If you follow Nester, you probably read her post on How to Cure Thrift Store Shopping. I have struggled with this in the past--the 'it's only $2!' rationale. I have made some progress, and wanted to share some of my shopping tips with you.
If you are a new follower, (haaaay!!) you will have to read my post on my compulsive shopping/ADD journey that started back in '09.
I am a recovering compulisve shopper/compulsive debtor. Google it. It's real. It's a daily struggle...alcoholics can choose never to enter a bar again. As women who do most of the shopping, it's hard to never enter a target or kroger again. Thrift stores and spending/charging was my stress relief, my high, my crack-pipe. It is still a daily struggle.
You should read through Nester's comments on her post. If you struggle with this, you are definitely not alone. I don't post about it much. But it's my reality, and you never know who can benefit from your story.
I have found some ways to manage or cope with the compulsions and spending... (along with medication--thank God for Adderall) But believe me I still have relapses. Like I said, it's a daily struggle.
Shopping is still my stress relief. There is something about the smell of TJ Maxx, or the smell of a thriftstore, or the smell of my favorite antique store. Crazy, huh? (I'm not the only one--don't deny it). It's a woman thing.
Here are some of my ways to manage the compulsion/spending...
Shred the credit card. In this economy, you hear enough about this. But it's true, CASH HURTS! Not going to preach on this. Another blog post in itself. I have a little allowance account that I use. When the money is gone, it's gone.
Do you find yourself just looking for a project. With all the before and afters going on, who doesn't want to join in? But then I think about my attic...with all the incomplete projects just waiting for me. The 'I'll do this project soon' never really comes around. I've recognized my behavior. When the time comes to finally execute that photo wall--there will still be plenty of frames at goodwill ready for a coat of spraypaint.
When it's time for my goodwill fix, I try to hit the store when I am in a 15-20 minute time crunch. Less time to browse and think about things. But just enough time to smell the smell, and touch things.
Obviously it's better to go into the store knowing what you want/need, and not just for giggles. (I know..psshhh...whatever) But sometimes you just want to buy something. Anything. Spending just $2 gives me a 'fix' to make it the next couple of weeks. (The $2 fix is better than the past life $200 fix)
For example, Erika at Thrifty and Fabuless bought a cute glass for her cutips. Cute. Functional. I wanted one! So I went in with one goal to buy a cute glass for my cutips. I spent my $2 and that little glass makes me happy in the morning when I reach for my cutip. (it's the small things in life, you know?)
Thrifty and Fabuless
Most importantly--DON'T GET A BASKET!!! duh!!
When you go to goodwill, or just a random trip to Target or Hobby Lobby--don't get a basket. I dare you to try it. If you can't carry it all, then you don't need it. I will find myself carrying around a load of things, sweating...my arms get sore....but it slows me down enough for me to think it through and realize I don't need it and I'll put it back. Most salespeople look at me like I'm crazy. 'Do you need a basket?' I'm like, NO! I'll spend more! (more crazy looks) And about 80% of the time I will give the cashier a couple of things that I have changed my mind on. I'll just tell him/her...I'm a compulsive shopper. Sorry. Don't need it.
Got the urge to spend, but you KNOW you don't need to be in Target or Goodwill or Hobby Lobby?...Go to the fabric store. This works for me. I walk around...daydream...relax...touch the fabrics...and when I walk out with fabric swatches in my hand, it makes me feel like I am coming away with something--for free. (ok--do ya'll think I'm crazy now?)
Or Go to the library. I get to use my 'card' and come out with an armful of free books! (just have to remember to take them back on time :)
To me, it's the little victories...I think of what the 'old me' would have bought, and what the 'new me' didn't buy. Does that make sense? When I walk out of Goodwill, empty-handed, and I didn't buy that awesome silver pitcher b/c I don't have room for it. That's a pretty big deal for me.
Or when I walk out of Target and think, wow, I spent $20 on California Baby products because we needed it, and I didn't buy anything else!
Or when I went to Tuesday morning last week for a baby gift. And walked out (an hour later after drooling over things) with a baby gift.
It actually scares me sometimes when I walk through stores and see all the things I would have bought--and how much I would have charged.
I call it sober shopping. Like I said, I still have relapses. Confession: I went back to Tuesday morning and bought 2 throw pillows for my bed. (but wait till you see them! squeal!)
I guess all these things could be called coping mechanisms? IDK. I'm no psychologist. Find what works for you. I've found that I have to trick my mind that it's a game, or a challenge.
I would love to hear your thoughts and how you manage your wants vs. needs, and how you manage your thrifting/shopping compulsion!
Happy Sober Shopping!