18 May 2011

Shopaholic Student - "The debt's worth it"

In the latest issue of Cosmo on Campus, the magazine poses the question of whether it's possible to be a 'shopaholic' and a student. The simple answer is yes, it is possible to be a student with a shopping addiction that leads to massive debt. But quite frankly, as the previous sentence inherently suggests, it's also messed up.

In the article, Cosmo has published opposing answers from two different students - Maddy Potts from York University and Katy Balls from City University. Both young ladies put forward well structured arguments, however only one is thinking sensibly.

The latest issue of Cosmo on Campus, available for free at your university now!
Katy is in support of being a shopaholic student and describes herself as such. "Every student needs an extra-curricular activity and mine is shopping. Being a student goes hand-in-hand with debt these days, so some of it may as well go on shoes and dresses that make you go phwoar." Er, are you being serious? Albeit cleverly written, Katy doesn't seem to acknowledge that debt isn't a good thing at all. Just because you're a student doesn't mean you have to be in major debt. As much as I love shopping for clothes, I haven't taken out an overdraft, nor have I dipped into my loan, because I'd rather be in as less debt as possible when I come out of university. As Maddy says in her side of the argument, "Indulging the shopping impulse is far too treacherous."

Katy goes on to say she makes sacrifices, such as eating dried pasta for weeks and stealing toilet rolls from public toilets, but is fashion worth all that hassle? Although a dedicated fashion blogger with a love for shopping, I do understand that fashion isn't everything. I want to eat decent meals, I want to have fun with friends, and I want to save up for a house next year. I manage my finances carefully to maintain a good quality lifestyle, and I'm happy with how I live it.

Of course, Katy is happy with her lifestyle too, but her sartorial pleasures will only lead to greater pain. "You should be in the red for a reason that makes you smile," she says, but will the smile still be there when she looks at the huge figure of debt she has to repay? Will she still be smiling when the repayments begin to claw at her beginner's salary?

But here's an intriguing question... What do her parents think? They send their child to university, then find out she's been spending her loan on fashion must-haves instead of the basic necessities - that can't sit right with any parent, could it? I'm sure they already knew of their daughter's spending habits before this article was published, though it would be hilarious to see their reactions if this was the first they had heard of it.

In any case, blowing your student loan and overdrafts on clothes and accessories just isn't sensible in my opinion. Sure, make an occasional purchase from time to time to satisfy your shopping cravings, but don't risk piling up the debt. I would never say fashion is a waste of money if it looks and makes you feel fantastic, but even the fashionistas need to sort out their priorities.

So what's your view? Is it right for students to take their loan on shopping sprees? Are the latest fashions really worth it? Please leave your comments below.

(Read the original discussion in the latest issue of Cosmo on Campus. Grab your free copy from your university today!)

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