Diaries of a Reformed Shopaholic - Part 1



1. Do you seek immediate gratification?

2. Do you justify the purchase with "I deserve it”?

3. Do you turn to shopping because of boredom?

4. Do you shop to forget about stress?

5. Do you shop to “keep-up” with friends, family members or co-workers?

6. Do you buy and return more items than you keep? 


After asking myself the above questions I discovered my emotional shopping characteristics...

I felt I deserved it...

Most of my “working years” were spent in clothing retail so when payday came I would buy the wonderful clothes I would feature on the walls and mannequins. I felt I deserved it. I put in the work and earned the money so I spent it without considering if I needed the items or not. 


I shopped due to boredom. I didn’t have enough hobbies or interests to keep me entertained. So heading to the mall to fill up free time always lead to unnecessary purchasing. I was not a “window shopper”.   I am impulsive by nature so when I want something it's a "have to have" whether I have the money or if I was praying my card would accept the purchase. Discount stores are a true trigger for me because I know from running those types of stores in most cases "...it's never the same place twice..." and you do "...get the max for the minimum...".

Shopping to forget stress...

Weekends when my husband (now ex) and I were both home, the tension was thick, so it was nice to take a break from my tense and unhappy household for some retail therapy. Had to do my chores but then I would go shopping. When I was alone I would embrace the quiet, the lack of complaining and arguing. When I was out with friends, shopping was social stress reliever and of course I would continue to buy things I didn't need, because we were out shopping and that is what you "do".

 Keeping up with friends, family and co-workers...

As I just shared, I would shop with friends, even power shop on lunch with female co-workers. Again a social activity however it would expose me to different styles. For example if they were into a certain brand or vintage items and I thought it was interesting I would grab a few pieces to join in, ignoring the fact that I already had PLENTY and that I was adding to the excess. Not to mention when I was 265 lbs. it got expensive because the plus-size brand name items were pricey and I always needed tailoring, (in the 90's plus-chicks were automatically tall) I was short so more money spent. For awhile I followed a shoe, handbag and accessory forums, exposing me other members posts. I got into high-end items like Louis Vuitton and Gucci. My ex-husband made good money, as a result I had most of the money I earned to spend. However the frequency of my shopping, gas to go shopping and lunch/dinner while out shopping, adsorbed my money. My "fix" for that was applying for credit cards to get the high-end items, because I was always spending I could not save for the high-end items. Soon I couldn't make sizable credit card payments so I would fall victim to interest on the item I didn't really need. Years prior, my then husband fixed all my 20-something credit card drama and I again my 38-41 year old self created more drama.

It has been hard posting about my emotional shopping, cringing about my bad choices and my poor mind-sets. Being a new head of household after my marriage dissolved, made it clear that I had to do better, to provide for me and my son. As hard as it has been to share this, it also reminds me how far I have come. Next post will be how I decided my personal style and how I purged my "coveted" belongings.