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