Hey, it’s me, Sophie.
Thanks for reading more of my blog about shopping addiction!
In my first post, I introduced you to the idea of shopping addiction, and that is a severe problem in today’s society. I definitely feel like it does not get the attention or treatment it deserves as a real addiction because of portrayals of shopaholics in the media.
But true spending addiction is not about spending fabulous long lunches at expensive boutiques. It’s about not being able to stop spending money even when you are in debt over your head.
For me, it all started with my first credit card.
I was in college and knew I wanted to rent an apartment when I graduated, but that I would need to establish a good credit history first.
I applied and was accepted for my very first credit card, which had a limit of just a few hundred dollars. I planned to use it only for groceries and to pay it off right away every month.
In the beginning, I was mostly able to stick to that goal. Sometimes I wouldn’t have enough money to pay off the entire bill, so my parents would “lend” me some cash (which I never paid back, nor do I think they truly expected me to) to cover the rest. My credit score was great because I was using the card regularly and paying it off in full each month.
If only I had always done that.
I should explain that I was a full-time student and received an allowance from my parents for meals and gas (they had given me my first car, a 15-year-old Toyota when I was in high school, and I was still driving it in college). I didn’t have a job yet, but the limit on my credit card was so low that I didn’t think I would ever have a problem paying it off my allowance from my parents.
Then, a few months after I got the card, my car broke down, and the repairs cost more than I could afford to pay for in cash. So of course, I paid for the repairs with my credit card, since that’s what they are for, right?
I had only ever used part of the allowed limit on the card before, but the cost of the repairs maxed out that credit card. My parents might give me an allowance and help me out if I was a few dollars over what I could pay off, but they weren’t just going to provide me with hundreds to dollars. I was going to have to find a way to fix this on my own.
Here you can find an article about credit cards and compulsive shopping.