I used to enjoy browsing in stores when I was younger, but that has changed for me. I like to go and get what I need and be done with it. Perhaps it’s because I have many other things I would rather be doing, and shopping to me is simply another task in my day. Some people love shopping, and consider it a social experience or a form of entertainment. It can be fun, until it’s too much. Like anything, too much of a good thing is never good.
Have you ever heard of oniomania? It’s a compulsive buying disorder, characterized by obsessive or uncontrollable urges to buy things. I have heard people joke around about being a shopaholic, but reality is, when the spending gets out of control, it is not longer a laughing matter.
Shopping is so easy now. Many big box stores offer extended hours, and several small businesses have extended their opening hours to include Sundays in order to keep up with the big giants.
Online shopping is a whole other dimension. It’s so easy to go online and click here to add one to the cart. Click again to change the quantity. Oh, and now that I am ready to check out, an image pops up with a suggested item that might go with what I am buying. It’s on sale, 40% off if I buy it today. Oh heck, that is such a great deal, I might as well add it to the cart too. Wait! Hold On! Someone has to pay for that item, and it is you! Instead of Click and Shop, how about Click and Stop? Yes, stop before you add that item to the cart and think about whether you really need it.
There are many similarities between online shopping and catalogue shopping, yet so many obvious differences. When I was growing up, we would spend hours looking through that Sears Wish Book when it arrived. It was fun to write out lists of what we might order, and then never submit them. I supposed the same thing can happen today with online shopping, you can add it to the cart, but choose to never checkout.
Most online shopping will require the use of a credit card. I won’t get into credit cards too much, other than to note that nothing in life comes for free. Many credit cards today are charging 20% or higher on outstanding balance.
In the old days, it was still easy to get yourself in hot water. You could set up an account and get a bill at the end of the month. Just like a credit card, it had high interest rates and you needed to pay it off in full or it would cost you. Suddenly those pants that were 50% were not so cheap if you were paying interest on the account that rolled over month to month. It is no different today, expect the ability to access those products simply involves the click of a mouse.
It is so easy to get caught up in the world of online shopping, and it’s important to self-regulate.
Online shopping can be addictive. Instant gratification is like a quick fix, but it just doesn’t last. Am I saying that click and shop is bad? Not at all. Online shopping has made life easier for people with mobility issues, shift workers and people who don’t have transportation. Moderation is the key, and it’s ok to CLICK AND STOP.
In my Episode titled Click and Stop Shopping, I share some of the signs to watch out for. If you see yourself going down that slippery slope, it's not too late to put on the brakes and fix bad spending habits.
Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/43-click-and-stop-shopping/id1597496953?i=1000580989367
*Also available on most podcast platforms.