Talking Points: how do you define an unhealthy shopping habit?

Compiled by Sam Gusway

Hate it when you can’t talk back? Well, you can with Young Post. Have your say and share with students around Hong Kong

Compiled by Sam Gusway |

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What makes shopping unhealthy? Credit cards? Buying over your means? Doing it all the time?

Sunny Hon, 17, Workers’ Children Secondary School

Shopping is unhealthy if you pay for everything with a credit card. It’s really dangerous to shop in this way, because you could end up spending a lot more than you normally would. This means you would have to pay the bank a huge amount, and if you are late, they would charge you a late payment fee.

Kok King-ching, 13, Tak Nga Secondary School

You do not think carefully before you buy something. For example, if you always buy clothes, your wardrobe would be full, and you would have no place to put your new stuff. Or maybe you buy clothes that are not suitable for you and you may never wear them. That is just a waste of money and space.

Michael Kwok Pui-hin, 16, Law Ting Pong Secondary School

Unhealthy shopping isn’t just about spending too much money; sometimes it’s about buying nothing at all. A lot of my friends will spend all day wandering around the mall without buying anything. They are wasting their time. Time is valuable to me, so I don’t understand their attitude. If it was me, I would make a list and buy the things I need. This way, I could still save money while making the best use of my time.

Bobo Cheung Hok-yu, 15, Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School

Someone who buys too much of anything has a big problem. Most people know if they have bought something before, but some shopaholics will always “stock up” on things. Another unhealthy habit is when someone buys something they don’t like, just because of its brand name. As fashion lovers, they want to stay in touch with the latest trends. They think most items created by their favourite designers are beautiful. But if we buy things simply for their brand, ignoring whether it is suitable for us or not, isn’t that silly?

Arthur Fan, 15, Kwok Tak Seng Catholic Secondary School

Some basic unhealthy shopping habits are spending more than you have, and buying unnecessary things. It’s OK to spend HK$900,000 if you earn HK$1 million, but if you spend all that money, and also take out a loan to go shopping, it is very unwise. It’s fine to spend a fortune on a brand-name backpack if you are using it regularly. But buying an expensive handbag which you would only use once or twice a year is a huge waste of money.

Kathleen Chow Hiu-ching, 15, Tung Chung Catholic School

I think unhealthy shopping means buying things with no purpose. Shopaholics always buy things that they want but do not really need. In some situations people just go shopping for something to do. That’s a really bad situation, because then they have to buy more just to relax.

Amy Cheung, 15, Tung Chung Catholic School

I think an unhealthy shopping habit is to use a credit card to shop. Lots of teenagers shop with credit cards, but then they need to pay the interest to the bank, which makes all your purchases more expensive. Many teens who have their own credit card, cannot afford to make the payments, and 54 per cent of them will borrow money from their parents to repay it.. Teenagers should just use the money they’ve earned from doing part time jobs, or the pocket money their parents gave them.

Kelvin Cheung Chun-kit,17, Tung Chung Catholic School

Anyone who can’t stop shopping, or can’t sleep without going shopping that day has an unhealthy habit. Whenever they go shopping, they will buy expensive and unnecessary items.

Asmita Tamang,16, St. Margaret’s Girls’ College, Hong Kong

For me, an unhealthy shopping habit would be buying clothes more than one needs. Having a lot of clothes mean that you won’t be wearing an outfit more than once. They are expensive, so it is just be a waste of time and money.

Tang Pui Ying, 16, The YWCA Hioe Tjo Yoeng College

Being addicted to shopping is common, especially in Hong Kong. You can see this when people follow trends, like when everyone bought classic Adidas shoes. Or like my mum, constantly buying designer handbags even though she already has a thousand of them at home – still with the tags on. Even when you try to save money doing online shopping, sometimes it is so cheap that you end up buying more than you need.

Crystal Tsoi, 14, Workers’ Children Secondary School

I think an unhealthy shopping habit is when someone buys things all the time. They spend a lot of money, but they do not buy useful things. Also, I think buying fair trade food is a way to make shopping more healthy, because this will help the poor workers.

Derek Lau, 17, Tung Chung Catholic School

An unhealthy shopping habit is when people can’t control themselves when they want to buy something. We need to think twice and determine if we really need something before we buy it. We should also consider our budget and not use all of it.

Bobo Yu, 13, Tak Nga Secondary School

To begin with, buying stuff that you already have at home is an unhealthy shopping habit. Another bad habit is not comparing prices. If two objects look the same and have the same features but have different prices, why would you pay more? Half the people choose the pricier one as they think that is better quality. However, the two things might be about the same.

Finally, buying things that you are not enthusiastic about is also an unhealthy shopping habit. Lots of teens buy all the latest fashions without really thinking about it. This costs a lot of money, and sometimes gets them into trouble with their parents.

Chan To-yik, 16, Kwok Tak Seng Catholic Secondary School

People who buy too many unnecessary things – items they do not need in their daily lives – have a kind of unhealthy shopping habit.

Spending too much money on these unnecessary things just creates clutter, which takes up way too much space in Hong Kong’s tiny flats.

Kelly Leung, 15, Tung Chung Catholic School

An unhealthy shopping habit is when someone buys all things without thinking about it, or when they are bored. They enjoy the shopping process, so they always buy more, even if they don’t need it.

Ariel Yu Wing-chi, 15, Tung Chung Catholic School

People who are addicted to shopping buy anything they want, even if they don’t need it. This is a lack of self-control. If they can’t differentiate between things they want and things they need, it creates an unhealthy shopping habit.

Vivian Lee Wing-yan, 13, Tak Nga Secondary school

If you go shopping every day, you have a unhealthy shopping habit. You should just buy what you need, and not necessarily what you want.

So Yuet-yu, 15, Tung Chung Catholic School

I think it’s an unhealthy shopping habit when someone spends a lot of money to buy things that they want but do not need, such as buying new shoes every week or every month, even though they already have lots of shoes at home.

In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss: Finance and banking are huge industries in Hong Kong. What other industry should the government invest in? We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to [email protected] by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.