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In the Red: The Diary of a Recovering Shopaholic (2009)

de Alexis Hall

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The bestselling diary of shopaholic Alexis Hall, now in compact paperback and including a brand-new introduction, bringing her story right up to date.
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Review originally written for my blog
I came across this book in the mini library at work and was interested in how somebody could pay off almost £32k in a year. I’ve been on a strict budget for the past couple of years and thought this book may offer a few interesting tips and advice, as well as being an interesting read. Unfortunately I was wrong! It turns out that it isn’t that hard to repay the debt when both you and your partner earn a bloody decent wage and don’t have to worry about losing your home or not having enough to eat. Hall’s version of cutting back on her expenditure just didn’t ring true for me. In the very first month, Hall decided to buy a scooter. Now I can get that the petrol is cheaper etc etc, but most people who are deep in debt and worried about it don’t shell out another £1700 for the latest scooter! Although Hall did cut back on a lot of things, such as unnecessary clothes shopping, she still had luxuries every day that the rest of us don’t see as essential. Like spending £5+ on lunch in Boots and ridiculously expensive presents for her partner, her friends and her dog. Unfortunately this book is written in a daily diary format which was repetitive and boring. It focused more on Hall’s whining about how unfair and unjust life is, rather than offering any solid advice on cutting back on your expenditure. The idea of 12 whole months of complaining made me just skim through each chapter to reach the end. Can’t recommend this one! ( )
  moosenoose | Sep 25, 2012 |
A shallow piece of work that might work better in fiction than biography. Failed to find sympathy for a woman who puts herself 30 grand in debt because she can't resist the latest piece of overpriced designer wear. Especially when there are no real consequences for her - even at her level of debt. She risked nothing, still had a house to live in, plenty of food, and no real idea what financial difficulty actually is. ( )
  shelleyraec | May 9, 2011 |
I bought this after seeing the author on TV, and thought that it might be inspiring to myself - while I can't say that I have £30k of credit card and loan debts and have a shopping addiction, I do sometimes spend far more than I should, and thought that this might help me with some suggestions and support as to how to curb my spending before it gets out of hand.

This book is definitely quite light entertainment. I managed to read it in an afternoon. It's not going to give you lots of saving tips, but as I had hoped, it was definitely inspiring and has given me the motivation to look through my wardrobe and sort out things I no longer need! I really enjoyed her writing style. I'm sure there are many women who can relate to her and her problems, and her way of rationalising every unnecessary spend.

I did have a few criticisms; firstly, the amount of typos. I noticed quite a lot in my reading of the book, a lot of them were pretty obvious things, and it doesn't seem to have been proof-read thoroughly. While it's not a real criticism, it did detract from reading it as I felt the urge to circle the mistakes with a red pen! Secondly, it would have been better to know what her income was and how much she was putting towards her debts and how much towards essentials such as food/rent/dog stuff. After all, she did document how much of her debt she had left, but this was hard to put into perspective without other details.

I did feel when reading it that there was a lot she could have improved on (such as taking her own lunch into work, instead of spending a fiver in Boots every day, or selling more unused clothing on eBay with better starting prices!), but this was documenting her resolution to not spend, which I felt she did pretty faithfully. It would've been nice to know more about 'her' and details of her life (such as how she and her partner met, or what type of dog she has - which was only said about 3/4 of the way through!) as sometimes it seemed a little impersonal. But overall, it is a light and enjoyable read, that other women (and men!) may also find inspiring when looking through their debts and overflowing wardrobes. ( )
  lecari | Jul 9, 2009 |
Wow, it was fascinating to read about someone not spending for a year. I can't believe someone could rack up that much debt but I admire her quest to bring it down. Very funny as well! ( )
  janeycanuck | Apr 17, 2008 |
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The bestselling diary of shopaholic Alexis Hall, now in compact paperback and including a brand-new introduction, bringing her story right up to date.

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Mitjana: (2.83)
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