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Confessions of an Online Shopping Addict: Redemption?

For those of you who have been unable to physically go shopping during this pandemic as a result of shielding, being housebound or because you have avoided shopping in attempt to evade the virus, you will understand how online shopping has become a lifeline during lockdown, it has been our savior.

Nevertheless, it has its limitations, for example you don't always get good use by dates, prices can be dearer, the fruit and veg can sometimes arrive damaged and some products are not available, this can sometimes result in a further online shop, elsewhere, which is a drain on your finances, but that is all immaterial if it offers safety.

However, it has also been a much-needed distraction. It is online retail therapy from the comfort of your own home. It has been a loyal companion to those of us who have been depressed, isolated, lonely and bored and with online shopping being so easily accessible thanks to mobile phones and other devices, along with Prime next day delivery, we can have what we want when we want which creates for some of us, an addiction. Making purchases without using cash, without seeing our plastic, lulls us into a false sense of security, we cannot see what we are spending so it is difficult to limit ourselves, to sensor ourselves, as it doesn't feel real, that is until our hallways become a hoarder's heaven. My partner often jokes that we cannot see the stairs! It is so easy to open an app or web page, choose an item or several and click pay. Whether we physically go to the shops or purchase something online, shopping creates a Dopamine high. Dopamine is released throughout the online shopper's journey, from perusing, to researching, to purchasing, to tracking the delivery, to its arrival, to the opening of it, and lastly, to holding it in the palm of our hand where we become that kid in the sweet shop and all our Christmases have come at once...What has started off as a necessity has become an addiction. My guilty purchases are things we need, although this is my version of needed, however, for many others, who are not so lucky, their houses are full of things they do not need. For those the path to redemption, will be harder...

Now the restrictions are lifting, and I am more aware that my savings are dwindling. My daughter starts nursery in the summer, and I am not yet ready to return to full time work, which means that I need to resist the compulsions of online shopping. However, there are things that my daughter still needs and things that she would like, and I like the odd treat a book or a CD, so I needed to find a solution, some sort of compromise, something that would tide my urges over without bankrupting myself.

The answer, surveys, LifePoints surveys to be precise. This is the best survey site! You can cash out at £5. There are usually quite a few surveys, although on some days there aren't any to complete, or you might not get to finish one if you aren't a match. On other survey sites you can almost complete and in some cases complete a survey and they will tell you, you aren't a match, which to me feels like fraud, theft, but LifePoints don't do this. Once you get past the qualification questions and complete the main survey, you will be paid for it. This is one of the things that makes it the best site, that and it doesn't take long to earn enough money to cash out. Unsurprisingly, I chose Amazon vouchers for my pay out and with each voucher I receive, I treat my daughter to something from there.

Oh, but how torturous it is waiting to earn the next voucher and then waiting for it to arrive in my inbox. It is so hard not to cave in and just order the things that I am waiting to buy. However, for now it is somewhat curbing my addiction. I just wish I had found LifePoints sooner; I would have more money left! Currently I am just waiting for my next voucher to come through to buy some glue-stick paints. Ironically it has just arrived in my inbox! Exciting! Can I resist the call of Amazon? The jury is still out. I am working my way towards the next one for a waterproof paint smock! This gives AA a whole new target audience perhaps, Amazon Anonymous anyone?

In a previous blog post, I mentioned that my daughter was in desperate need of some more clothes. I have ordered some, which was quite exciting, despite the difficulty in deciding what clothes she needs for this undecisive weather! Hopefully, I have chosen correctly! I am now eagerly awaiting their arrival. Although, I did forget to get some clothes to match the silver and gold unicorn sandals she possess. I am also contemplating a few little bit from George, things for the colder weather, just to err on the side of caution, and they have some nice PJs which she needs for the warmer weather...

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