DON’T SHOP TILL YOU DROP
Some people, no matter what their level of income is, tend to view shopping as a hobby. They buy stuff on impulse such as they go into supermarket for detergent, milk, bread, and eggs, but come out with a windshield de-fogging cloth and a package of colorful magic markers. These people may end up as shopaholics. Shopaholics, or compulsive shoppers, are people who are addicted to uncontrolled overspending. They shop when they are feeling emotionally burdened or distressed, and use spending as coping mechanism. Compulsive buying may not sound as scary as drug abuse, excessive drinking or smoking, but if things get out of hand, it could easily destroy people’s lives. While this kind of disorder may for several reasons be destructive, nevertheless,with the help of a little self-constraint, it can be effeftively controlled and treated.
Some girls like me used to be a true compulsive shopper . I would still make purchases long after i was up to my ears in debt. I suffered from a very real and very frightening lack of self control. I had closets full of clothes, I had never worn, and countless electronic gadgets I had never used. With all my financial resources used up, I eventually had to sell some of my important stuff like my expensive phone . My story is an example of how compulsive buying May result in bankruptcy…hehehe,,,that’s very scary and of course so embarassing !!!!
Compulsive shopping can also have a disastrous impact on family life. Children may be the victims of their parent’s extravagant hobby. For instance my cousins, eva an executive secretary , usually takes her children with her when she goes shopping at the mall. Preoccupied with her purchases, she often forgets her kids are with her and leaves them unattended. Her behaviour enrages her husband, who berates her negligence, and often the couple get into a vicious fight, leaving the children scared and depressed.
Compulsive shopping may also be the trigger to criminal behaviour. Take for example, some of my friend. The fact that she often didn’t have enough money to satisfy her shopping urges did not discourage her from helping herself to the things she wanted,so she just stole them. She began shoplifting on a regular basis . one day she spotted an attractive blouse in a department store . with all of her credit cards over limit ,she decided to once again take possession of the item in an illegal manner . In the fitting room she pulled the blouse over her tanktop and wore her sweater. She was caught red handed by a security guard. When her empoyers found out she was a shoplifter.
Fortunately, there are ways to control overspending and to cure shopaholics. As a preventive measure, leave both credit cards and ATM cards at home when you go out shopping. Use only cash. Furthermore, when you spot something that you would like to buy, never allow yourself to purchase it on the spot. Instead, walkaway and give yourself some time to think it over. If you must, ask the store to hold the item for you. Most stores will hold goods for their customers for at least a day. If, after a lapse of several days, you still want the item, go back and make your thought out purchase. Another effective method is by making monthly list of all the things you pay for, such as groceries, gas for your car, the electricity bill, and even that candy bar or bottled tea from the side walk stall that you thought would help revive your sagging spirits. Then carefully go over the list and see where all your hand earned money is going. This habit could save you. By being more aware of what you are spending you will find it easier to control your cash flow. Finally, to help you manage your funds, draw up a budget and stick to it. Don’t allow yourself to buy anything that is not on the budget.
In conclusion, whether you are an impulsive buyer or compulsive shopper, it is never to late to change your habits as long as you determined. Doubtless, we liv in an acquisitive society where it is very easy to get carried away. But bear in mind that being an impulsive shopper is only one step away from becoming a compulsive buyer who shops only to escape from the harsh reality of life
WRITTEN BY : ELSHA INDAH CECILIA