Shopping is fun. New stuff fills needs and can make us feel good, but can out of control retail therapy ruin your life? Here are 7 ways it can hurt you.
1. It’s making you depressed.
There are always new and cool things when you shop, and marketing is the science of making you want what you don’t have. That discontent can lead to depression, especially when you’re just starting out and can’t afford much.
2. It’s putting you in debt.
Shopping is how we get tempted into those ‘easy payment plans’ that turn into an enormous burden in our lives. Most relationship fights start with over-spending and debt. Avoid the temptation by staying out of the store
3. It’s making you overweight.
Cinnabon. Orange Julius. Pizza Hut. Starbucks. Giant pretzels. Any questions?
4. It can put a strain on your relationships.
You may not have a spending problem, but what about your friends that are struggling financially? Why not find some new things to do together? Friendships are more important than any hobby. Not only that, but when a couple is first dating they’ll do anything to be together, including shop. And shop. Annnnd shop. It is a good way to get to know someone’s tastes and have time to talk, then it gets old. Some stores at the mall actually used to have couches in front of the TV department, and there would be men parked there watching sports while their wives shopped. Wives who didn’t understand why their husbands didn’t want to shop with them anymore… Try to widen out a little and find other fun things to do together.
5. You’re more easily controlled by marketing fads.
Every year Pantone comes out with a ‘color of the year’ and there is a new design palette that you see everywhere. (This year there’s actually two: Rose Quartz and Serenity) Next year will be another color. Ideally, stores and designers would love to have you buy all new stuff in every years’ color. That’s how they stay in business. Keep in mind, though, that you’re in business to keep yourself meeting your own goals, not theirs. Pink is the new Black, anyone?
6. Are you missing out on new experiences?
We all need downtime, but if you’re shopping every weekend, it’s possible you’re missing out on learning a new skill, volunteer work, or just having new experiences in your life. Go see new places and new things. You’ll be a more interesting person when you try some new adventures.
7. And finally, we’re back to clutter.
Let’s face it, a lot of clutter comes from shopping. We bring stuff home and add it to our old stuff, and pretty soon we have more stuff than we have time to take care of it, and who wants to spend all their time babysitting stuff?
So find out some of the local activities in your area and get out of the mall! Go play tourist, see museums, go to beaches, learn a new sport or hobby, take a class, do volunteer work, go skating or bowling or hiking. There’s a whole world out there, go have fun with it!
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