How to become a SHOPAHOLIC

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My name is Alicia Jane and I'm a shopaholic.  There, I've finally come out and said it.  It's taken a few years, about a hundred thousand dollars, and a few jobs, but I'm finally admitting to why I can't afford to put money towards a house.  Not one cent, because I'm a shopaholic and my addiction is taking over my life.

What is a shopaholic I hear you ask.  Well, a shopaholic is a compulsive shopper.  It's a person who needs to shop in order to gain satisfaction or self worth.  Faking it you say?  Well, I am proof that I am definitely not faking it.  On two occasions I've actually had the shakes from not shopping when I've felt the need to.  I've seen psychiatrists about it, and yes I've been diagnosed.  It's a form of compulsive obsessive disorder, but a little out of the mainstream.  I suffer the following symptoms=

1. I spend all money in all of my bank accounts down to the last cent every week.  I never have any money in my bank account no matter how much or how low I get paid every week.  I manage to spend everything, no exception to the rule.  I cannot save.

2. I get high when I shop.  Yes, just like people get high when they eat chocolate, or when people drink too much alcohol, or when other people break the law and turn to drugs.  As soon as I shop I show all the signs of being high.  (And yes, I get depressed + have withdrawals afterwards)

3. If I see something I want, I have to buy it.  No matter what the price is.  I'll beg and I'll borrow.  If I want it, I have to get it.

4. I cannot walk past a sale.  Closing down sale, bargain sale, weekly sale.  You name it, I'm there.

5. I shop day and night.  I go to shopping centres (I even work in a shopping centre) and then I come home at night and I shop on my computer either through eBay or websites.  (eBay!  Oh how I love you....)

6. When I am depressed, I go and shop.

7. I feel reckless and out of control when I shop

8. I become depressed about my debts, but I can stop myself shopping

9. I lie about my shopping.  No-one around me knows the quantity, or the money I spend on shopping.  I spent $1500 last week alone (i only earn $422 a week).

10. I get 4-5 parcels delivered to me a day.  Both of my postmen know me by sight and name.

11. I can quote all postage prices from interstate, and overseas from both my city to overseas, and back again from memory from using the internet so much for shopping.  I can also tell how much an eBayer is going to profit from postage, and if they gain too much I won't purchase from them.

12. My wardrobe changes every single month, and I never wear the same item more then 3 times.  Most clothes are worn once, then sold again. 

13. I can always find a reason for why I don't like an item, and why it needs replacing.  Even if I liked it, I can come up with an idea on why I don't like it, and then I sell it or donate it.

14. When I shop I feel reckless, out of control and disoriented.

15. I cannot shop with anyone, I need to be by myself.  No-one understands me when I shop, and I despise shopping with anyone else.  The person shopping with me usually will never do it again!  (My poor boyfriend dreads the food shopping...)

16. I have personal problems and relationship issues due to my spending.

Do you answer yes to any of these points?  Do you do the same as me?  If you want to become a shopaholic, then all you need to do is follow at least 10 of those points.  Once you accept you're a shopaholic, then at least you can work through trying to slow it down.  It's good to find out things before life gets really tough.  It's stopping that I've found to be the hardest thing.  I'm 24 years old, and I'm juggling 3 jobs, a rented house and a family.  On top of that I have 4 bank accounts (I've cut it down from 9), only one loan, and I'm trying to find other hobbies that take me away from shops and shopping.  Here are my rules that I have to stick by to try and overcome my addition.

1. I can carry NO credit cards or chequebooks.  I can carry one ATM card, but it can have no more then 19.00 on it.  Enough for an emergency, and not enough to withdraw cash from an ATM

2. If I need to shop, I'll shop at an op shop.  In the end, I can buy heaps and save a lot of money at the same time.  It allows me to burn off some of my need to shop, without going overboard.  I've tried to shut it off before, but I went into withdrawal and did some major spending damage....

3. If possible lay-by.  It might be a small initial fee, but if you decide you don't want the items / can't afford them after a few weeks, you can just go and cancel the lay-by.  It allows me to do the shopping part in the first place but not have the worry of overspending or feeling guilty for using all of my pay.

4. Stick to a budget.  I'm only allowed to use my extra jobs + eBay as my shopping income.  My main job is to go towards bills + rent.  Anything else I earn, I can do whatever I want with.

5. For every item I buy, I have to sell 3 items on eBay.  I've had this rule for a year so far, and stuck to it.  Mind you my house is still as full as it used to be.

6. Have a supportive boyfriend. (SUCCESS!!)  My family and my boyfriend support me, although they don't always understand me.  They help me stick to my rules, and they help restrict me when times get tough.

7. If I need help, I have to ask for it!  I cannot get into debt.  Luckily I'm out of debt now - and no matter how many times that bank is going to offer me back my credit card, I must always say one thing... NO!!

Well this is my first step to gaining independence.  I'm really trying hard to break away from my addiction, and whilst I'm taking small steps, I'm starting to feel like I'm getting somewhere.  The more I talk, the more it helps. 

Did you know 1 in 20 people are driven to shop in this modern world.  I'm part of special group of the 1 in 980,000 people who use this momentum to live their life and are otherwise known as a shopaholic.  

So are you a shopaholic?  Did this guide help you identify whether you are or you aren't one?  Are you going to be one of the people who supports me or are you going to be one of the hundreds that turns a blind eye and leads me to add to my countries debt?  I'm just one of many people in this world who suffers from this condition.  How many people do you know that are shopaholics?  Are you going to help lead them onto a path of recovery?   Thanks for reading my guide!  I hope it helped you in some way.  Even if it just made you laugh a little.  :)  I just hope you learned some valuable information.  Just vote below and let me know whether this helped you or not.  :)

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