Let me state again that I am NOT a shopaholic. (I’m sure my sister just busted out laughing when she read that and is thinking, “The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.”) Yes, I DO like to shop but I don’t break out into cold sweats if I’m unable to shop. But shopping does make me happy and cheers me up when I’m sad. Hmmm….
Oh God, I do have a problem.
One of my ‘happy places’ has always been Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. There’s no department I won’t go to and browse when I go there. I think it’s safe to say that 50% of closest has come from those two department stores. And I knew it would be a REAL challenge to shop there and completely avoid the clothing section. Does that mean I have to give up those two stores for the entire year?! Surely I’m stronger then that! I don’t want to give up my happy place!
Well, this last Sunday I needed spice jars. Why? Because my boyfriend freaked out when I cleaned out the pantry and threw out half of his Indian spices. Let me just say that I was COMPLETELY justified! They were all open, messy, and expired! Sorry, but I can’t live that way.
I told him that he could keep every Indian spice under the sun if they were kept in nice spice jars, and I would even go get him some. He agreed to the compromise and a few hours later I found myself in the parking lot of the TJ Maxx near my house.
I’m going to be real honest here and let y’all know that I was feeling real concern as I walked into the store. I don’t think I’ve EVER walked out of that place without some sort of clothing in my bag. My game plan for this trip was to not even look at the clothes or shoes. I would just put on my ‘mental blinders’ and head straight for the kitchen wares in the back…no side trips! I figured if I didn’t even look at the clothes I wouldn’t be tempted.
And…it worked. J
I went to the kitchen wares, found six really nice spice jars and headed to the checkout. I will admit that, like Lot’s wife, I did turn back and gaze at the racks while I was standing in line. Ugly – Don’t Need – Not My Size – Too Expensive…these are the titles I gave to the clothes I could see and strangely enough, it worked.
I felt really proud of myself as I walked to my car with my six spice jars. I didn’t impulse buy and I had no buyer’s remorse, and those are two items I always have when I leave that store. I usually walk to my car and start justifying the items I have in my bag. Really! I do that EVER single time!
I have found a great piece of advice on what to do if you cave to a moment of weakness and find yourself impulse buying. It’s called “If you slip, Save the slip.”
If You Slip, Save the Slip: If you buy something you didn't plan to buy, make sure you hang on to your sales receipts. Often, impulse purchases lead to buyer's remorse. http://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/info-10-2010/savings_challenge_tips_for_impulse_shopping.html (check out the full article here)
Save that receipt! Hang that new dress/sweater/shirt up for at least a week (or two) and see if you’re still in love with it at a later date. If the love is gone, then return it! I promise that the buyer’s remorse will be gone and you’ll feel better about your decision. And isn’t that what we’re doing here? Working on making better decisions?
Let me leave you with bit of advice if you start to feel overwhelmed and think “I can’t make a yearlong commitment like this!” Just keep reminding yourself that your life is not going to change with one BIG decision at the beginning of every year. Your life is going to change by the thousands of LITTLE decisions we make every day, every week, and every month. You might slip and not get all those little decisions right, but there are plenty more coming and “you’ll do better next time”.
My name is Misty Day (yeah, that really is my name) and I'm a normal every day person. I'm a twin, I work as an analyst, I take my daughter to Girl Scouts and swim team, I play bass guitar in a band, I love food and wine, I like new clothes, and I'm trying to be a better person.