Monday, December 15, 2008

Shopping Guilt

I had put myself on a No Shopping Spree of sorts over that past several months. Not that I did a ton of shopping to begin with, but in reviewing monthly spending reports I could see I spent $150 one month, $200 the next, etc., without really remembering what I even spent it on.

Don't get me wrong, I've bought clothing for myself recently. When I went to Boston, I made not only one, but two shopping trips to H&M. (How could you not? We don't have H&M in Texas. Plus, one of the visits was to load up on hats and scarves because I was freezing my butt off.)

So with the holiday season upon and us and DEALS! DEALS! DEALS! everywhere, I've checked out the sales but have abstained from getting myself anything for the most part. What I've learned is that there will always be another sale, and if I just remove the item from my shopping cart, I will most likely forget about it later. (I did miss out on this one fabulous pair of boots though. But there will always be another amazing sale! Plus, I've been telling myself that it will be even better after Christmas.)

I saw a mention today that is having a 90% off sale, so I checked it out. And found DEALS! DEALS! STEALS! We are talking $30 underwear reduced to $1. (I really wished I had seen this earlier, as a lot of good stuff/sizes are sold out.) So what did I do? I ordered $70 worth of bras and underwear. It was so hard to pass up - one bra was slightly off my normal size, but it was $1. How could I not get it? I could donate it to Goodwill if it's not right.

I tried for a while to get my order amount down. I could use a few new bras, but did I need FIVE more right now? Why do I feel so guilty about spending? I added it all up, and it was $400 worth of merch for $70. I saved $330! (Oops, it's not savings unless you save it.) I easily have an extra $70 to spend. And it's not like underwear is a want and not a need. (At least not for me.)

I think it's because I chose to focus on shopping and reducing the amount of things that come into my life. Dining out is an even bigger budget buster, but I've only halfheartedly been trying to reduce that expense because it's easy to get sucked into eating out for lunch to get out of the office or wanting to meet up with friends for dinner and drunks. I could easily save that $70 by cutting out a few dinners AND having my new unmentionables.

I've been reviewing my 2008 financial situation lately and trying to make some goals for 2009 and set a better budget. I almost think I need to add a special budget category of money that I can and should spend, guilt-free.