Genre: Comedy / Romance
General Release Date: 26 Mar 2009
Running Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes,
Cast: Isla Fisher, Joan Cusack, Krysten Ritter
Director: P.J. Hogan
Another novel-turned-into-movie… a girlie movie, I would say… if you like something light and easy, funny, relaxed.
I find it easy to relate myself to the movie, as in, at certain times, I had a certain level of shopping addiction. Not all times, just some. Who doesn’t? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with shopping, right? Shopping lifts you up, makes you feel good about yourself again. It’s like floating in cloud 9… and everything is so heavenly beautiful… But when the end of the month comes, the bills, the rejected cards, you fall back to reality. You wished you’ll strike the lottery. You wished that the debts will go away. You wished that overnight, you’re a millionaire, and you can buy anything in the world!
What’s interesting in this movie is that being a shopaholic is not a female problem, there are guys who can’t control their spending too… (Note the sessions at Shopaholic Anonymous)
So, today, I shall offer some tips on how to control your shopping spree:
First, we need to understand, WHY ONE BECOMES A SHOPAHOLIC?
- Shopping or spending money as a result of feeling angry, depressed, anxious, or lonely
- Feeling lost without credit cards -- actually going into withdrawal without them
- Buying items on credit, rather than with cash
- Describing a rush or a feeling of euphoria with spending
- Feeling guilty, ashamed, or embarrassed after a spending spree
- Lying about how much money was spent. For instance, owning up to buying something, but lying about how much it actually cost
- Thinking obsessively about money
- Spending a lot of time juggling accounts or bills to accommodate spending
Next, deciding whether it is a shopping spree or a something more serious, a hopping addiction :
- Spending over budget. Often times a person will spend over their budget and get into deep financial trouble, spending well above their income. The normal person will say, 'Oops, I can't afford to buy this or that.' But someone who has an addiction will not recognize the boundaries of a budget.
- Compulsive buying. When a person with a shopping addiction goes shopping, they often compulsively buy, meaning they go for one pair of shoes and come out with 10.
- It's a chronic problem. A shopping addiction is a continuous problem
- Hiding the problem. Shopoholics will hide their purchases because they don't want their significant other to know they bought it because they'll be criticized. They may have secret credit card accounts, too.
- A vicious circle. Some people will take their purchases back because they feel guilty. That guilt can trigger another shopping spree, so it's a vicious circle
- Impaired relationships. It is not uncommon for us to see impairments in relationships from excessive spending or shopping. Impairment can occur because the person spends time away from home to shop, covers up debt with deception, and emotionally and physically starts to isolate themselves from others as they become preoccupied with their behavior.
- Clear consequences. The hallmark is loss of control. If they are no longer in control of their shopping but their shopping is in control of them, they've crossed the line.
Lastly, HOW TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM???
- Admit that you are a compulsive spender, which is half the battle
- Get rid of checkbooks and credit cards, which fuel the problem
- Don't shop by yourself because most compulsive shoppers shop alone and if you are with someone you are much less likely to be spend
- Get help.
- Take professional help and speak to wise and empathetic non-shopoholic friends who can offer unbiased moral support and positive encouragement to help you overcome your addiction.
- Chalk out a budget and ascertain a fixed amount, which you can spend on your personal shopping. Categorize items on your shopping list as necessities, comforts and luxuries. Try to minimize expenses on luxuries and judiciously monitor purchases of comforts.
- Identify all the stages in the compulsive buying cycle- the triggers, feelings, dysfunctional thoughts, typical behavior and consequences. Try to break the vicious cycle of shopping sprees.
- Don’t subscribe to shopping catalog's. Don’t even visit sales or discount warehouses as they may make you spend more in the long run. Avoid watching shopping programs on TV and try not to obsess over advertisements in magazines and newspapers. Divert your attention when you come across such advertisements. Also avoid window-shopping as before long you may end up in purchasing what you covet for but can’t really afford.
- Find other meaningful ways to spend time. Keep yourself busy throughout the day in work and various other hobbies. Don’t allow shopping to be your major or only hobby.
- Try to be farsighted. Understand that saving money will help you to buy an asset your family really wants in the future - a house or a car – or be used for emergencies and dry days.
Other recommended good read: Can you keep a Secret? (Sophine Kinselle)