Thursday, December 13, 2012

Days 11-13: Fashion Fashion Everywhere...Except In My Closet

Alright, so I’m on Day 13. Day 13 with 77 more days to go. Whose idea was this? Seriously! Fashion is all over the place. Everywhere! It’s like I need to just poke my eyeballs out because every day there is something taunting me. Yesterday it was a killer pair of red heels that a friend “liked” on Facebook. Everyday I see something that I love and would normally just go out and buy. I can barely watch Nickelodeon with the kids, because some of those kid actors are sporting some cute gear.

I almost lost the battle today. We’re having a champagne and chocolates event at work and, Airica (my BFF and also my co-worker) and I, had to go to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory IN THE MALL to purchase the chocolates. It wasn’t such a bad idea until I remembered that two of my favorite stores, New York and Company and TJ Maxx, are across the hall from this place. I love chocolate, and probably would have asked for a sample, but I wasn’t focused on chocolate! In my head I’m trying to figure out how to shimmy my way over to NY & Co. without Airica noticing. Twenty minutes later the chocolate is packaged, paid for and we’re ready to go.
Me: “Wow. Look, it’s so bright in New York and Company. And look they have some tops on clearance for $5.95”
Airica: “Oh, The Yankee Candle store. Let’s go in there.”
In my head I’m thinking, “Umm, did you not just hear me? I want to go into New York and Company.” I followed behind. We smell the funky candles for a bit and move on. Airica thought it would be to the car, but I had something else in mind.
Me: “Can we go in?” waiting for approval to enter NY & Co.
Airica: “Sure, but you’re not buying anything.”
Me: “I know. I just want to look.”
When did the lights get so bright in these stores? I think angels were singing as I walked in. Seriously, I heard angels! I touched lots of stuff, and I made sure Airica knew everything I liked. “That’s cute.” “Look at that.”  “They have it in black.” “That orange is blinding!” “Cute.” “Cute.” “Cute.” “Cute.” “Cute.” I was in my happy place; I was like the lady in the old feminine product commercial spinning and dancing in a meadow. The dancing and spinning came to a quick halt. NOTHING for me. Boooo. Hiss.
I did make a purchase; it was my Secret Santa gift for a co-worker. If she doesn’t like it, I can always “return" it. :-) 
After my purchase was bagged up, I walked towards Airica with my little bag (when I say little, I mean, little. I didn’t even know they made shopping bags that small). I ran my hand across a nice soft pink sweater and felt like I wanted to buy everything in the store.
Airica: “Good job. You’re doing well.”
Me: “Thanks I feel like I want to cry. It’s been 13 days.”
How I’m Feeling Today: Like the days are getting longer and this is getting harder.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Days 5-10: I'm Still Hanging in There!

I've been busy busy the past week, so I apologize for not keeping up with my daily blogging. Last week was pretty uneventful. I take that back...

Friday was absolutely terrible. I had to hit Target to pick up a few things for my son's birthday party that was happening on Saturday. You must know that Target is my favorite store and I can spend hours in there. Not exaggerating. My problem with this trip is I knew I had to get from one side of the store to the other while avoiding the clothing and shoe sections. Highly impossible since both are in the center of the store. As we were going in my mom asks, "Can you do it?" I'm thinking, "Heck no!", but followed her question with a, "Yes."

We get inside and the store is bright and sparkly for Christmas. I LOVE sparkly! I hit electronics, which wasn't a big deal and tried to figure out how to make my way over to the food section for candy and dog food. Hmmm. I decided to take the center aisle. Clothing would be to my left and hosiery to my right. As I'm coming down the aisle there was an end cap with Dirt Devils. That was my key to making it over that way. I focused on the vacuums not moving my eyes at all. If I did, I'd be done for! I could sense the clearance signs and the new items that they place so nicely on the corner of the women's section. I kept it moving and I made it! It seemed like the longest trip ever. It felt like I was moving in slow motion.

I grab everything I need from the food section and head to the registers. It hit me. Like a ton of bricks. I forgot that Target had teamed with Neiman Marcus. Of course, my cart naturally moved towards the absolutely gorgeous items that were on display. Everything was pretty. I mean everything. My eyes got wide and my mom looked at me with an, "Uh oh!" look. I just looked and looked and looked some more. I slowly walked away looking back at the sick handbag that was getting farther away the closer I got to the check out line. I placed my four items on the counter, none were remotely pretty, shiny or made my heart skip a beat when I picked them up. I paid and we left. Deep sigh.

How I'm Feeling Today: Like I need a drink!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 4: Why Did I Do That?

I checked on the timer and it's working just fine :-/ Darn it!

Today I decided to test myself by looking at my favorite retailer White House Black Market's website. Everything was so much cuter than I remember. Is that because I can't buy anything? I think so. I fell in love with this dress and this pair of shoes. My heart skipped a beat when I saw both of them. No, really, it did. Sooo stinking cute and both were on clearance!
They were in my cart. I was in the clear. No one would ever know. I started to complete my purchase, but I didn't. I pouted, had some anxiety and closed the tab. I wish I were exaggerating about the pouting and anxiety. Another day down, just barely.

How I'm Feeling Today: Sad because I know both of these items will be gone by March :-(

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 3: My Motivators

What exactly will keep me motivated to stay shop free for 90-days? Three types of people:
  1. The Naysayers. I've received messages that range from, “I’ll give you 2 days, 5 days or 10 days.” to “What are you smoking?” I can do nothing less than prove them wrong!
  2. My Cheerleaders. Along with the naysayer messages I've received messages cheering me on saying that if I succeed they will give it a shot as well. I definitely can’t let them down.
  3. Those that have joined me. I have a few friends that are on the ShopFree wagon with me and I'm excited to say this is now a competition! :-)
Knowing I have people that have my back, and are cheering me on, helps a great deal. Thank you to ALL of my motivators!!!

How I’m Feeling Today: Wondering why that clock is ticking so slowly? Something must be wrong with it. I’ll check it out and report back. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 2: Operation Unsubscribe - Complete!

So that I'm not completely thrown off track by deals, I had to unsubscribe from emails and remove merchants from my News Feed on my Facebook account. That took quite some time and 20+ merchants in all....gone.

All in all today was a good day. I had a few urges to look at some of my favorite websites and fashion blogs, but I resisted. The end of the week will be difficult. I'm going out at some point this weekend and I'm used to going out and grabbing a new top or jeans. Guess I'll be rocking something that I already have in the closet.

How I'm Feeling Today: I have that same feeling you have when you get to work and realize you left your cellphone at home. Disconnected.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 1: Admitting I'm a Shopaholic o_O

This is actually a hard post to write considering I’ll be letting all of my friends and strangers in on a secret that I’ve never come out and admitted. OK. I’ve admitted it to myself, but no one else. Those of you that know me well know that I love to shop, but I don’t think anyone realizes exactly how much.

I ran a fashion blog years ago called The Penny Pinching Princess. I didn’t duplicate an outfit for 160+ days and I blogged diligently. Even though none of my outfits cost more than $100, I was in heaven and I shopped A LOT. Well, I still do. There were times I would set my alarm because an eBay auction was ending in the middle of the night and I just HAD to have the winning bid. I felt like I was doing it all for the blog!!! I remember one instance where an auction was ending around 11 PM and I figured I could stay up, I fell asleep. Gasp. I was extremely upset that I did not win; I even talked about it at work the next morning. Now that, my friends, is a problem!

I’ve challenged myself to no shopping for 90-days. Why? The biggest reason is because I’m a shopaholic and I want to force myself to have some self-control. I’ve made significant changes in my spending habits, but I’m not where I want to be just yet. Also, I’m a recent single mom, now living on one income and want my children to have best life I can give them with no financial worries.

I didn’t realize how much “stuff” I had until I was moving last week. I had Rubbermaid containers stacked taller than me (I’m 5’3” by the way) full of shoes and it took me several trips just to get my clothes to the new destination. Sad. Yes, I know. I’ve always know that shopping can be an addiction, but I never ever thought that I was an addict.

Let me fill you in on the symptoms of shopoholism and where I fit in:

Spending Over Budget – I do it all the time. I use to track my finances and I’m ALWAYS over budget on what I have set for shopping.

Impulse Buying – Been there, done that. Actually, I do it all the time! I shop when I’m happy, sad and on any occasion that I feel necessary. I couldn’t care less if it’s Target, Walmart or my favorite thrift store, Village Thrift. Sometimes I just can’t walk away, especially if it’s a good deal. My last large impulse buy was my car. My old vehicle was in the shop, needed lots of work and only some of it was covered under warranty. I had a sweet brand spanking new 2012 Nissan Altima as my rental for the week. When I got the call from my mechanic about the details and cost to fix my car, I immediately went onto Cowles Nissan’s website and shopped for my 2012 Nissan Altima. I found it, it was perfect, had all the bells and whistles and I had it by the end of the week.

– My shopping doesn’t end at birthdays or holidays. I shop weekly and sometimes daily. Online stores never close!

– I think this is where things got real for me, recently. My daughter has asked, “Mommy, are those new shoes?” I answered, “No.” Did I see this as a problem when I said it? No. I saw it more as a nice way of saying, “Mind your bees wax.” :-) Is it a problem? Absolutely! That is when I first realized I’m teaching my kids to lie. Was it a huge lie? No, but still a lie indeed.

Consequences – Now, we’ve all done the, “I know this bill is due, I’ll just get this and figure it out later.” I’ve done it quite a bit in my lifetime. Did I ever figure it out? Sure did, but was stressed to the gills while I was doing the figuring. There were also times when I didn’t figure it out and paid for it, whether it were a late fee or interest.

Here are a few other signals I also experience/have experienced: Buying items on credit rather than cash, Describing a rush after spending, Lying about how much money was spent, Thinking obsessively about money, Account juggling.

I’m one that never pays a bill 30 days late and puts money in savings each month. The reason for this 90-day test is because I know I can do and want to do much more. I can put more money in savings. I can live a life without anxiety because I didn’t make the Nine West Buy One, Get One 50% Off sale. I can stick to a budget, which as of Dec. 1, 2012 is a big fat ZERO for shopping.

The next day I will be able to shop (no clothes, shoes, accessories) is March 1, 2013-man, that sounds far away! There is a timer to the right, ticking away. So it begins…the whole world watching me as I go through my 90-Days ShopFree. Wish me luck!

How I’m Feeling Today: Anxious yet ready to meet this challenge!