Thursday, 17 June 2010
Is it just me, or is there an influx of books and films glorifying the concept of shopping addiction? A beautiful woman breaks up with her boyfriend/her dog dies/her friend steals her wedding date and she spirals out of control and consoles herself by shopping? In the end, prince charming comes along and saves the day.
But the reality is a lot harsher. Living beyond ones means is a lot more dangerous than one may hope. Credit cards come with a whole lot of spin - the promise to help you lead a better life and enable you to live your dreams, go on that vacation now, buy those Prada shoes now and all the while earn points for rewards (towards useless things you'll never use, like a rice cooker or foot spa). But chances are if you need expensive debt to achieve your dreams, they are not meant to be, or there is a better way to achieve them. If you cannot afford to pay for those shoes now, chances are you won't in 40 days when the bill arrives. Key is to budget! Put away some money for rent, for food and for shoes and buy things once you've saved up for them.
If you're battling existing debt, you will know how hard it is to actually pay it back. Living costs will continue and it will be increasing difficult to go old turkey on your old lifestyle. To not be able buy that new lip gloss on Saturday (as well as the coffee and pastry and scarf and sunglasses...)
It is a serious matter. One that can damage a relationship. Hiding new purchases from your boyfriend or mother? Not just a fun thing all girls do, it's deceipt and can be harmful to your relationship. Own up, you will feel a huge burden lift from your shoulders.... You will no longer be afraid of that envelope and the phone calls that follow should you be unable to keep up with repayments. Get your loved ones involved to help you consolidate and get back on track.
Avis Cardella's memoir of her dark shopping years is on it's way to me. Interesting to see her take on the issue and how she overcame her shopping addiction. Review to follow.