I’ve always loved clothes. My mom and (most) sisters loves clothes. Even my grandmother loved shopping. I come by this honestly. Some of my youngest memories were getting to go thrift shopping with the money I got from my Grandma when I cleaned her house. I was taught the value of money, thinking about cost per wear (CPW) and so on. However, in the past two years, I’ve let these lessons go by the wayside. I’ve felt pressure to shop more, buy more expensive clothing, wear new things on the blog. None of that pressure was coming from someone in particular, but I justified shopping as basically getting content for my blog.
I’m not blaming blogging, but I truly think that I have spent more on clothing in the past two years than I would have otherwise if I wouldn’t have been blogging. Some of the items I justified as being unique pieces for the blog, haven’t even made it on the blog! I noticed that in the past four months as I’ve traveled more for work, I’ve been stressed, needing more control of my life, I’ve started impulse/ emotional shopping. Not even big things, a shirt here, a skirt there, but truthfully, that over four months added up to about $375. What would that cover? A student loan payment AND an extra car payment.
Here’s how I’m stopping the cycle of emotional shopping
- I’m not doing as many outfit posts on the blog
Thanks to the results so far of the reader survey (take it HERE!) you all have expressed an overwhelming desire for me to do more lifestyle and personal posts. That means I have less pressure to have a new outfit together in order to put up a post. YAY! I didn’t realize that I would feel such a sense of relief when I saw these results; in fact, I almost wish I would have asked sooner because I feel like a burden has been lifted.Dress: EXACT (Size reference: Large) // Very Similar
Earrings: EXACT // Ring: EXACT // Shoes: Similar
- I downloaded Mint
I swear I am NOT an affiliate of them but I cannot tell you how much I love this app. For banking I use Bank of America and have synced up my accounts in Mint. It categorizes every single purchase and funnels them through my budget so I can see how much I have left for each category, automatically without me having to do any work. I also LOVE that on Sunday I get a breakdown of the last week’s purchases, right down to the place I spent the most money, what day I spent the most and how I can use the leftover money at the end of the week (HAH! If there is any) to work towards my savings goals.What are my biggest weaknesses right now? Eating out lunch during the workweek. Lunch is consistently inconsistent for me. Sometimes I am able to go to the 12:10 gym class, sometimes I’m on a call, sometimes I just need a solid 20 minutes away from the chaos. I am notorious for packing a lunch, looking at it, saying I don’t want it and then going to Chipotle. So not outright emotional shopping, but it’s still a weakness of mine that I am working on curbing. I am not being paid by Mint, but I would sell out in a second for them. Just kidding.
- I am focusing on experiences rather than objects
I am not ashamed to say it, at one point in my life I would openly admit that I would rather have objects over experiences. That time was as short as two years ago. I took comfort in “things” and didn’t see the value in experiences that will provide a lifetime of memories. Something clicked last year and I became much more interested in having experiences, to include turning my phone off more, leaving it at home when eating out and other things. The problem though was that I wasn’t scaling back my purchases, so I was shopping AND having experiences that sometimes costing more than I had anticipated. So far I haven’t found myself emotional shopping for experiences.
- My mom’s “one item in, one item out” rule
My personal rule for clothing has always been that if I haven’t worn something in six months, I have to donate or give it away. Six months allows for two seasons and generally doesn’t allow for any sort of wiggle room for excuses. However, my mom has an even better rule, if she buys something, she has to get rid of something. Right now I have NOTHING I want to get rid of! So guess what? That means I have nothing that I need to get and cuts down emotional shopping.
- Realize what my emotional shopping triggers are
What do bored, stressed, sad and happy have in common? Those are the moods that I find myself emotionally shopping. Each of them has a unique way of impacting the emotional shopping but I’ve noticed I start browsing during these moods and sometimes result in a purchase. I’ve started asking myself WHY I am online shopping (sometimes out loud) and WHY I am making time to browse. This will allow me to curb spending and also be more productive with my time!
A lot of you so far from the survey have asked how I managed my money and budget related to shopping. I’m going to give you an update on my emotional shopping after the first quarter of the year. I hope to have really great news but I promise you that whatever the result is, I will share with you and be transparent about this weakness and let you know some of the things that worked and didn’t work.
Do you have any tips? I’d love to hear your thoughts!