Monday, November 15, 2010

Shopaholitis... it's a real problem.

First off, I don't generally consider myself a shopaholic.  I generally buy maybe 2 pairs of shoes a year, and buy myself clothes no more than a couple of times a year.  I'm sure part of this is related to weight, (it's just not that much fun buying clothes you don't feel good in) but honestly, shopping in general has never really been my thing.

Or so I thought.

But now we're on a budget, and I feel sort of like a little piece of me has died.

Because of this budget, I've dyed my own hair from a drug store box, and been okay with that.  We're buying off-brand everything and keeping our grocery budget under $50 a week, and I've learned to enjoy the challenge of this.  The most we've eaten out in weeks has been a couple Sunday evening fast food grabs.  Shane and I haven't even gone on a date in over a month and we're doing great, finding free stay-at-home ways to spend additional time together when the baby goes to sleep.  All in all, we're sticking well to the budget, with amazingly little pain and suffering.

Except for this one little thing, in that I am actually a shopoholic.

Not big stuff.  Candles.  Christmas decorations.  Hair products.  Makeup.  A new shirt for Shane.  Purses and earrings (I shop at Target, these things are not "big" purchases).  Yarn.  Point is, I see things, I think, this would be nice to have, I buy it.  And with these "little things" I realize now I was easily spending 50-100+ dollars a week.  So although my wardrobe is tattered and our food is all store-brand, it turns out I am a bona-fide shopoholic, just about as bad as it gets.

The truth is, it feels good to shop.  It feels like life will be improved in one way or another by the item's presence in my home and life.  Picking out nice things to bring home makes me feel happy inside.  But I started realizing this was a problem when I noticed I would buy things and not even take the bags in the house.  The things I assumed would "truly enhance my life" spent more time enhancing the clutter factor of my backseat.  So right there, I was able to target the issue.  I didn't really "need" the stuff.  When it came down to it, I only marginally wanted it.  And the stuff I reallyreallyreally wanted, well, even that ends up being useful and exciting for an entire five minutes, and then it's just another old thing around the house.

I think I've done a good thing though.  I've made a deal with myself:  I can buy one thing, for around 20 bucks, every time I lose 5 pounds.  So now I've got a belt, a wallet (my old one had been run over by a car, but true to my budget, I waited until the next weight loss milestone to replace it), a pair of black dress pants, and a sweater. (I was a bit into weight loss when the deal started).  It's SOOO STINKING DIFFICULT to say, "that's really cute, I'd like that" or "Shane would look nice in that" or "Madelyn would LOVE that" and turn around and walk away.  I've actually picked things up, walked around the store, and put them back.  I'm a dirty dirty addict, and this is my confessional.  I work to remember how little I care about the things the days and weeks following their purchase.  I remind myself when I haven't "earned" a thing, and put it down.  I remember how many clothes the baby has, and how great Shane looks in the clothes he ALREADY owns.  And I keep on walking.  Apparently weight loss, budgeting, "control, control, you must learn control!"  It's all some crazy form of rehab.

So there we go,
Crazy lady out.


  1. Ashley, you and I are birds of the same feather!!! Here are a couple of tricks that I've found the get me through my need to shop: a. Walking around the store with the item really makes me start to not want it anymore. b. For big items (which let's be honest really is anything over $20) Mark and I discuss it and add it to our "wishlist". If we still want it in 3 to 6 months then we add it to our budget to be purchased. But, taking our time in purchasing things over $20 helps us know if we really REALLY want it. But if all else fails then there is alwys option c. I purchase absolutely anything I want WHEN I want ... and then three days later I return it. For some reason, it does my soul good knowing that I've owned the item of desire for a while and I CHOSE to not keep it around. Also, the guilt of spending off-budget grows over three days so the comfort that item was supposed to bring really isn't there at all. You have to be careful with c - you have to know you'll return it and that the store will let you. I'm prettur sure I've been blackballed from returning items at a few places. Oops. All of these have helped me immensely. In fact, in the year 2010 I think I've only bought 6 pairs of shoes. I know that sounds like a lot, but I was a 30 pair a year kind of girl before.

  2. Thanks Kelly! I'm totally going to use those suggestions (although I would be a bit nervous about the returning thing, we'll see about that one). I like to hear you do the carry-it-then-put-it-back thing too, I felt like such a weirdo for that one, but because I kept thinking about it as I walked, I realized I didn't care that much about it and really couldn't justify its purchase. Congratulations on the reduced shoe purchases!! That is a very big deal :-) Solidarity Sista!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...