Friday, September 9, 2016

Shopping Snafu

I was doing really well with my year of intentional purchases and buying fewer things. Then, I had a little shopping snafu.

I went shopping for groceries Sunday with just myself and my daughter. I browsed for the first time in a long time and bought the velvet slim hangers I've been wanting (on my shopping list!). I almost walked away with a tablecloth and place mats, but refrained as I wasn't 100% sure they were what I wanted and I was working hard to be very conscious about my purchases. I also purchased replacement boots for my daughter, who has grown out of many of her footwear as we found this past week. In all, I thought I did really great!

The next day, Labor Day, my husband and I went impromptu shopping after visiting a water park. At first, we stopped at this plaza just to get ice cream, but the lovely stores surrounding the plaza were too tempting. He went to a sporting goods, and I went into TJ Maxx for the first time in my life (and discovered it was just like Marshalls). I got a jacket for my daughter (it was super lovely and while is a bit big now, can be used now and for spring. I did review all her things the previous Saturday so I did have a good idea of what she needed) and one for my niece (Birthday gift). I fell in love with a cabinet, but did not get it as I wasn't sure how I would use it or where. I then also stopped at Kohls and got a top for my niece to round out her birthday gifts.

But... I found that, for me, shopping just begets more shopping. Feeling unsatisfied (probably because I didn't get that cabinet, and I've been really wanting a dresser as well), I went online browsing when I got home and found 7 expensive tops that I really liked, on sale. They were from a brand I normally cannot afford, and I own one top that I absolutely adore from said line.  Just before ordering, I remembered that I'm supposed to be shopping intentionally. I remembered my questionnaire and what this experiment was about. I narrowed my choices down to just 3, found my $50 off coupon, and still ordered. I told myself that they'll go right back if I don't love them and they don't fit all my checkboxes. But, I still over-shopped. I didn't do as much damage as my normal binges, but I ordered 3 pricey (despite being discounted) summer tops when I'm transitioning into fall. Three tops that, if I keep, mean I have only 21 items left for the next year that I can buy (and only 20 if the boots I ordered weeks ago finally come in and I love them). And while I'm fessing up, the next day on my lunch break, I was browsing furniture and dishware. Shopping begets more shopping!

So, the game plan is of course to be very critical with these tops when they arrive and only keep them if they're really steller and meet all my criteria. I also am working to stop the browsing, NOW. I cannot want/purchase things I don't see. So far, so good- I've browsed minimally since.

But, when I think on why I felt dissatisfied and wanted to continue shopping, I realized I really want to replace my dressers with a really nice one (hopefully the one that matches my bed). I was redirecting my focus on other things and buying things I can get right now, which doesn't make me want the more expensive purchase any less and leaves me continually dissatisfied. I think I go with buying the easier things more often because I don't have to really wait to purchase- they're less expensive and all I have to do is click a button.

I've been musing over this interesting discovery since then. I didn't know that I sometimes binge on clothing because I'm dissatisfied with something completely unrelated, such as frustration with my furniture. I also didn't realize that giving myself permission to shop often leads to more and more shopping.  Knowing is the first step though, so going forward I can try to help myself.

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