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by Nikki Willhite

Do you believe that people can get addicted to shopping? I do. I take the word shopaholic very seriously. I have known people that just are not happy unless they have money to spend. When they run out, they are miserable.

Why do people as young as college students run up bills in the thousands of dollars, buying things they don't really need? Why do we buy more clothes than we really need, more music than we have time to listen to, or items we will never use in the kitchen?

We do it because it feels good, and it is fun. I believe it can also be addictive. When we were little, not only were we rewarded with food when we were good, or to comfort us; but we were made to feel special by people giving us things- gifts. What did we do on our birthdays? We ate cake and we opened our gifts.

When we have had a bad day, we often feel the need to buy something to cheer ourselves up. I believe we are feeding an emotional need. We make ourselves happy when we buy things, even if we don't need them.

Do you find yourself fighting with yourself when you think about going shopping- worried that you will lose control and buy something you can't afford? How many of you are waging a war with yourself within the walls of your own mind trying to be frugal?

There is a saying that goes...

 "That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the nature of the thing has changed, but our ability to do it has increased."

Someday you will not fight this battle with yourself. Your mind will be at peace. You will correctly identify wants from needs, and you will feel comfortable shopping knowing you are buying that which is needed or that you can afford. Your emotional needs will be met in other ways. You will be happy with the way you are living, and take pride in your discipline.

If you are just starting this journey, it will take some time, but it will happen. You will crash occasionally, just like happens on a diet, but if you persist, you will prevail.

Learning to live frugally is a skill as well as a quality and frame of mind that we develop in ourselves. It is a way of life. You will have to be strong, because most of the influences in your life will try and teach you otherwise. However, if you want it bad enough, you can do it.

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money!



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