“My friends have told me to stop shopping but I can’t. I live at home and all of my money goes on shopping,” she said.
We’ve all seen the Isla Fisher movie Confessions Of A Shopaholic, right? So, we have a vague idea of what it means to be addicted to shopping. In the movie, Fisher’s character tries everything to get over her addiction, but in vain. Finally, she’s left with no choice but to confront her addiction. So it is safe to think that those suffering from addiction to shopping will do just about anything to fund their addiction. Honestly, they can’t help it. 20-year-old Carisa Barker, who is a self-confessed shopaholic, has revealed that she’s made more than $3,000 to fund her shopping trips by donating her plasma, reports New York Post. How does she do it? Well, the student and part-time nanny makes nearly $280 a month from her plasma donation. This means that in one year, she has managed to make $3,360.
For the entire year, she visited clinics twice a week to donate plasma (a protein-rich liquid found in the blood) in exchange for cash. She then used this cash to fund her shopping trips to the mall. Barker, who hails from Salt Lake City, Utah, claims this is the most effortless way to make some money.
“I would absolutely recommend it to people who are short of cash and want to go shopping. I donate plasma twice a week. I get $20 the first time and $50 the next time,” said Baker. “It’s just a little bit of extra money that I can spend that I don’t feel I worked very hard for.” Once the white and red blood cells and platelets have been removed, a yellowish fluid remains in the blood, which is known as plasma.
Plasma consists of water, salts, proteins, and enzymes and is used in medicines that help people suffering from burns, shock, trauma and other medical emergencies. Blood donors are not paid money for their donations, but when it comes to plasmas, collection centers across the U.S. offer payment in return for plasma. Baker, who is a communications student, calls herself a "shopaholic" and admits that she visits the mall at least three to four times a week.
Baker estimates her expenses to come up to around $600 per week, and she spends her money on clothes, shoes and beauty products. “I’m a shopaholic and I would shop every day if I could. I usually go three or four times a week,” Barker said. “Clothes and shoes are my favorite things to buy and I also love beauty products. On each shopping trip, I only spend about $50 but that adds up to $150 a week. If I see something that I like or there’s a discount or a good deal, I’ll just buy it,” she revealed.
“I feel powerful knowing that I have the money and I can buy stuff," she added. Baker says she began donating plasmas last year after a friend suggested she try it so she could make some money easily and since then, she's been a regular at the BioLife Plasma Services in Layton, Utah. The process, known plasmapheresis, takes around an hour and a half from start to finish.
During the process, the blood is removed from Barker’s body, the plasma is collected and the remaining blood components are returned to her body. Baker said, “One of my friends does it and she took me with her one time. I just kept doing it. I do it as often as I can, which is usually twice a week. It takes about an hour and a half each time I go. I go in and complete a survey to make sure I am feeling well that day, that I have no tattoos or piercings."
"They screen you and take your blood pressure and temperature. It takes them a while to pump the blood out and put it through the machine. The machine separates the red blood cells from the plasma. Then they put the blood back into my body. As long as I eat a lot of protein before I go and stay hydrated, I feel fine. There are no health risks that I know of and my parents are fine with me doing it. My plasma is used to make medicines for people with rare diseases,” Barker went on.
“It makes me feel good to know that I’m helping people. I plan to keep donating," she added. She also mentioned that several of her friends have asked her to reduce spending so much shopping, but she says she can't really see how she can stop indulging in her guilty pleasure. “My friends have told me to stop shopping but I can’t. I live at home and all of my money goes on shopping,” she said. “I would save a lot of money if I stopped but as long as I have money that I can spend, I’m going to keep doing it. If I was ever at a point where I didn’t have money, I would stop. Shopping is my biggest expenditure but I also spend a lot on travel."