Rated PG for some mild language and thematic elements. There is some drinking, brief reference to live-in boyfriend, and some mild profanity
February 13, 2009
Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Krysten Ritter, Joan Cusack, John Goodman, John Lithgow, Kristin Scott Thomas, Fred Armisen, Leslie Bibb, Lynn Redgrave, Robert Stanton, Julie Hagerty, Nick Cornish, Wendie Malick
Screenplay by Tracey Jackson, Tim Firth, and Kayla Alpert; based on the books Confessions of a Shopaholic and Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella
Touchstone Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films
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Don't Shop Till You Drop
By Laura J. Bagby
CBN.com Sr. Producer
- New stilettos, a fabulous Coach bag, a faux fur jacket – advertisers say we can have all this and more with that shiny plastic credit card… or maybe several of them. And time and time again, our culture has fallen victim to that trap. Never mind that we can’t afford these things, don’t truly need them, and don’t have anywhere to store them. We got the “cash back” and travel points. Plus, it’s “normal” to be in debt. Everyone else is, so who cares? Thus begins the vicious cycle we call consumer debt.
But knowing that our consumer debt can ultimately lead to business failures, foreclosures, divorce, bankruptcy, and even suicide, it is time that we have more voices speaking “enough is enough – there is a better way.” The true call for change must begin with personal responsibility. That’s why I love the new movie Confessions of a Shopaholic so much.
We are enlightened both about the scary potential consequences of out-of-control credit card spending and the way out of the debt cycle – all within the context of a funny romantic comedy.
The film follows the problem-cause-solution model that advertisers actually follow to get us to spend money. Only this time, the audience isn’t being sold on spending; the audience is being sold on saving – saving money, saving a reputation, saving relationships from the brink of disaster. The audience is sold on this idea of reestablishing good character.
This is what our main character, Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher), learns about overspending with credit cards and what we should be aware of, too.
Credit Card Spending Can Lead To...
- Greed and an insatiable thirst for more stuff – mall worship, “stuffitis,” materialism
- A hoarding mentality and a cluttered environment
- The inability to pay for essentials, like rent
- Selfishness, lying, lack of self-control, and integrity issues – major character problems
- Broken relationships
- Fear and stress due to the inability to repay debt
- Overspending to alleviate crushed spirit, bad feelings – which is the shopaholic syndrome defined
Climbing Your Way Out of Debt...
- You must decide to do things differently.
- Stop running away from your problems – you have to face them, even if they are overwhelming. Ignoring them makes them worse.
- Assess your current debt, preferably with a trusted friend.
- Stop those spending splurges immediately.
- Surround yourself with those who are good at saving, good stewards.
- Read up on money management to fill your mind with knowledge and understanding so that you can make wise financial decisions.
- Commit to a debt-reduction plan.
- Get outside help – this can and should come in the form of tough but encouraging friends and accountability partners.
- Don’t be intimidated by or ignore debt collectors. Do pay your debts back.
- Sell all your stuff if you have to so you can be free of debt. You didn't need it all anyway.
- Reestablish your worth and identity on deeper things, not on the status and “good feelings” that stuff can temporarily bring.
- Temptations will come again. Say “No” and always ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”
I recommend this film for our young adults in particular who are constantly barraged by credit card offers and the “got-to-have-it-now” mentality, women who have mistakenly put their self-worth in their dress designer collections, or those who have worshipped at the altar of their local mall to buy happiness in the midst of a broken relationship, loneliness, and the like. There is a better way. And this movie models it.
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Laura J. Bagby produces the Health and Finance channels. She writes inspirational, humor, singles, entertainment, and health articles.
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