Confessions of a Shopaholic on a Non-Shopaholic Budget

Hi y'all,

My name is Lindsey and I'm a shopaholic. Shocker? Not exactly.

However, I definitely do not make the money or have the savings to be a shopaholic. Now it is time to start saving my money instead of spending it. As an adult, I definitely have some "major" purchases coming up in the future that I will need savings in order to afford without a struggle.

We all just saw how bloggers posted left and right about the #nsale. I shopped it to. However, I will say over 3/4 of my purchases are going to be returned. I shop at Lilly Pulitzer, granted my shopping habits for there have changed drastically since I worked for a signature store. I shop at Loft, J. Crew Factory especially their sales when they are store/site wide. I've been a sucker for those "amazing discount codes" that seem to just pop up-every single day.

How many times have we been suckered into "sales" when the product really ended up only being like $2 less expensive, or worse you spent money to "save" money. Meaning, you spent more money compared to what you actually wanted to spend, typically so you can get free shipping. I've done it, especially if I thought the item might get returned because I knew the shipping wasn't going to get refunded and then I'd be out that money anyway. Which, speaking of shipping, has your shopping habits gotten worse compared to when you only shopped in stores? Hands down mine has.

While, at this point, you're probably using things like Rakuten (formally Ebates), Swagbucks, cash back credit card, coupons, etc. No amount of these things will ever put that money back in your pocket. Once you have spent that money, you've spent it (unless you return it). I use a mixture of the above mentioned "money saving" techniques. However, the money you get in return is always less than what you spent. I will say the plus side to these types of things, is you are earning something back when you need to spend money. For instance, I have a cash back credit card. I'm helping my credit score and I get a little something back (between 2 and 3%) on purchases when I need to spend money, like on food, gas, etc. I have to spend this money because it is on necessities. I have to eat, I have to go places. The fact I get a little money back (albeit not much) is a bonus. Now, I would suggest booking a trip though a site like these, because you are spending money (typically a larger sum of money) and this is a great way to get a "deal" and get some money back, but do your research first and make sure that you're saving money.

One of those things is a house. I currently live in central Virginia, home of a major University. This means rent is really expensive. On top of that, it is now a major area for weddings thanks to all the vineyards and breweries. The average rent in my area for a 1 bedroom apartment (for just rent-no utilities, extras, etc.) is about $1600. This is not sharing with someone in a 2 bedroom apartment, just a single person looking for a 1 bedroom apartment. Houses typically start (in a good neighborhood) around $350,000. The sad part-that is an older home that has been around since the 1970s. The "bedroom" communities that surround the town are not any better. They have raised rents, prices, etc. to match what it costs to live in town.

I want a Master's degree. I want my Master's Degree to become a Reading Specialist. As a teacher, no one is going to help fund my degree except myself or some grants and scholarships if I'm lucky. Education does not have the same fellowships, etc. that other speciality areas have. I am very fortunate that I graduated from college and completed my teaching license debt free. I worked during college both on campus and my senior year had a job at home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring breaks. After graduation, I worked at this job for about 11 more months before leaving to start my career in education.

I want to have a solid savings. As a single person (and even thinking about my future family), I want to make sure that I have money to not only support myself but save for the future. As cliché as it is, you never do know what the future holds and I want to be prepared.

So, my confession is that yes I'm a shopaholic. However, I am working on changing that because the things I want are far more important than buying everything I see and "like". You know, those things I will wear one time and then "lose" or not have a purpose for.

6 Ways to help the Shopaholic:

1. Hide or put away your credit cards. I keep my credit cards that I use frequently in a different credit card wallet that is separate from my normal wallet. These are the cards that have a relatively small credit limit on them, and I use them to buy gas, food, etc. I'm know going to suggest cutting up your credit cards because having credit is valuable, and if you don't have them you will never learn how to use them responsibly.

2. Delete company emails. Delete all those emails that tell you about sales. You don't need to receive an email from every single company you have ever bought something from. Plus, if they do have sale that you want to shop, you'll hear about via social media.

3. Unfollow company social media accounts. Shopped at the place on time? You don't need to follow them on social media. Only follow the companies that add to your life. I also put my Like to Know It app in my social media folder, and it is on the second page so I can't see it.

4. Skip the blog posts on sales. I follow several bloggers that once a week they post a "sales wrap up" post. You know, all those posts about the sales for the week or weekend. You don't need these! I skip these every week and I have spent far less money since I began doing this because I'm not tempted.

5. Create and stick to your shopping list. Create a list and stick to it by not buying anything you did not go into the store for. If I'm going to Lilly Pulitzer, I look online and look before going into the store so I have an idea of what I'm looking for, a budget for the trip, and have an idea of what I might need the store to order.

6. Follow the 24 hour rule: if you see it in a store, wait 24 hours before buying. You can always go back to the store or order online.

What do you do to prevent spending unnecessary money?

xx,
Lindsey



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