The Glorification of Being a Shopaholic

Bethan Beddow

25% off that enchanting top you’ve been gawking at all week! Buy one lipstick, get one for free! That thousand-pound necklace is now £990, what a bargain! Sales are everywhere. They’re plastered on walls, in front of shops, on cards, on social media, and even in your email inbox. It’s hard to resist purchasing something discounted, and as you click ‘buy’, your serotonin levels increase.

Treating yourself to a new thing feels like an accomplishment, something to help with stress, and it can help with your personal style. But how long can you justify purchasing so many things? Is there a point where it turns you into an obsessive shopaholic, desiring to get your next fix? 

According to the Cambridge Dictionary a shopaholic is defined as a ‘person who enjoys shopping very much and does it a lot’. This seems rather tame in comparison to the’s definition: a frequent shopper, especially one who is unable to control his or her spending’.

This obsession can descend into madness

A difference is that the Cambridge definition presents a person who simply likes to shop a lot; hints that the shopper has a lack of control. Evidently, a shopaholic is just someone who prioritises buying items over other things. This obsession can descend into madness, however.

If you’re not careful, you may check your bank account the next day and find that there’s nothing left – nothing less because it was spent on those discounted shoes you saw last night. Were the shoes really worth it, if you can no longer afford to buy lunch?

There always needs to for a new purchase in order to maintain that sense of contentment

Plus, whilst some shopaholics use shopping as a coping mechanism, the happiness they feel after buying a new top recedes pretty fast. There always needs to for a new purchase in order to maintain that sense of contentment.  

Another problem with constantly buying new things is that the shopper will get bored of the older items, and either throw them out or leave them to gather dust in the back of their wardrobe. Such waste affects the environment more than some may imagine.

Throwing away perfectly fine clothes is unsustainable

The European Parliament website found that 87% of used clothes are incinerated or landfilled, thus causing major damage to our environment. Throwing away perfectly fine clothes is unsustainable – instead, if you’re sick of old things, hand them over to charity!  

Here are some tips to avoid being lured into spending your money on materialistic things: 

  1. Get rid of those apps. Scrolling on your phone out of boredom, spotting that simplistic Urban Outfitters app and pressing it, thus diving into a world of lacy sweaters and cargos – this will not help you stop buying new things.
  2. Delete or unsubscribe from mailing lists. As someone who unconsciously signed up for clothing stores’ email lists, my inbox is swamped with clothing sales, makeup brands, and more. It’s necessary to get rid of these.
  3. Set a budget. You don’t have to stop completely at first, just only allow yourself to spend a certain amount every week. Gradually spend less until you feel as if you don’t need to buy anything unless it’s required. 

There are just a few top tips, but only you can help yourself from compulsive shopping. It is an easy addiction that can be fixed, although it may not seem that way. There are people around you that can help if you feel alone! 

Bethan Beddow 

Featured image courtesy of freestocks via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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