Lucretia: Shopping on a shoestring budget


Celebrities like Katie Holmes spend R1,4 million every month on clothes.

Victoria Beckham happily splurges R75 000 in one go.

In the reality series Keeping up with the Kardashians, Kim Kardashian bought clothes worth over $2 000 in a few hours.

Madonna is known to blow over R420 00 in one season. Sarah Jessica Parker is estimated to have over 100 pairs of Manolo Blahicks, ranging from R2 100 to R7 000 per pair.

Combined with all other shoes she owns — well, you do the maths! But where does one draw the line between craving and compulsion?

Many might not have as much money as these celebs, but they understand the urge to splurge.

Their wardrobes are crammed with items with price tags still on, and many buy things they don’t even need.

This kind of shopping is called “frivolous” spending. The problem starts when someone spends the majority of their time buying things they don’t need, and often can’t afford to fill a void in their lives.

An excessive shopper becomes a compulsive shopper when they begin to use shopping as an all-purpose solution to their problems.

The idea of compulsive shopping as a disorder is often ridiculed.

How can a handbag or heels be as harmful as drugs or alcohol?

It’s not simply the purchased objects, but the obsession with acquiring them that’s the problem.
Many have been incarcerated for embezzling money to feed their shopping habit.

Others have lost jobs after spending extended breaks visiting the malls.

While some mothers have neglected their children to go shopping, some marriages have been torn apart by the secrecy and financial implications of this addiction.

So where do you draw the line between a bit of unnecessary but enjoyable indulgence, compulsive shopping and addiction?

Others buy things on impulse without trying them on — although they still can’t afford them.

Others buy depending with their mood. When having a bad day they buy something to lift them up, but when they get home they don’t even bother taking the clothes out of the bags.

Typical compulsive shopper behaviour, they are unable to control their impulses and feel guilty, resulting in secrecy and isolation.

Most experts agree that it’s often a symptom of a broader mental disorder like depression or anxiety.

There are many potential causes, it could be a way to deal with a loss, fill an emotional void, express anger or attempt to assert more cotrol.

For many women, designer clothing simply isn’t in the budget.

However, you can still afford to purchase and wear high-quality clothing if you learn a few techniques.

Paying attention to when stores have their sales is a very important facet to providing yourself with an extensive wardrobe.

Many stores run special sales, which usually provide the customer with a special discount, around the holidays, especially on weekends.

Various times throughout the year, other special sales are provided with equally significant discounts.

If you have a favourite store or two that you like to browse for your clothing needs, become familiar with the store and its policies.

In fact, don’t be afraid to go on a little shopping mission on a different day than you normally go.

Many stores will run specials on their slowest traffic days to reward the customers who do venture in to visit.

Often there are early morning bonus buys to entice customers to readily exchange their hard-earned money for a few trendy threads.

Many stores, chain and individual, sell discounted designer clothing and accessories year round. If you do your research diligently, you can maximise your savings so that you can afford the pricier clothes.

Whether you are shopping for an outfit for a special family event, an executive’s power lunch, or a special dinner date, a little homework can provide you with the perfect outfit at the perfect price.

Well, I believe that if there’s a chance to dress up, make the effort, but don’t obsess over clothes and how you look.

Mood stabilisers and anti-depression combined with therapy help treat this disorder, because at the end the consequences of overspending affect your loved ones.

Until next week. Stay fabulous.