In today’s fast paced, high maintenance world, looks are everything. Women, in particular, come under scrutiny for their level of grooming, the colour and style of their hair and most notably, what they are wearing!
Young women today spend more money than ever before on their appearance. From hair dye to fake tans and gel nails to the latest Karen Millen dress, we are a nation of consumers obsessed with how we look and the impression we give to others.
How do you spend your Money?
How you spend your money says a lot about you. Whilst some people prefer to pursue leisure and sports activities, for others, shopping is their hobby. Whether it is the newest pair of Christian Louboutin heels, or a collection of hair accessories that requires its own room for storage, shopping can become an addiction for many, a spot of ‘retail therapy’ after a hard day.
Many TV programs have addressed addiction to shopping, which can lead to taking out multiple credit cards, loans and spiralling into endless debt! There are a few ways you can work to overcome your addiction whilst also getting your debt under control, and still being able to have (most of!) the things that you want. Consider managing your shopping habits, taking out a secured loan, or selling some of your existing clothes and shoes.
Stop Impulse Buying
Before you buy anything, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” The chances are, you really want the item, but if you have three similar t-shirts at home, then you probably don’t need another one. Yes, it may have lace detailing on the shoulders, but adding another £23.95 to your credit card bill or secured loans debt won’t do you any favours come payday!
You should try to browse the shop then leave, perhaps go for a coffee or wander around whilst you consider the things you’ve seen and whether or not you need to buy them. Sometimes it can be a good idea to go home and come back another day if you have decided that you just can’t live without those sparkly shoes! This can be easier said than done, but with a bit of practice, you’ll realise that you don’t need to buy absolutely everything you fall in love with at first sight.
Sort out your Debts
Take a long, hard look at your finances and ask yourself if you can really afford to go shopping today. Why not consider taking out a secured loan from your bank or an online provider, to clear your existing debts and consolidate them into one monthly payment. This can often lead to you paying less each month, and means that you only have one payment to make instead of juggling various loans, credit cards and catalogue accounts.
Just make sure that you don’t start spending again on credit cards once you have cleared them with your secured loan! Cut them up if necessary and ring to cancel your cards. It’s fine to keep one card, with a manageable credit limit, for holidays or emergency cash. Secured loans are available for homeowners and the equity in your home is used as collateral in case of failure to make payment on the loan. Provided you make your monthly payments in full and on time, a secured loan is a great way to consolidate your shopping debts into one lower monthly payment, usually with a much lower interest rate than your credit cards.
Use the Internet to Sell Unwanted Items
You can make some money to clear your debts by selling unwanted shoes, clothes, books and make-up online on websites such as Ebay. Beware the temptation to buy something else as soon as you have sold your unwanted shoes! Ebay can also be a great place to look for fashion and jewellery bargains or to find something more unusual than on your local High Street.
Paula Whately is a blogger who follows the world of fashion and is a self-confessed shopaholic. She recommends that if your shopping habit gets out of hand, then consider applying for secured loans to ensure your passion does not get you into debt.