Emotional spending is a problem that affects many Americans, but the real issue is that many people who suffer from this problem don't realize it. As a result, they fall deeper and deeper into debt as a result of their spending. If you think you or somebody you know has a spending problem, there are a few tell-tale warning signs to look out for before seeking assistance from a financial guidance center or debt counselor.

You Hide Your Spending from Others

Do you feel the need to hide your spending from others around you? Perhaps you're married and don't like to let your spouse see credit card statements or receipts from your purchases because you know he or she will get upset with your spending. Or maybe you try to hide your purchases from your roommate, whom you owe back rent money to. Either way, if you feel any need to hide your spending, this should be considered a sign of a spending problem.

You Get the Urge to Shop When Stressed

Think back to the last time you went on a shopping spree. What triggered it? Had you just received a nice bonus check from work and decided you wanted to treat yourself, or were the feelings associated with your last shopping trip more on the negative side? Shopping when you're feeling stressed out, sad, upset, or angry are all signs of a spending problem. In fact, this could be a red flag that what you're suffering from is an addiction to spending.

You've Lost Track of What You've Bought

Do you have boxes upon boxes of shoes you've never even worn? Closets full of clothes you don't even remember buying? If you've begun to lose track of your own purchases, this should be considered a red flag of a spending problem. Once you've reached this point, you no longer put much thought into the practical use or need for what you're buying; you're spending money just to spend money, and that's a problem.

Your Credit Cards Are Maxed Out

Finally, if you're having trouble meeting your financial obligations and your credit cards are maxed out as a result of your spending, it's time to take a step back and analyze your finances. You may want to consider working with a debt counselor or a financial advisor like Financial Guidance Center to help you pay down your debts and get back on track before things get too out of control.