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Saturday, 29 November 2014

STRICTLY COME SHOPPING - A seasonal look at compulsive spending


Can I come out now? As Black Friday turns into Spent-up Saturday, I can't help wondering if shopping will soon be  available as therapy on the NHS. For while I stayed home this weekend it seemed like the whole of the Western world set out with money in their hands to give themselves a much-earned tonic. But was it really a tonic?

Judging by the fights that broke out amongst desperate shoppers looking for a bargain, it turned into an ordeal.  Ok, so fighting over a parking space at this time of the year is to be expected - but tussling over a cut-price smart TV in the middle of your favourite store? Now that sounds like desperation. Or even compulsion. So I decided there must be self-help books to   conquer this strange phenomenon that we women have known about for years.

After much research, I've come up with some perfect self-help books - ideal Christmas presents for those who have already  bought everything they need - and don't need -  for themselves. So here goes...

The Shopping Addiction Cure: How to stop your compulsive spending forever!  by Olivia Sanborne
At only 21 pages this book promises to 'help you understand the meaning of  addiction and what steps you can take to control your spending..'  At £1.85 your purse will still seem depressingly full and your knowledge fairly limited.  But if you can't resist  you can buy it here

To Buy or Not to Buy - Why we Overshop and How to Stop was written for our friends across The Pond but is equally relevant to we Brits.

  • Do you use shopping as a quick fix for the blues?

  • Do you often buy things that you don’t need or can’t afford?

  • Do your buying binges leave you feeling anxious or guilty?

  • Is your shopping behavior hurting your relationships?

  • Have you tried to stop but been unable to?

  • If so, you are not alone. Nearly 18 million Americans are problem shoppers, unable to break the buying habits that lead them into debt, damaged relationships, and depression. If this describes you, or someone you care about, the help you need is here.
    Drawing on recent research and on decades of working with overshoppers, Dr. April Benson brings together key insights with practical strategies in a powerful program to help you stop overshopping. As you progress through this book, you’ll take back control of your shopping and spending and create a richer, more meaningful and satisfying life.

    To Buy or Not to Buy - Why we Overshop and How to Stop

     But my favourite book, written six years ago by the lovely Sophie Kinsella, though not strictly self-help, is still a novel that every  big spender should read.

           On the face of it, Rebecca Bloomwood has it all. Confident, single and happily living in des-res Fulham with her best friend Suze, she's a financial journalist who spends her days writing articles advising other people on the importance of budgeting and prudent investing. Her private life is a different story though; Rebecca manages her own finances in a way that would make most of her readers' hair curl--for Rebecca is a woman on a mission--she just can't stop spending.
    I look up and I'm in front of Octagon. My favourite shop in the whole world. Three floors of clothes, accessories, furnishing, gifts, coffee shops, juice bars and a florist which makes you want to fill your entire home with flowers. I've got my purse with me. Just something small, to cheer me up. A T-shirt or something. Or even some bubble bath. I won't spend much. I'll just go in and... I'm already pushing my way through the doors. Oh God, the relief. The warmth, the light. This is where I belong. This is my natural habitat.
    As the plot unfolds, Rebecca finds increasingly bizarre and often highly comical ways to ignore her ever-growing debts and mounting pile of unpaid Visa bills and red bank statements. Got a bill you can't pay? No problem. Just take it out for a walk and deposit it in the nearest skip whilst no-one is looking. Need to justify that £120 velvet scarf? Don't worry! It was a snip at half price in the sale, so what initially looks like a splurge is actually an example of canny discount shopping. Rebecca's disastrous love life mirrors her finances. And her career seems to be taking a turn for the worse, too. That is, until she finds a financial story that really sparks her journalistic interest, and begins to spar with handsome and successful financial PR millionaire Luke Brandon. Witty, light-hearted and often hilarious, The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic is the ideal read for anyone who has ever found themselves mentally justifying rash purchases in their heads, or buying just one more pair of black trousers because they are so different from the other eight pairs in their wardrobe. --Emily Lowson

    The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic

    And if you like this one - try the rest in the series...

    Happy Reading everyone!



    Barbara Fisher said...

    Hello Marilyn, I’m happy to say I don’t suffer from the problem because I hate shops and shopping! The only thing I might be guilty of is overspending on books (online) – still it’s a minor misdemeanour and one that I don’t intend to stop!
    I wanted to pop over today to let you know I’ve just finished Baggy Pants & Bootees. What a wonderful story and quite a surprise at the end. I had no idea two certain people were in any way related until you revealed it. I sat up late last night because I just had to get to the end.

    Guernsey Girl said...

    Hello Barbara....I was just about to switch off my tablet for the night when I saw your lovely comment. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the book as I really do value your opinion. Enjoy the rest of your weekend - and thankyou for making my day :)

    Barbara Fisher said...

    Thank you for making my week - I love it when I have a good book to read when I finish for the day. xx