Posted on Sunday, October 18th, 2015 at 11:21 pm
Have you ever engaged in retail therapy? Technically, it isn’t really therapy, but can feel very therapeutic anyway. The thing to be aware of is how often you do some retail therapy and how much you are spending. Unchecked, retail therapy can become very expensive.
What is retail therapy?
Retail therapy is a phrase that people use when they set out to do some shopping in order to improve their mood, or to feel better about themselves. Some see retail therapy as “me time”. People also use retail therapy as a means of helping themselves transition from one stage of life to another. For example, people do a lot of retail therapy shopping while expecting a baby, after getting a new job, or after a divorce.
What are the benefits of retail therapy?
One of the immediate benefits of retail therapy is that it lightens people’s mood. People who feel lonely might feel better after visiting a shopping mall that is filled with other people. Others use retail therapy as an escape from their “real life”. They simply forget about everything else while they are shopping. Retail therapy can also be fun to do, especially if done with friends.
What are the problems with retail therapy?
People who only do retail therapy in moderation might not see any negative effects at all. They are able to stay within their budget and make small purchases that improve their mood. For example, a person could buy themselves a coffee or a new lipstick – and stop shopping after that.
Problems arise when people engage in retail therapy too often, or spend more money on retail therapy than they can afford. In some cases, this leads to larger problems. A person who overspends might get into an argument with a spouse who disapproves of retail therapy.
Those who use credit cards to do retail therapy can run into additional problems. If you don’t pay off the entire balance on the next billing cycle, you will end up with finance charges. Your moment of shopping bliss can quickly turn into a financial disaster.
How to do frugal retail therapy:
Do some “window shopping” online from your home computer. Before you begin, put your credit card away in another room so that it will be more difficult for you to use it. Go ahead and “window shop” as long as you want – or until your mood lifts. You can do this without spending any money at all.
Use your Pinterest account to pin items that you would love to buy right now but simply cannot afford. The experience of searching for things you like, and gathering them up into a Pinterest board, might mimic how it feels to walk through a store and fill a basket or shopping cart.