Explaining — not solving — the problem causing my massive bank statements

September 22, 2021 — by Sarah Zhou
Photo by Anjali Pai

Ping!

“Your saved search has 4 new results!” a Depop notification displays. I immediately tap on it to see what new listings have shown up for the pair of shoes I have been scouring high and low for — 2015 Andy Warhol x Chuck Taylor All-Star Hi ‘Campbell’s Soup’ shoes.

Though photos of the shoes had originally been sent to me as a joke — my friend stated that the shoes were “the worst things I have ever laid my eyes on” — they have stuck in my head as the most glorious sneakers ever since.

The results on Depop are usually disappointing — all of the listings are either priced exorbitantly high or advertise a completely different product. However, it is imperative that I continue refreshing my searches until I find a suitable listing.

Though I was originally looking for shoes, a colorful flower-embedded resin ring caught my eye on the “Explore” page. At only $12, who could say no? I don’t need a new phone case, but what’s the harm in buying a few more cases?

Well, speaking from experience, these little purchases do add up to quite a lot. 

I have a love-hate relationship with shopping. I’ll compulsively scroll through Mercari or Depop for hours when I should be doing homework. I go through, liking and unliking listings, then change my mind and add random items to my cart until hours later, I wind up with tons of jewelry I know I’ll never wear, shoes that are not even in my size, and an ugly-cute pair of pants that are starting to look more ugly than cute. Of course, I click checkout anyway. 

However, my unfortunate spending addiction is not entirely my fault. I would like to place a hefty amount of blame on stores for creating rewards programs.

The idea of receiving a few measly rewards points after spending over $100 at one store is simply too alluring a deal for me to turn down. After all, I am only $294 away from receiving a $20 love note at Nordstrom!

According to an article provided by the American Addiction Centers (strong wording, I know), there are six varieties of shopaholics: compulsive, trophy, bargain, bulimic, big-spenders and collectors.

I definitely fall into the collector category. Until I have every single color and pattern of a certain clothing garment that I (may not necessarily) wear, my collection is painfully incomplete.

The solution to a severe shopping addiction? I haven’t found one yet, but in the meantime, you can try praying to the shopping gods that your bank will forget to charge you.