To help Robyn begin to tackle her compulsive shopping problem, Jean lays out a three step plan:

Step 1: Walk 10,000 steps every day. In order to stop Robyn from going into stores in the first place, Jean gives Robyn a pedometer and tells her to go for a long, brisk walk each time she gets the urge to shop. Walking will help Robyn clear her head and quell the urge to shop, Jean says.

Step 2: Order groceries online and have them delivered. Jean says Robyn should spend no more than $100 per week for groceries, and buying them online will prevent Robyn from going overboard in the store.

Step 3: Start to get rid of stuff by selling it online. With the help of a professional eBay seller, Jean says Robyn can quickly and efficiently sell the bulk of her extra shoes, clothes and handbags online. Although the professional online auction sellers takes a cut of the profits, Robyn will still come out on top and make some money that she can put toward paying off her debt.
The information provided here is general advice and you should always consult your own financial adviser before making major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio. The opinions expressed by the hosts, guests and callers to Oprah Radio are strictly their own.


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