Shop ‘Til You Drop...Or Not
August 6, 2013

Shop ‘Til You Drop…Or Not recently conducted a survey on shopping. What it found in its results should make us all think twice before going shopping next time. According to the findings, people who own and use several credit cards are more likely to have a shopping problem. Many call this retail therapy, where they go and spend money to feel better about some aspect of their lives, but for some that leads to becoming a shopaholic.

A shopaholic is one who shops compulsively, spending money he or she does not have. As explains, “For a lot of people, retail therapy is an outlet. The smell and sight of new merchandise can offer a well-needed distraction, whisk away worries, and offer a bit of an ego boost when that new outfit fits just right. Unfortunately, those good feelings are often short-lived.” And what often comes after is a sadness and stress at having spent too much, so they shop again to get that high, happy feeling back. As Dr. Ilona Jerabek says, “It’s a vicious circle, emotionally and financially.”

The research found that those with three or more credit card were prone to higher instances of shopaholism. Specifically, the survey found the following:

  • Those who own more than three credit cards are less skilled at money management (score of 52 vs. 65 for those with one card, on a scale from 0 to 100).
  • They are more likely to use shopping as a means of coping with stress (score of 72 vs. 59 for those with one card).
  • They are less self-controlled and self-disciplined, and more impulsive (score of 50 vs. 62 for those with one card).
  • They are more likely to consider being fashion-forward a priority (score of 57 vs. 50 for those with one card).
  • They are more likely to get an adrenaline rush from shopping (score of 63 vs. 51 for those with one card).
  • They are at a higher risk of becoming addicted to shopping (score of 54 vs. 42 for those with one card).

These are some scary numbers and facts. Financial stability is a necessity, thus included some great advice to help people control their shopping habits.

  1. Get rid of the plastic—For many, credit cards are just too tempting. Because we can pay out our purchases, we tend to buy more than what we need or planned. That is why bringing only the cash you can and want to spend is a good way to curb over shopping.
  2. Resist the immediate impulse—Instead of buying on impulse, taking time to think about it is a better option. Most often, people realize they do not really want it or do not really need it.
  3. Treat yourself when you deserve it—In contrast to #2, sometimes you should treat yourself, but make sure you use it as incentive.
  4. Get a hobby—A hobby can easily distract from shopping and spending money.
  5. Find strength in numbers—If you know you have a problem, take someone with you who can help you to curb your shopping.
  6. Be wary of online shopping.

Shopping can be both good and necessary, but it can also debilitate one’s financial and emotional stability. It is not easy to be responsible financially, but with a little bit of help and focus, we can all learn to be better, healthier shoppers.

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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