Monday, March 30, 2009

Crazy Bag Lady

I don’t have many addictions. In fact in truth I have none. I simply do not have an addictive personality. Sometimes I wish I could have such a passion for something that I can’t get it out of my head. Instead however I often have to remind myself of things I like to do, or want to do more of. I should admit of course, that in my 22 years of living I have developed just one addiction. Shopping. In the last few years, it has mostly centered itself around shoes specifically, but in general it is shopping that consumes my daily thoughts. The rush of getting a good deal is often more invigorating than a smoothie on a hot August day, and while the after effect is sometimes much like a brain freeze, I can’t help but to go back for more. Over the years I have learned how to center my thinking. I buy almost entirely items that are on sales and only if I can picture them with at least 2 pieces in my closet. I have never bought something because “it will work perfectly with that one piece”, which has helped develop my closet into individual pieces that largely all work together. Even still, much like a true addict I go through phases. These phases come in spurts of weeks. I can go months without purchasing any new items of clothing or shoes, and than for the weeks that follow I go shopping crazy. Usually my on weeks come during the changes of season. As the weather changes, I start to find that I don’t have much that will make the change with me. While in fact my entire wardrobe is perfect for all 4 seasons, I think it’s the change that makes me feel as though I am missing something. I have always thought of the season change as the best time to shop, but for seasons yet to come. In May I have been able to find thick sweaters for under $5, perfect for the future winter months. Most of my bathing suits are purchased during the fall. Retail stores know that they have just a few precious weeks left to push inventory, before it will need to be dropped below profit making prices. I wait that extra week, and than I buy. $2 shirts and skirts line my closet and as I pull out my winter clothes each November, most of the pieces are never worn and with tags. It makes me so excited for the upcoming season changes, when I realize that my wardrobe will suddenly be bombarded by new pieces. It makes those few weeks of shopping heaven a scary fact however. While I’ve never over spent, and can always make my rent there are some months that are closer than others. As the season transition is upon me, I am beginning to struggle with those same addictive feelings. Most of my shoes are more appropriate for winter, and so many of my shirts are just too think for sunny days. In truth, most of my pieces with with-stand the temperature changes beautifully, and I always purchase with layering in mind. As my bills have increased so drastically in the recent months, I know that I need to be better prepared for the shopping months ahead. I realize that I will not be able to with stand the addictive feelings and I mind as well stop trying. I am a 22 year old with a problem. Most alcoholics and drug addicts find that attending meetings helps them deal with their cravings. There aren’t many meetings for shopping lovers, and while my addiction is not an actual addiction, and instead a hobby of sorts, I find that many of the tips commonly used for addicts can sometimes help me as well. A great new blog I’ve recently discovered, “Already Pretty”, gave me some great insight on a blog the other day. She was providing some information that a friend of hers, currently in AA was learning. HALT, an acronym has just become my shopping mantra. HALT is used as a way for addicts to be aware of their emotions in connection with their cravings. It will work just the same for me. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. These are all instances when it is not smart to make any decisions. It’s true too, after a long day my first thought is to casually stop by any store that may be on my way home. It’s something that I’m aware of too, but that never stops me from parking the car and heading in, “just to look”. With this new mantra though, I hope to be more aware. I shouldn’t shop when I’m Hungry, Angry, Lonely of Tired. I need to HALT and be aware of what I’m about to do. I should shop with a purpose. I’m considering getting together a list of items I would like to add to my wardrobe, something many blogger's do that will help me limit my spending. But when I go to look for that one item from my list, I always find something that will go with most anything that I never even knew I needed. As I was looking at the word HALT, I decided that I needed to have another mantra in my arsenal of tricks. The triple C’s. Clearance, Coupon, Can’t live With-out. If I always consider my state of mind before I shop, and only shop for items that fit into one of the above categories, I think I will be able to become a better spender. I will only by certain items, and with every purchase I will feel that rush of a great bargain. This of course means that the Goodwill is free game. But I’ve always shopped at the Goodwill only for items that are on their 50% list. Each week they pick a color, and any item you buy that is that color is 50% off. I know when I walk in that I’m only looking for green items or red items or what may have you and that has helped me to make sure that I’m spending money on clearance items, at the clearance store. It’s genius really J


C-Can’t Live Without

I hope to change my thinking of spending particularly during this great shopping season. As I stock up on winter items, and fill my closet with affordable summer finds I will be the crazy lady circling the racks chanting, HALT-Triple Cs-HALT-Triple Cs

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