Advice from a Shopaholic

Advice from a Shopaholic

If you suddenly want it, you don't need it. Maybe.

Do you enjoy shopping? Are you a shopaholic? If you say no to any of those two, well - I envy you and your self control. However, it is a self-evident truth that everyone eventually must hit the mall and its plethora of stores to update or refurnish their wardrobe. As a self-proclaimed and publicly-labeled shopaholic, I have tips for those who wish to shop, without having to drop - all their money.

Start from the back, then work yourself up to the front of the store. If this is an unplanned shopping trip, or vice versa, it is always best to start from the back - because that is where the clearance is. By walking straight and keeping both eyes forward, one can avoid the temptation that is the expensive and more current clothing. Yes, the clearance may have only last season's outfits for sale, but by going there first - one can avoid the regret that will settle in once those seventy dollar t-shirts get marked down to fifteen bucks.

Besides that, if you are going shopping, and something cries out like a downtrodden puppy to you, grab a friend and get him or her to walk you away from that item. Chances are, if you suddenly need it, you really don't. So keep walking and go straight toward what you actually need. Like a pair of jeans that don't have holes in them. Or some black trousers - your only young once right. so you're going to need those professional clothes sooner than later unfortunately.

Another helpful tip is, take a picture of your closet to keep in your camera roll. By doing this, you can avoid buying similar clothes and invest more in styles that aren't in your closet yet. Also, say no and don't go. Everyone loves the mall, whether it is for shopping or just going out - even if they don't, everyone has friends who enjoy mall trips. So best way to avoid losing that extra cash or swipe? Say no. It's easy and simple as that, say no to your friends, and say no to yourself. Sometimes the devil whispering in your ear is you. So say no and suggest an alternative that is cheaper and far from the mall.

Although, if you do have to go out and shop - much to your dismay or joy, make a list. Sometimes, having a physical list whether in your phone or on paper, helps keep you goal-orientated and aware of what your money should really be spent on. And speaking of money, leave the cards at home. Not the gift cards, those are great - spend them anytime you wish, but as for credit/debit cards? Leave them behind. They are endless money for shopaholics, and by just taking out just enough cash for your trip - you can be very sure that you will remain on your toes about what you buy and how much you spend. After all, you also have to remember that shopping trips include food and gas too, right?

So from one shopaholic to another, (or not), shop safely and smartly!

Cover Image Credit: Google

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.


Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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A Glimpse Of My Adventure In Germany & Poland

This why everyone should study abroad.


Two days ago, I arrived back in the States from a two-week study abroad trip to Germany and Poland. This trip was entitled Experiences in International Justice. On this trip, we studied the Holocaust and its consequences through the lens of criminal justice. This trip changed my life in so many ways.

Firs, I really connected with all the other students on my trip, so I know that I can find friendship and understanding in them because we shared this experience.

Secondly, I discovered a newfound respect for life and need to work towards a more just world through learning more about Adolf Hitler's Third Reich and the Holocaust. We visited three infamous concentration camps: Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. I don't know if I can explain to you the emotions I experienced, but I would like to try since I think it is very important to share my experience with others. It was so surreal to be in a place where millions of innocent lives were taken away. Seeing where the many Jews, Roma, and many other groups slept, worked, suffered, and died really put my life into perspective.

It got me reflecting on what I have to be thankful for, and the problems that I feel are a too big deal to handle. Nothing I could ever go through can be compared to what those poor people went through. Because of this realization, I have become empowered to do what I can to help those who are suffering and who do not have anyone to stand up for them. I know I can't effect change all over the world, but I want to help others in any way I can, in my community and in my future career as a Forensic Psychologist, as well as with my friends and family.

I also have been inspired to be a torch-bearer for the memory of the victims as well as the Holocaust itself, so that something like it never happens again. Knowledge is power, and so being educated about what happened and how it happened can help us take a stand for what's right. Because not everyone has the privilege to travel to the concentration camps as I have so I have an obligation to share my experiences there with the world. I do not want the victims to disappear, from the Holocaust or any tragedy. From a criminal justice perspective, it was also very interesting to read more about the perpetrators, how normal people can be so violent and destroy fellow humans without remorse. I think it is beneficial to study them because it shows that anyone can become overwhelmed with power and let it go to their heads.

My trip to Germany and Poland was an amazing experience that expanded my mind and my world, inspired me to continue down my chosen career path, and gave me great friends. I hope that everyone has a chance to study abroad and always be curious and open-minded because it will do so much good for you.


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