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Season 2 | Episode 14
Apr 30, 2020

Confessions of a shopaholic

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Is a global pandemic the best or worst time to confront a shopping addiction and pay off a dozen credit cards? For this woman, it's been a bit of both.

Beth got her first credit card at 21. She tried it out by buying a blush brush at Ulta. It was exhilarating.

“I was like, ‘Whoa, my God, I have money,'” she said. “I don’t think I thought for even a minute, like, this might be a gateway to something.”

But in just a few years, Beth had opened more than a dozen cards and racked up tens of thousands of dollars of debt. Shopping was a compulsion, she was chasing a high despite the sneaking around and regret that came after. She was only just starting to understand her shopping addiction when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

This week we’ll follow Beth’s attempt to pay off her debts and get a handle on her spending, all while she’s stuck at home and the economy is hitting a brick wall.

“It felt like the universe was telling me, OK, now’s your chance,” Beth said. “Do it now or you’ll never have this chance again.”

Plus, we talk with reporter Kyle Chayka, who wrote for Vox about how coronavirus is changing shopping habits. Conspicuous consumption is down, puzzles and alcohol are up.

We’d love to hear how your spending has changed since this pandemic started. Fill out the form below or email us.

When you’re done listening, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more stories about the pandemic, as well as the reading, watching, listening and eating recommendations from our housebound team. Here’s the latest issue, in case you missed it.

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The team

Megan Detrie Senior Producer
Hayley Hershman Producer

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