Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Adventures in Retail Therapy, or, How To Kick a Shopping Addiction

Humans by nature, constantly desire more things. I am the first to admit that I am an over consumer. Why, I run a beauty blog for goodness sake. You saw my makeup collection on Monday, you know I live in a world of excess. But I am starting to notice that there is a point where it all becomes too much. Being spoiled for choice is frustrating! I just have too much stuff.

After having a long hard think about what really compels me to wanting more and more and more, I came up with two major factors, the first being bargains, and the second being trends. I want to break them down individually and talk about what I can do to alter my habits.



Let's start off with bargains. I come from a pretty frugal family, and my mother always taught me to shop the sales. I am not saying that this is a bad habit, of course it is fantastic to save money on essential items! But am I really shopping for essential items in sales? No!

99% of the time I use sales to justify spending money on items I don't need.

When things are on sale, it's like a green light in my head that says it's okay to spend away. My mental list of what I need or already have at home goes out the window, because I am saving money today that I wouldn't tomorrow. Think about the logic behind that... Spending money to save money... I mean really?

When I see sale signs like 50% off, do you know what I do more often than not? I buy two of that item. And I am not just talking about things that I would use up either! I am talking about items that are non perishable. Now I have more than I need or even want some of the time, taking up more room that I don't have in my small apartment. Things that seem new and shiny and exciting at the time, but in reality I probably won't use and will end up throwing out in a year thinking, why did I spend my money on this? Thinking about that in hindsight makes me feel like a crazy person.


Where did it all come from?

The second thing I want to talk about is trends. Boy oh boy do I too often get sucked into the latest and greatest trends. Whether they be in clothing or makeup I am am always looking for the latest and greatest developments in style. As a pretty darn socially awkward person, I always catch myself thinking, maybe I will be more confident with others if I look the right way. That is such an embarrassing thing to admit, but it's true. I don't know how it's gotten this bad in my head, having such a warped version of reality. Some would blame the media, some would blame capitalism. I don't want to get into a philosophical debate here, I am just acknowledging that it is a problem.

Having new things makes me feel confident and happy for a short amount of time.

And it is that happiness and confidence that we call retail therapy my friends. They say that the first step to changing is admitting that you have a problem. Well I am admitting that I have a problem. I shop to make myself feel better. I hope that through a bit of self reflection that I can build my strength of character enough to deal with problems in a way that doesn't involve coming home with some shiny new plaything. I hope that you guys could at least relate to this a post a little bit.

Do you think you are an over consumer? Or are you a wholehearted believer in retail therapy? I'd love to hear your thoughts below :)

Mishelle

17 comments:

  1. I definitely give myself too much retail therapy. Bad day? Shop. Good day, I deserve a prize. Shop. It's become a bit ridiculous because I shop whether I "deserve" it or not so the point of the incentive is lost (as a prize for hard work or good grades, etc.)
    And like you said, it only gives me momentary happiness.
    xx

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    1. I am glad that you can relate to what I said. I totally give myself little prizes too! Completed an assignment, cleaned the house and had a terrible day at work have all been excuses for me in the past.

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  2. Oh I definitely agree with you- shopping sales to save money... when the money didn't even have to be spent in the first place! What logic is that! I must control my spending or else I'll be poor soon :P It is true having new things does give a little happiness for a short period of time :)

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    1. Yep, but then it ends so you have to buy something else!

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  3. I am a huge consumer, particularly when it comes to makeup and more recently.... shoes! The sad part is that I think I'm doing well when I haven't bought anything for a week. I'm working on it!!!

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  4. I shop the sales to save money too! I've been off work a lot the last year and a 1/2 due to injury so it was so easy to buy something online when I couldn't get out - like a little pressie to myself. I've gotten to the point where I know I don't need a lot of stuff so I'm trying to limit my spending. I put myself on a spending ban. I am allowing myself one thing from Sephora before it sells out so that's a bit naughty. I did have an ASOS cart open and one for Beauty Bay and I closed both those so I'm proud.

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  5. One thing I do (because this sounds all too familiar to me!) is if I'm shopping online, I'll take one last look at my cart and sign out for the day. If I sign back in tomorrow and think 'Yep, still need that' I'll buy them. If the craze/enthusiasm has diminished I empty my cart.

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  6. I'm definitely a Shopaholic. Similar to what Julz said I tend to do a lot of shopping online & I usually load up my cart with waaay more Items then I should be buying & then I go through & try and downsize it by a lot or leave it til the next day to really see if I want to buy everything. I'm also a sucker for sales & like you tend to buy a lot more money or multiple Items if I know I'll be "saving money"

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  7. Definitely agree with the sentiments in this post and I think you expressed yourself eloquently and honestly. The cycle of materialism is ultimately empty and absolutely endless. And you're right - the things we buy only give us happiness for a short period of time until we need the next new shiny thing to temporarily give us that happiness again. It doesn't fix or solve anything or address the root of our issues at all.

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  8. Oh man I used to buy everything ever, and shopping definitely made me feel better when I was a bit down. I had to stop because I need to save money, but now I'm left with a room full of crap I'll never need. Trends are a problem for me, especially now I work in retail and have another excuse to give in 'Oh I need to wear it for work'. No! I have enough clothes for work, and khaki and camo, however nice it is now, isn't going to be in fashion very long!
    I'm planning to sell some stuff I don't need on ebay or at a garage sale though to de-clutter.

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  9. I can certainly relate. For me it's all about thinking everything will come together if I just buy this one thing. 'This room will be perfect when I buy that vase' or 'that bag will totally tie together my wardrobe'...of course as soon as I get my hands on that one thing, I become fixated on something else I 'have' to have.

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  10. oh I love spending money but I never buy clothes on sale I don't need

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  11. This post really touched me, and it's because basically vvimos very materialistic reality. There are things that make me happy and then we are nothing but keep in my closet or on a shelf. The truth is that life should be sincere and buy things start saving for things that really matter.

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  12. Thanks this post really opened my eyes. It is not only eye opening rather very beneficial for the people those who want to do something good in his life.
    fredericksburg short sales

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  13. I totally hear you - when I think about how much money I could have saved for bigger, more important things by not shopping for that little happiness boost it gets a little depressing. This year I've made a bit of a pact to myself to try and go for quality rather than quantity, particularly when it comes to clothes and beauty items. I know that it's still spending money, but it's makes me think through my purchases and stops me from accumulating things just because they're on sale! xx

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  14. ohhh i relate to this far too much! When I'm sad/ having a bad day I go shopping = happiness. When I buy something I really shouldn't have I justify it with 'i deserve that' or ' I worked really hard this week haha my favourite way to justify things is 'cost per wear', i definitely have problems when spending sometimes. I really don't need to buy so much or even need half the stuff i buy so im trying to cut back and use up what I've already got. Really great post x

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  15. OMG SO MEEE!! I'm a typical asian who is such a sucker for anything on sale. I don't normally buy two of the same item when it's 50% off unless it holds a HG status. I too am starting to realize how much crap I have, and it's just ridiculous. I mean I have like 10 unopened bottles of liquid foundations, and 5 opened ones (excluding the ones at my bf's)! Don't get me started on mascaras, lip products, and blushes. Too bloody many to count! I have been exercising quite a lot of self-control when it comes to purchasing cosmetics lately, but I still have A LOT of room for improvement when it comes to nail polishes...

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