Tis the season…to spend money! We all have things that we do for entertainment or to make ourselves feel better. For some its food, for some drugs or alcohol, for some its sex, and for many it is shopping. Yes, shopping…especially this time of year. Shopping can be fun – even exciting. People often justify it by saying, “I love shoes; I love cars; I love clothes; I just love nice things.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with that; but, there is something very wrong with spending money that you do not have.
We have become a society that measures love by how much we spend on someone, or by how much someone spends on us. Children know the holidays as a time when they will get more than they currently have. If we do not receive gifts we somehow feel slighted or unloved. So, we shop, to make others feel a certain way, and we expect to make ourselves good. Except those feelings are only temporary. The thrill of something shiny and new is wonderful for a short moment, and then reality kicks in when the bill arrives and we are struggling to pay. It’s like a drug high – you get a rush initially, but then you have to do it over and over to try and get that same rush (which you never really attain). In the meantime you are going downhill fast.
While unnecessary shopping isn’t directly hazardous to your health, it is harmful to your finances, which can lead to health issues such as depression and stress.
Are you one of those people who leave the house for eggs and milk, and come home with eggs, milk, a coffeepot, candy, a scarf, and magazines?
Here are some tips for controlling your urge to shop and saving your finances:
There is nothing wrong with shopping when it is done responsibly. It can be fun and rewarding, especially if you are not doing damage to your financial state. Remember, retailers do research on their market – you! They know how and why the average person makes purchasing decisions; they know about baby boomers and millennials; they have done their homework! Have you done yours?