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‘I thought buying things would make me feel better. It didn’t’: The rise of emotional spending

Many of us are living for the buzz of the doorbell – spending billions we can’t afford on stuff we don’t need. Here is how to recognise the problem and regain control

In the past fortnight, I have bought the following items online: a hideous cat tree that takes up most of my living room, a lavender pillow spray, two scarves, a pair of gloves, two candles, a sheet mask, a pair of fleece-lined jogging bottoms (so comfy!), a card-holder and an under-eye brightening cream. None of these purchases were essential. Many I haven’t even taken out of the packaging, leaving them in a pile by the front door.

Ten months into the pandemic, I know the rhythms of the courier networks better than I know my menstrual cycle. Royal Mail in the morning; DPD and Hermes in the afternoon. Amazon comes any time, including late at night. DPD couriers insist on taking a photo of you with the package, mortifyingly. I wonder where these photos go: me in a food-stained tracksuit, dirty-haired, holding an armful of packages I can’t remember ordering with an abashed smile. I pray they never see the light of day.

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