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When Shopping is a Problem



For a lot of people, shopping is a chore, something tedious, yet necessary – like housework. For others, shopping is fun and relaxing, a release from the world of work. For a minority, however, shopping can be as dangerous as consuming too much alcohol or abusing drugs. For these “shopaholics” , a trip to a department store can become a way of fuelling an addiction.


How does this happen and why? Psychologists believe that the “shopaholic” views spending money as a form of escapism and a means of achieving happiness. The real problem starts, however, when the constant need to buy new things starts interfering with a person’s life. People who become addicted to the excitement of shopping believe that buying something new will make their lives happier and more fulfilling.



People frequently become shopaholics because their lives are emotionally empty. It is often a sign of chronic depression. People fill their lives with “things” because they can’t face their own unhappiness. Shopping then becomes a form of therapy. According to experts, women are particularly prone to this sort of behaviour. This may be because so much advertising is targeted at women. Magazine and television advertising aimed at them as career women, wives and mothers, puts women under a lot of pressure to buy.


Buying way out of an emotional crisis is not a healthy option, though. Spending can get out of control. People get caught in a vicious circle in which the “high” of spending money is soon replaced by disappointment, and finally depression, as the debts pile up. New things quickly lose their attraction and then the desire to shop and spend starts all over again.


The widespread use of credit cards has led to a marked increase in the number of shopaholics. According to experts, the banks have made credit cards too easy to obtain, with the result that more and more people are using them. Using a credit card gives one the illusion that no money is being spent. People can go on for years, spending vast sums every month on credit without realizing it.



Unfortunately, many shopaholics don’t realize that they have a problem until is too late. They end up either with huge overdrafts or in court, filing for bankruptcy. Unlike a dependency on alcohol or drugs, an addiction to shopping and spending money is less easy to detect but, as with other forms of addiction, the “shopaholic” is also in need of professional help.


The professionals who deal with these “shopaholics” have accused banks of adding to these people’s problems, but there are no laws to prevent banks from giving out credit cards. Although doctors have attempted to persuade governments to introduce controls over credit companies and banks, few governments will interfere with them as long as they are profitable.


It seems, then, that the solution to the problem lies with the therapists who specialize in this disorder, and with the patients themselves. Getting to the rootof the shopaholic’s depression and helping the shopaholic to face up to and cope with the real problems that trigger their shopping mania is the only practical approach. Buying yet another new dress is not the answer.


C. Decide whether the statements below are true or false.

1. Everyone loves shopping.

2. Shopaholics cannot stop shopping.

3. Shopaholics are happy.

4. Women are more likely to be shopaholics.

5. Credit cards are easy to get.

6. Shopaholics cannot be helped.

7. There are laws to stop banks issuing credit cards.


D. Look at the words in bold in the text and try to explain them. Give the Ukrainian equivalents.


E. Fill in the correct word(s) from the list below.

chore, interferes with, prone to, targeted, pile up, illusion, overdraft, triggered

Having to work every night…………………. his studies.(gets in the way of)
She never reuses plastic bags from the supermarket, she just lets them……………in the cupboard.(gather over time)
That advert on television really …………… my desire to buy an ice-cream. (stimulated)
I like buying clothes, but shopping for food is just a(n) ………… (boring task)
Shops often charge 99p for things to create the ………………. that they cost much less than a pound. (false idea)
That shopping spree last week has left me with a huge …………(debt to the bank)
At Christmas there are many advertisements for products ………… at children. (aimed)
He’s ……………spending half his wages on clothes as he gets paid. (got a tendency to)  

F. Fill in the correct word(s) from the list below. Use the word(s) only once.

widespread, to fuel, the solution to, to get to, empty, the debts, a form, to give, to start all, to get out, buying, to go on, chronic, vicious

1. ……….. an addiction 2. ……….. of control 3. ………. the illusion 4. ……….. of escapism 5. an emotionally …… life 6. a(n) ………… circle 7. …………. for years 8. a(n) ……………... depression 9. ……………..… the root of sth 10. ……………………… pile up 11. ……………….… over again 12. ……………… the problem 13. …………….. your way out 14. the …………………. use


Exercise 1

Fill in the correct word(s) from the list below:

in stock, discount, shopping list, in cash, refund, retailer, by cheque, tag, deposit, window shopping

Before you go out to buy some new clothes it’s a good idea to go 1) ……… first, in order to find out which shops are worth visiting. This will also help you if you are bargain hunting and don’t want to spend a lot of money. Write a(n) 2) ………… to make sure you get everything you need. A small shop may have more unusual goods and offer a more personal service. If they don’t have exactly what you want 3) ……., they could order it from the wholesaler. The 4) …………. could give you a 5) ………. if you buy in bulk and pay 6) ………. or 7) ….…… . For something expensive you could leave a 8) ………….. to reserve it until you can afford it. Alternatively, you can wait until the sales, when it will definitely be cheaper. When you decide what to buy, the cashier will look at the price 9) ………… and then give you a receipt from the cash register. Should you have a problem with the goods, the shop owner should 10) ……… your money.



& Reading

Shopping can be a “must” and a pleasure. Those who hate shopping place their orders by telephone and it saves them a lot of time. Those shoppers can also order through the websiteor via e-mailand it is growing rather popular for you can order items that are unusual or unavailable locally. Besides, you can shop in your underwear.

Some make a hobby of shopping tours, whether they actually buy anything or just do window-gazing.

Read about Ann’s shopping habits and be ready to describe yours.

What are your shopping habits?

I’m not much of a shopper, but my sister is a terrific one. I prefer to do window shopping. Saturday is my shopping day. I’m used to doing the shopping with a shopping list. I’m neither a stingy nor an extravagant customer. I just like to buy the right things at reasonable prices.

I think I am a reasonable customer. With me quality counts above all. If I like the article, I am ready to buy it even at a sky-high price. But I feel good if I manage to buy a good thing for a song. Generally I stick to the rule: I’m not rich enough to buy cheap things.

Although I look for bargains, I can’t say I often find them. Now when prices are exorbitant, I rely much on sales. Price reductions are quite apparent at sales. One can buy high quality goods at reduced prices there. Last time I bought a flared skirt. It was a real bargain.

Various goods are on sale at the shops where I go shopping. The choice of consumer goods is not scanty, I must admit.



Listen to the recording and fill in the gaps.

I went into one of the big London _________ today and enjoyed myself very much, just ___________ from one __________ to another, looking at the various articles on the ___________. I thought the ___________ were very helpful. There must have been some hundreds of _____________and _____________ and dozens of different ____________, including ___________, ___________, ____________, ____________ and even ___________. I went from one department to another – from _____________ to ________, from _______ goods to ________- up and down, in lifts and on escalators. As I was going through the ______ _________, I was surprised to meet an old friend of mine, whom I hadn’t seen for years. We went up to the ______________ and had lunch together. We didn’t finish lunch until half past two. Then we ______ some __________ together. I helped her to buy some _________ for her children. I can’t tell you how glad we were to see each other again. We used to be very great friends before she went to live ______________.



Congratulations! You have each won $1,000. You can buy whatever you want with it. However , there are three requirements: you must spend the money in the different stores, you must give a detailed description of which stores you will shop in, and you must give a detailed description of what you will buy.



Listen to the man talking about shopping. What kind of shoppers does he think women are? How does he prove his point? Can you either support or contradict his opinion?

Exercise 2

Decide which answer A, B, C or D best fits each space.


Street Markets

Most people enjoy looking for (1) …. in street markets. It can be very enjoyable walking around the (2) …., among the crowds of (3) …., and trying to spend as (4) …. as possible. Of course it depends (5) …. the market. In fruit and (6) …. markets, there is usually a wide variety of (7) …. produce, but it may not be cheap. There may be goods at (8) … prices at the end of the day, however. Clothes markets can be a problem, as it is difficult to (9) …. on new clothes in the open (10) …! My favourite are antique markets, where although there is not much (11) …. of finding valuable objects which are also cheap, you can enjoy yourself looking at all the things for (12) …. . Whatever kind of market you look (13) …., and whether you buy things or not, you usually (14) …. up feeling completely worn (15) ….. . Still, it is an interesting way of shopping.


1. A) cheap B) sale C) inexpensive D) bargains
2. A) tables B) stalls C) boxes D) stores
3. A) shoppers B) public C) buys D) goods
4. A) little B) soon C) late D) is
5. A) from B) with C) on D) to
6. A) salads B) green C) farm D) vegetable
7. A) new B) fresh C) young D) early
8. A) half B) bottom C) reduced D) down
9. A) look B) try C) have D) take
10. A) time B) shop C) light D) air
11. A) likelihood B) instead C) in spite D) luck
12. A) that B) all C) sale D) other
13. A) round B) for C) up D) out
14. A) shut B) bring C) get D) end
15. A) clothes B) however C) out D) through


It is interesting to know

& Reading

A. Read the article and find the opinions of all the people who are mentioned in it. Categorise them below.

These people dislike a lot of choice These people like a lot of choice

Which category does the writer belong to? Which category do you belong to?


Date: 2016-01-03; view: 5538

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