“Shopping is my cardio,” Sex and The City’s Carrie Bradshaw once stated, and a thousand women watching nodded with recognition.
While the benefits to your fitness from traipsing around stores might be debatable, one thing isn’t: shopping makes your heart race. It’s the excitement of a new line of clothes; the frisson is energy when you find the last pair of this season’s must-have shoes; the delight when a courier delivers the fruits of your latest online spending spree. Some people might not “get it”, but for others, shopping is a therapy and a constant delight. Which is a problem.
Sorry, it all got a bit dark in here, didn’t it?
In essence, of course, shopping isn’t a problem. Just because you have a consumer habit doesn’t mean you are completely lacking in ethics or care for anything else that goes on in the world. It just means you like clothes, and shoes, and makeup and… well, anything. Materialistic is only a bad thing if you dismiss anything else as important; there’s nothing wrong with a little self-indulgence by itself.
The problem comes when, in your thirst for that same thrill, you find yourself getting into debt. It tends to happen with a gateway purchase. Some beloved item you have to have in your wardrobe – but you’re a week from payday and would have to use credit. So you do, because it’s a golden opportunity.
Then there’s another golden opportunity. Then another. Then you have a bad day at work and need to cheer yourself up, so you go and find a golden opportunity you didn’t even know you needed.
If you’re not careful, you soon find yourself in debt – all because of your love of shopping. The kind, loving pet you so adored has just turned around and bitten you.
So what do you do about it?
Put Yourself On A Shopping Detox
Banning yourself from shopping isn’t going to work, and not just because there are some things (like groceries) that you have to buy. The moment you ban yourself, you’ll just want it more.
Instead, go on a shopping detox. Restrict your purchases to a few per month and only ever paid for with cash.
Sell What You Don’t Need
And by “what you don’t need”, I mean things you really don’t need. Do not get yourself into a trap of this kind of thinking:
“I have two things I could sell. Those Christian Louboutins have only worn once and adore so much, or the laptop I need for work.
“Good You: “I have to sell the Louboutins. They’re going for a good price online, and I can live without them.
“Bad You: “No! They are one-of-a-kind (ish), and if I part with them, I will regret it. I’d be better off to sell my laptop. I can use my phone for most things.”
Be realistic: the shoes and clothes have to be the first things to go. Use the money you raise to pay down debts.
Get Rid of Store Cards
They have horrific interest rates and tempt you to diversify your spending, meaning you don’t notice the full amount you owe. Try and get everything onto a single card, so you can’t ever remain in blissful ignorance about the total figure. Good luck!