By Nikki Willhite
Fact or Fiction?
Do you believe that people can get addicted to
shopping? I do. I take the word shopaholic very seriously. I have known
people that just are not happy unless they have money to spend. When
they run out, they are miserable.
Why do people as young as college students run up bills in
the thousands of dollars, buying things they don't really need? Why do
we buy more clothes than we can possibly wear enough, more music than we
have time to listen to, or items we will never use in the kitchen?
We do it because it feels good, and it is fun. I believe
it can also be addictive. When we were little, not only were we rewarded
with food when we were good, or to comfort us; but we were made to feel
special by people giving us thing- gifts. What did we do on our
birthdays? We ate cake and we opened our gifts.
When we have had a bad day, we often feel the need to buy
something to cheer us up. I believe we are feeding an emotional need. We
make ourselves happy when we buy things, even if we don't need them.
Do you find yourself fighting with yourself when you think
about going shopping- worry that you will lose control and buy something
you can't afford? How many of you are waging a war with yourself within
the walls of your own mind trying to be frugal?
It can be hard. However, I can promise you one thing.
There is a saying that goes- "that which we persist in doing becomes
easier, not that the nature of the thing has changed, but our ability to
do it has increased".
Someday you will not fight this battle with yourself. Your
mind will be at peace. You will correctly identify wants from needs, and
you will feel comfortable shopping knowing you are buying that which is
needed or that you can afford. Your emotional needs will be met in other
ways. You will be happy with the way you are living, and take pride in
If you are just starting this journey, it will take some
time, but it will happen. You will crash occasionally, just like happens
on a diet, but if you persist, you will prevail.
Learning to live frugally is a skill as well as a quality
and frame of mind that we develop in ourselves. It is a way of life. You
will have to be strong, because most of the influences in your life will
try and teach you otherwise. However, if you want it bad enough, you can