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My Confession

I just finished watching “Confessions of a Shopaholic.”  And I liked it.  Mostly.  If you haven’t seen it, don’t worry, you’ll catch on Smartypants.


Per my sister’s recommendation, I broke down and rented this movie from the library (no way was I paying the $1 for Redbox).  Being a chick flick, there was the inevitable hunky love interest, wacky best friend, and awkward comedy scenes.  Despite its predictability, the financial message of this movie was actually positive.  Once I got past the unwatchable shopping spree scenes, I began to understand that this film is simply a satire of today’s materialistic society.  Am I stretching here?  You bet.  But there’s an opportunity for learning everywhere.  If you’re worried about spoilers, you can figure the whole movie out by reading the back cover.


The film in a nutshell:


Main character Becky was hooked on the rush of shopping, had $16,000 in debt, an apartment that looked like an episode of Hoarders, and only one friend in the whole movie.  Things were not looking good for Becky.


Thoughts:

  • Becky was the heroin, and therefore portrayed sympathetically, I get that.  However, Becky made her own choices, not her credit cards.  The term “shopaholic” implies that consumer is out of control.  I don’t like that.
  • My absolute favorite quote from the movie: “They said I was a valued customer and now they send me hate mail.”  I’ve noticed that people frequently don’t see credit card companies as a business whose objective is to make money.  Of course they said that they value you, they don’t get you as a customer by saying that they never really cared. 
  • Becky struggled with getting rid of her things because she felt like they defined her.  This is something I feel like everyone can relate to.  How much of what we hold on to is because we need or want it and how much of it is because our stuff is just a bunch of security blankets (metaphorically speaking; unless you hoard security blankets I suppose). 
  • The BIGGEST problem I had with the movie: Becky decides to get out of debt.  Yay Becky.  How does she do it?  She just sells all the stuff she bought of course.  Out of debt in one day, bada bing bada boom.  Real life doesn’t work like this, but it does make for some good generic Hollywood entertainment.  This was a stupid plot device because: 

1. In this world the things you buy are not usually worth more after you buy and use them.


2. Those credit card companies make money on interest amongst other things.  So, when you buy something with a credit card, and don’t pay it off immediately, the interest that accumulates is added to the price of your purchase.  The amount on her credit card wasn’t just the cost of the stuff.

In real life, Becky would have had to make some serious lifestyle changes and it would have taken some time.  Probably more time that movie-goers would have been willing to sit through.

If you are in any sort of debt, there are so many real resources and guides out there to help you get on track.  The general consensus is, if you want to get out of debt, then stop digging.  So, stop digging and check out these great reads: 

Seven Steps to Get Out of Debt by Free Money Finance


Getting Out Of Credit Card Debt by Frugal Dad


60-Second Guide to Getting out of Debt by Motley Fool


Did you see this movie?  Were you a little disturbed by the talking mannequins?










Article publié pour la première fois le 28/06/2010

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