There’s nothing wrong with splurging a little to enjoy the fun things in life, but a love of shopping could get you into trouble if you spend more than you can afford.
Everyone’s purchased something fun and unnecessary at some point or another. Whether yours was a sweet treat at a local bakery or a new pair of shoes, these items can give you a boost when you’re feeling blue.
The problem with retail therapy arises when you pull out your credit card any time you feel stressed out or sad. It can lead to these serious consequences.
1. Financial Insecurity
Number one on the list is your financial security. If you can’t shop responsibly, there’s a big chance you’re spending more than you can afford. This can get you into hot water, making it harder to face your immediate responsibilities. Things like buying groceries, paying bills, or covering an unexpected emergency repair can become a challenge.
In an emergency, you might be able to use an online installment loan to cover unexpected emergencies. Still, online direct lenders don’t recommend using their financial products for regular expenses like food or utilities.
If you’re wondering what is a direct lender altogether, spend some time reading up on the subject. You’ll see they offer short-term options that can help you out of a tight spot when you have nowhere else to turn.
Left unchecked, retail therapy can also interfere with your long-term goals. If you can’t afford what you spend at the till, there’s a big chance you aren’t saving up for a rainy day, vacation, home purchase, or your child’s education.
Romantic partnerships aren’t the only relationships at stake here. Your spending can negatively impact your connection with parents, friends, and children in more ways than one.
- Spending all your money on retail therapy may leave you short for essential expenses. You may not have what you need to enroll your child in sports or purchase new school supplies. Less seriously, you may not be able to afford activities and experiences with friends or family. Having to RSVP “no” to vacations and group outings can sting.
- When retail therapy becomes a financial crutch, you can withdraw from important people in your life. You may be too busy chasing after the next sale rather than connecting with friends on a real level. The shame of overspending may also make you want to hide from others.
Ironically, retail therapy can harm your mental well-being and overall health. While the initial purchase may give a rush of endorphins, they don’t last long. Eventually, you’ll come back to square one, feeling no better for it. Shopping as a coping mechanism is nothing more than a Band-Aid solution.
In fact, you might even feel worse once you realize you’ve put your financial security in danger. It’s hard to feel happy-go-lucky when you’re struggling to make ends meet. More still, financial stress can manifest in physical problems like headaches, stomach problems, and sleep disorders.
If you’ve relied on retail therapy too much in the past, the good news is you don’t have to swear off treating yourself from here on out. You can still splurge on fun things, provided you budget for them. Focus your spending powers on the important first stuff, such as bills and long-term goals. You can use whatever’s left to have some fun.