It’s OK to be a shopaholic but it’s NOT OK to be in debt

Shopping is not just buying clothes and wearing them. It’s much more than that.

Shopping is a feeling; it’s a joy of seeing the best possible creation of style and knowing that it was made for you. This is where becoming a shopaholic comes in. It changes your life immensely and makes you a new person, but not necessarily a better person.

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Sometimes we have to ask ourselves “I am I even a shopaholic?” If you already know the answer, good for you. You’ve completed an important step in life. But if you don’t, here are four simple ways to see if you really are one.

1. Shopping is your Drug

There’s a certain sensation or feeling you get when you shop, you feel like you’re on top of the world and no one can stop you. It’s a Beyoncé-on-top-of-the-world level. When you finish doing the transaction, the sales associate hands you the bag, and you feel empowered. You start strutting out of the store like you’re Naomi Campbell waiting for all of your peasants to bow down and chant your name (this is all happening in slo-mo, by the way). This feeling is not just any feeling, it’s THE feeling.

2. Shopping is your “hobby”

When people ask you “What do you like to do?”, you answer “Well, I like to shop, dance, watch movies etc.”

Yes my dear, you just listed shopping as one of your hobbies. But don’t worry, shopping can be a hobby. I mean if you do it all the time and you enjoy yourself while doing it, it’s just the same as dancing or painting.

Hobbies = what you like to do, simple as that!

3. You don’t have legitimate reasons for buying things

You’re an impulsive buyer, so you buy what you see. If it attracts the eye, you already know it’s going home with you. It’s like going to an animal shelter and seeing a dog look at you with those puppy dog eyes, and you just have to take it home! But on the surface, you didn’t need a dog, just like you really did not need another sweater. My thing is black ankle boots. I once told my mother I was buying a pair for every day of the week. I now have nine pairs.

4. You can’t keep track of your purchases

Remember that one time you were invited to an event and you said: “I have nothing to wear!”?

Well, you’re a liar and you do have something to wear. You just don’t remember buying it! It’s in the back of your closet next to some outdated pair of jeans.

For some reason, after shopping, you feel so drained and tired that you just leave your shopping bags laying around, and don’t even open them until the next week. I once bought this really cute loose turtleneck shirt only to find out that when I got home, I had the same one.

And no I didn’t return it. You save money on laundry and two is always better than one.

Just kidding, return something if you buy it twice.

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There are more ways to tell you’re a shopaholic, but if you identify yourself with at least three of the above, then congratulations (or not) you’re a shopaholic!

There are so many perks to being a shopaholic. Your knowledge of fashion and style goes up. You always know the best stores to shop at. Your friends think you are the master of all things shopping (say that with a French accent, you’ll laugh!).

And of course, you have a lifetime supply of clothes, beauty products, accessories, you name it!

There is, however, a BUT. A big one. The downfall, sadness, and heart-wrenching loss to all of the perks is that you have the highest chance of being in debt. Or even worse, you’re probably already drowning in it. Maxing out credit cards, owing people, all kinds of debt. And no, this is NOT a good thing. It is a BAD thing.

Shopping is supposed to be fun! It’s supposed to bring you joy and happiness, in no way should it bring you debt and constant calls from credit card companies saying “Pay your bills or…” If you are not able to go out to eat with your friends because you spent $60 on that cute top, that is sad. I mean really, is your top going to feed you? That is not what you want for you, your children or your nation.

So the simple solution would be to just stop shopping so much.

Ha! No.

You kind of have needs and being a shopaholic has been a part of you for as long as you could remember. So can you be a shopaholic and not be in debt? This is the golden question that a lot of us do not have the answer to.

This is the good part because I may just have that answer. Let’s state the question again. How can you be a shopaholic and not be in debt? Well, there is an answer. Become a S.M.A.R.T. Shopaholic!  S.M.A.R.T.  stands for Save, Manage, Acquire, Re-evaluate, and Target. These five ways will help you become a better shopper.

Save

Please, I’m begging you, learn to save. I know it’s hard for you to save money because you’re so used to spending it as soon as you get it. But that is not going to get you anywhere in life! Saving is the new spending. If you set some money aside every time you get a paycheck or come into some dollars, you will be rich and look good while doing it. It will be hard at first, but then it will just become a habit and in no time you’ll be a Saving Master.

Manage

Learn to manage your shopping. It will be the best thing you have done since breaking it off with your toxic significant other. And if you still haven’t broken it off with them, please do so, that will also help your situation. You have to learn the difference between NEED and WANT. I’m sure you have heard this before and you’re like “Okay I tried that but it didn’t work!”

Yes, I have tried it too, and you just end up convincing yourself you need everything. But you don’t need everything. Try these scenarios. ‘Need’ is that little newborn baby who needs a winter jacket for the upcoming storm of the century where it will be minus 60 degrees with heavy snowfall. Ask yourself “I am that newborn baby?” If you are, then you need the item. ‘Want’ is that kid in the candy store who wants gob smackers and has four cavities. Do you really want another cavity? I didn’t think so.

Acquire

Acquire also means to learn. You need to acquire yourself with all the things that you are buying. This is where quality and quantity come in. Familiarizing yourself with quality items is the best thing you will ever do in your life. It’s literally right up there with graduating from college. If you’re buying a $50 top made of polyester with plastic diamonds, YOU HAVE GONE MAD. Polyester is one of the cheapest materials of life and plastic? Need I say more. Remember that the quality of your clothes should equal the price. You as a human being was not made cheap so why should you buy expensive and wear cheap. Think about it.

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Re-evaluate

Sometimes we need to just re-evaluate our lives, so it makes sense to re-evaluate our shopping! Make sure you actually think about what you’re buying and take time, effort and care in what you’re buying. Treat your items like they are your life. Ask yourself, “Are you happy with your life?” If not, then make a change. It’s just like your purchases, you need to be TRULY happy with them, or they are just no good for you.

Target

This one may be hard for some of you shopaholics. You need to target what you buy from now on. No more of this going into a store because you feel like it and buying whatever’s good. NO NO NO. Stop that! Right now! You need to have an idea of what you need (refer back to Manage) and be able to say to that sales associate “I need a top and some jeans for a good price”, find them, purchase, and walk out the store. That is targeting, finding, and knowing what you want then getting it.

Being a S.M.A.R.T shopper will not be easy at first, but these steps are the first steps to a better life and a better you. Remember two things from this post. Being a shopaholic is great but being in debt is not cute. Oh and one more thing, SALES are your best friend but they aren’t your only friend.

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