Its gaze is haunting me,  seducing me to take hold of it even for a minute and taste its presence on my palm. I feel my sweat gently caressing my skin in spite of this Monday  winter chill. Clenching my fist, clearing my throat resisting  its hypnotic voice saying: “take me”, “hold me”…and I stand there in trance!

“May I help you?”, I heard another voice.

“This is our latest…The PRADA Phone by LG (KE850) …

That good looking sales agent shook me off from my trance.

PRADA LG PHONE

Yes, I confess. I am a shopaholic or better still a compulsive buyer. Every time I find myself in front of any store, big or small, I swear you can visually see my pupils dilate with excitement and feel my adrenalin pumping through my heart.  There is something about the latest tech & gadgets, signature clothes, shoes, bags, DVDs, books, etc that bring out the demon in me.

Shopping is my  passion in life next to internet and people. Imagine a life without shopping ? I enjoy the buzz of shopping and looking for things. This is my real high. Yet, it’s ruining me financially and psychologically. I see a lot of stuffs I bought untouched, complete with tags and plastic. I am accumulating large quantities of unnecessary, unwanted items. Arrgghh!

I am aware of my problem. I even ask those close to me to literally drag me away from the store whenever I have that terrible urge to buy.  It didn’t help.

Everytime I say No to a certain product and walked out of the shop, I keep on thinking about it. It’s like an itch inside me that i need to scratch and I can’t sleep because of the itch! I need to go back to the store and  buy it. When it is finally mine, it will be stashed away in some dark corners of my cabinet and be remembered only after an obligatory clean up of my closet full of long forgotten stuffs I bought!

Who said shopping is a breeze? It is an artform, ventured forth only by some Maniacal Human Being bent on putting some Demented Form of Punishment onto one self. ( Highs and lows like suffered by Schizos.. High when you buy, Low when the whopping VISA/Mastercard bill comes!!).

This year, I decided to change. I wanted to be firm on my goal, I finally took hold of my pen and notebook to write down strategies and techniques to break my cycle of overspending; to gain control over my impulse  to buy.

Now I am  tracking my spending and the relative necessity of each expenditure. I am also writing a money and shopping memoir and if possible, constructing a money dialogue to help me better understand the roots of my problem.

My techniques are working. I see a drop on my expenses from January to February 2007.

If you want it or not, I am going to share them with you.

shopaholic

How to kick out my Compulsive Shopping Disorder

1.  Cancel all but two credit cards. Put those out of reach–in a safe deposit box or frozen in ice.

2.Use cash for paying. No ATMs, bring limited amount of cash.

3.  Always carry a shopping list — and stick to it!

4.  Avoid malls and shopping areas. Remove temptation. Cancel catalogs. Don’t shop on lunch breaks or kill time at the mall.

5. Window shop after stores close. Feel the urge during the day? No problem, just leave  cash and credit cards behind.

6. See SALE signs? Turn around quickly!!  Walk the other way!!!

7. Don’t be a Net victim. Think of credit card frauds.

8. When buying gifts for friends or relatives, make a list. And stick to it.

9. Use mind diverting strategies — exercise, take a walk, chat with friends, read a book, listen to some music —  every time I feel the urge to shop.

10. Create a “shopping diary.” Record purchases for a month. What time is it? Where am I? How do I feel before buying the item? What about after; Do I need the item or just want it? How much does it cost?

11. Look for patterns. Do I shop out of insecurity? In celebration of a break up with a boring partner? Out of boredom? Write one page on each motive. Detail how overspending affects my financial security, and how life could be happier with some changes.

12. Set a goal for saving, with an amount and a target date. For example, “I’ll save 600euro for emergencies by this  year.” By setting aside 50 euro a  month, I can meet it.

 line.gif

SHOPPING QUOTES

  • “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” – Bo Derek
  • “Shopping is better than sex. If you’re not satisfied after shopping you can make an exchange for something you really like.” Adrienne Gusoff
  • “I always say shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.” – Tammy Faye Bakker
  • “Win or lose, we go shopping after the election.” – Imelda Marcos
  • “I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.” -Imelda Marcos
  • “If I like it, I’ll buy it; pure impulse shopping.” – Kristin Kreu
  • “The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.”  Erma Bombeck
  • “A bargain is something you can’t use at a price you can’t resist.”– Franklin P. Jones
  • A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it.” William Feather
  • “A person buying ordinary products in a supermarket is in touch with his deepest emotions.” –  John K. Galbraith
  • “When [we]were first married, [Wade] begged me to be practical…thank God I lived by my credo: ‘Veni, vidi, visa – I came, I saw, I charged it.”Swoosie Kurtz
  • “I love to shop after a bad relationship. I don’t know. I buy a new outfit and it makes me feel better. It just does. Sometimes I see a really great outfit, I’ll break up with someone on purpose.”– Rita Rudner
  • “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”- Oscar Wilde
  • “You aren’t wealthy until you have something money can’t buy.” – Garth Brooks
  • “The only really good place to buy lumber is at a store where the lumber has already been cut and attached together in the form of furniture, finished and put inside boxes.” –  Dave Barry
  • “I always say shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.” Tammy Faye Bakker
  • “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it does bring
    you a more pleasant form of misery.”
    – Spike Milligan
  • “We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls.” – Neither Here Nor There, 1991, Bill Bryson
  • “On the one hand, shopping is dependable: You can do it alone, if you lose your heart to something that is wrong for you, you can return it; it’s instant gratification and yet something you buy may well last for years.” Judith Krantz
  • “Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.” – Groucho Marx (1890 – 1977)
  • Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” Will Rogers
  • I like my money right where I can see it: hanging in my closet.” – Carrie from Sex in the City
  • “Honey, if it hurts so much, why are we going shopping?”
     “I have a broken toe, not a broken spirit
    .” –  Carrie and Samantha from Sex in the City

9 Responses to “Shopaholic woes”

  1.  

    ha-ha!! kaya naman palang ayaw maging milyonarya ng solm8 ko eh… puro designer chuva pala ang drama.

    oks lang yan – ako rin paminsan minsan panay ang tingin ko sa mga designer chienes – pero you know, kung hindi naman kailangan, naiiwasan ko pa rin..

    mas problema ko ang casino.. sana nga, nag-shopping na lang ako. nakikita ko pa. nyeta.

    😈

    Reply

     
  2.  

    Are you telling me, Ros, na ang talagang sulat mo (before writing that html thing) is too much slanted to the right?

    Reply

     
  3.  

    @Chuva,

    Casino? oh that’s another big problem …but pag panolo, ang saya ha! 🙂

    @C5,

    what do you mean before writing the html thingy?? 🙁
    anong handwritng? 😮

    Reply

     
  4.  

    Ros, diba in-analyze ko handwriting mo based dun sa image na nagtuturo ka how to build a website in 2 days?

    would that be just one of your handwritings and at that time you wrote it, nagpipigil ka sa paggastos…

    Reply

     
  5.  

    I know what you are talking about, it happens to me every time i go to a big store of computers here, O.O there are so many!! so beautiful!, they have to be mine!!! YES! @.@

    Luckily for me that i leave my wallet at home every time i go to this places…

    Take care!

    Reply

     
  6.  

    A’s Journey,

    Welcome to my site 🙂

    It’s nice to feel I’m not alone in this predicament! Yet you are more disciplined …you can leave your wallet!

    Thank you for passing by.

    Reply

     
  7.  

    Hello Journey… 🙂

    Reply

     
  8.  

    hmmmm…. kaya nga siguro ayaw akong payagan ng hubby ko magkaroon ng credit card kasi takot sya na baka tulad mo rin ako. Pero wala pa rin syang nagawa, I still own a credit card… yun nga lang…i make sure to track my expenses. Ayaw ko rin kasi magkaproblema kami dahil lang sa kshoshopping ko na yan eh. I shop… but I always make sure na importante at may kabuluhan ang binibili ko. 🙂

    Reply

     
  9.  

    Angelica,

    wow! An angel passed by my site 😉

    well, I started like you, buying only which are important or necessary.

    Then, slowly and slowly…it entered my system. Everything became important or necessary. Nothing is left out!

    Reply

     

Leave a Reply