Dealing with a shopping addiction

March 31, 2022 — by Sarah Bright
Reporter shares their expensive obsession with shopping

As I scrolled through my Instagram Explore Page recently, my thumb paused on an advertisement for a small online business. The post displayed baby pink lip glosses with little strawberry charms in them. I knew I didn’t need more makeup, but they were also irresistibly cute. After a short back-and-forth in my head, the lip glosses were in my cart, ready to be ordered with the last of the money I had struggled for weeks to save up. Soon, the words “Thank you for your order Sara!” greeted me, and I realized I had made yet another useless purchase. 

Over the course of a few months, purchases like these began to add up and quickly became an addiction. 

My shopping habits started a few years ago when I got my first debit card. I no longer had to commute to a store to purchase items, meaning I also didn’t have to take the time to stand in line and consider whether my purchase was worth it. I could now shop while I laid in bed, which made buying unnecessary things much easier. 

I became obsessed with a wide variety of products, from perfumes to plushies. My first shopping obsession was Ariana Grande merch —  I began to spend hundreds of dollars on every single perfume and album she released. 

Of course, having every one of her perfumes clearly wasn’t enough for me, which led me to spend over a thousand dollars on her merch. I know such an amount is completely unnecessary, but I have no regrets. As crazy as it sounds, staring at the collection of different perfumes, CDS and vinyls brought joy into my life. 

After a couple of months my obsession with Ariana Grande merch subsided, I moved on to hair products such as different gels and conditioners. I bought so many that I have no idea when I will ever finish using all of them — maybe not in this lifetime. However, do I consider this to be a waste of money? No. Never. I love having so many options to style and wash my hair with. 

Soon enough my hair product obsession transformed into a hygiene product obsession, which became a lip gloss obsession and finally, a plushie obsession. 

You get the point.

These different obsessions, over time, have become extremely costly, but I’ve still never regretted any of my purchases. 

I justified everything by telling myself it makes me happy, and because of this, I’ve never found a reason to stop. However, learning about how American-style consumerism hurts our planet has encouraged me to start taking small steps to ease my shopping addiction. I’ve started consulting with others before making a splurge to prevent impulsive shopping. 

The moral of the story: I’m learning to be  smarter with my money and save it instead of spending it. Despite the short-term happiness that shopping brings, it can make a serious dent in your wallet and harm the environment. 

Am I cured of my addiction? Not yet, but I’m on the path to recovery.

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