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Maxed Out: Binge Shopper Fills Void by Using Credit Cards

This episode of Maxed Out is about Alicia, a 30-year old woman who works in advertising and has trapped herself in a pattern of binge spending. A couple years ago she was $20,000 in debt and got a consolidation loan she got to help her pay it off. After paying down about $10,000, she started using credit cards again and increased her debt load to $20,000 once again. Alicia maxed out three credit cards in just two months, and Allison Griffiths develops a plan to help Alicia regain self-control. Find out what happens with Alicia's debt problem when you


Her two biggest problem areas are eating out and shopping, and she estimates that any given shopping trip could total between $150 and $500. Alicia says she's filling a void by shopping and admits that she doesn't feel like getting up on days she can't spend, but springs out of bed when she knows there's room on a card and goes straight to the mall.

Allison calculates that Alicia has a monthly shortfall of $720, and at the rate she's going it will take over five years to pay off her debt. Allison suggests that another consolidation loan is in order and will save Alicia $3,000 in interest and cut the amount of time it will take to pay off her total debt. Along with the loan, Allison puts Alicia on a shopping diet where she must put an item on hold for 24 hours and then go home to fill out a shopping questionnaire, tells her to track her spending, and asks her to think of another way to fill her void.

Alicia is able to break the cycle of spending, debt, and regret, and ends up with a monthly $420 surplus. She tries to fill her void by volunteering instead of shopping, spending her time with a program called Dress Your Best that helps low-income women put outfits together for job interviews.


Join The Conversation
thelorax thelorax 8 years
Wow...I do know a woman who spends money compulsively like this. She says that she "feels energy buzzing through her body" while she's shopping and feels almost euphoric after making a purchase. I think it's kinda cuckoo, the heart attack I'd have upon viewing my credit card bill (and tanking credit score, missed payments on other bills, etc.) would trump any fabulous purchase I could possibly make!
baybug baybug 8 years
I want to know when and where this show airs. It looks really interesting.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Since when are credit cards evil? They're just plastic! These people who have problems with overspending are just like people who have problems overindulging in anything... food, gambling, drugs. Telling someone with a problem like hers to spend less money is like telling an overweight person to eat less food. It doesn't work. There is a void she's trying to fill, there is a root problem here. Maybe volunteering will help but I think she probably needs serious therapy.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
It boggles my mind how much someone can just "live" off of credit cards without any thought to how its all going to be paid off! The most I have ever had on mine was 1200! And I paid that off within months. My husband is out of work right now, and we are on a strict budget, and you would be amazed how many groceries you can buy for 60 bucks a week, and its not Top Ramen and Rice. We plan on carrying it over after he gets a job.
gemsera gemsera 8 years
Enough "got"'s in there? Credit cards are evil!
SDTransplant SDTransplant 8 years
This show is on the Style network, the same network that airs "Clean House." I DVR it too and it airs at random times.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's HARD when you work in an industry like advertising and you see the latest and greatest products and you work to promote them for your clients. i'm happy to say that i'm not THAT much in debt like she is but i can understand it. sometimes i wish that i had a debt counselor that could help me figure out how to pay things down faster - but i don't want to have to pay someone to do that since it's just ANOTHER thing that i would have to find $$ for.
Frenched Frenched 8 years
When and what channel do they air this show? It seems interesting!
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
This is a great outcome - those women really benefit from time, the clothes and learning things from the volunteers.
geebers geebers 8 years
Thanks to you savvy I have DVR'd Maxed Out- I LOVE this show.
SugarKat SugarKat 8 years
Great success story...
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