Arts & Leisure

She loves to spend, he can’t spend much

ONLINE SHOPPING is fun, but can be addictive.

ONLINE SHOPPING is fun, but can be addictive and very expensive.

Dear Marilyn,

I love to shop online.  I do it every day. I don’t know what it is about it, but it is so much fun. I mean, really, you don’t even get to see this stuff until it is delivered.  It is so much great to receive the boxes of goodies every few days.

The thrill I get from finding good deals online gives me such a thrill.  Don’t even get me started on online coupon codes. They are so much DearMarilogofun. I will admit that I don’t need many of the things that I buy.  But I feel so good when I get a really good deal on something.

Recently, I checked my credit card balance, and I almost had a heart attack.  I realize now that I have gotten way too carried away with online shopping. I feel ashamed and embarrassed that I have basically let this get out of control.  But, if I stop doing it, I am sure that I will really miss it. Please give me some advice.  What should I do?

Signed, Cyber Broke

Dear Cyber Broke,

    You have recognized that you have a problem, and that is the first step.  The next step is that you have to want to stop cyber shopping.  You haven’t reached that point yet. You find it fun and exciting and thrilling.  So, you have to look at this habit in another light. You must focus on the negative results of your new addiction.

   It is costing you much more money than you can afford. You are buying things that you don’t even need, because it give you such a thrill.  You justify it in your mind that you are getting bargains.  It is not a bargain when you spend money you don’t have.

    You know you need to quit online shopping. The sooner you do it, the better it will be for you both financially and emotionally Or, to look at it another way, the longer you continue this behavior, the harder it is going to be for you to stop it.

   The way to do it is for you to get back in control.  Realize that this addiction is harmful to you, and that you must quit. I suggest you don’t go to the sites at all.  It will be difficult, but you can do it.  Keep reminding yourself that it is harmful.

   The reward you get will be an increase in your self esteem, and the knowledge that you took control.  Yes, you will miss the fun.  Find something else that is fun to do. You can take control of this. I wish you the best.

Dear Marilyn,

I am a 21 year old guy. I have met a girl, and we have gone out twice.  I really like her, and I can tell that she likes me. The problem is that I am on a very limited budget.  Can you give me some suggestions on how to be romantic, but cheap at the same time? I want to impress her, but I am a student, and I work part time.  Please give me some advice.

Signed, Dominic

Dear Dominic,

   There are lots of things that you can do that do not cost very much.  Walks along the beach are great.  So are picnics in the park. It is also fun to take hikes.  And, of course you can watch videos at home and make up a batch of popcorn.

   You want to impress her. The best way to do that is to be honest with her. Let her know that between college and your part time job, you do not have a lot of extra cash for expensive dates. If this girl is half the girl you think that she is, she will smile and tell you that is just fine.  Hopefully she will respond that she just wants to spend time with you, and that the cost of the date doesn’t matter at all. Have fun.

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