Since the beginning of February, I promised myself that I would get better about my shopping habits. I am not really out of control, but I know that I could use that money for something more productive (i.e. classes or workshops) or meaningful (i.e. experiences or services like spas and personal training sessions).
I did not have the urge to shop until last Friday. I left work early and found myself wandering the streets of my favorite shopping area. In the spirit of transparency, I looked around–touched, tried on and sampled–but DID NOT buy. It was hard, but what got me to leave the clothes in the stores were the questions that I asked myself on the way to the register. These questions or self-coaching cues gave me enough insight to help me get my money mindset right.
Here are the questions that I had to answer in order to keep me from shopping impulsively. These questions are great tools for you to get in touch with your financial self before it negatively impacts your bank account. Be sure to raise these questions when you need. And don’t be ashamed of the questions, it’s better to be sad than short on the rent.
1. What am I saving for?
It is easy to spend mindlessly when you don’t have a savings goal. Some people just can’t save for savings sake. In my 20s, I was saving for an emergency fund, paying down my student loans and to begin investing. Since I met all of those goals, and I am not sure that I want to buy a home; I had to think about a new savings goal. Right now, what’s keeping me out of the stores is my trip to London that is scheduled for August.
2. How am I feeling right in this moment?
I got out of work early on Friday and had a couple of hours on my hand. So instead of rushing home to add to my blog, call up a girlfriend, or rest, (all things I say I have NO time for) I decided that I would head out to one of my favorite stores, just to “look.” After an hour, I had three articles of clothing that I was “just holding on to,” but as I walked to the register, I thought to myself, “Why are you doing this, Kara?”
I answered myself, “I’m kinda bored, it’s a habit, I self-sabotage a lot, and Friday means ‘recreation and leisure’ and that means shopping. Friday is a day to unwind and I unwind with a purchase.”
This momentary pause really gave me food for thought. I am definitely a saver, but my relationship with spending could really use some work.
3. Would___________ (name of person) be proud if they knew I was in here shopping?
Whether it’s lying to yourself or to your loved ones, knowing that you should do better can create enough guilt or shame to keep you towing the line. I thought about my commitment to authenticity, good faith and transparency with my Fabulous N’ Frugal readers and my husband.
4. Don’t I have something like this already?
I picked up a plum sweater dress, a cute brown shoulder bag, and a coat. I really, really liked them. But then I realized that I “really, really liked them” because I already had similar things in my closet which I rarely wore. In that moment, I saw how silly I was being–both financially and sartorially.
Kara is the founder of the personal finance and lifestyle blog The Frugal Feminista, an online home for financial empowerment, girl power and juicy living. Connect with her on Twitter @frugalfeminista.
And Just In Case You Need More Motivation To Stop Shopping…You’re Not Rich Like Jay Z, So Sit Down!
1. We Get It Jay Z, You're Rich
We've heard Jay boasting what he owns in various songs; only to Google it and find out that we'd have to hold our rent for at least 5 months to be able to pay for it. But it's Jay's SCC clothing line at Barneys that is a blatant testimony of his out-of-touch richness. A $700 cashmere ski mask? Jigga what?! In honor of Jay's growing bank account and ego, we've gathered his richest GIFs for your viewing pleasure.
2. Rich People Quench Their Thirst
By sipping from Grammys. In the words of that Dos Equis dude--"Stay thirsty my friends."
3. Rich People Make An Entrance
And it usually involved Kanye West and pyrotechnics.
4. Rich People Be Like...
5. A True Test Of Your Richness...
Is how much Kanye West loves you.
6. Rich People Marry Beyonce
and make her fall "Dangerously In Love."
7. Rich People Only Do Courtside
Because they own the team.
8. RIch People Can Blow Smoke
Without even smoking.
9. Rich People Dance
But only with Justin Timberlake.
10. Rich People Love To Vacation In Exclusive Locations
The more off limits, the better.
11. Rich People Have Friends In High Places
Problem or not, Jay has a special place in Obama's heart.
12. Rich People Have Bentleys
Even before they blowup-uate.
13. Rich People Make Taraji P. Henson Swoon
with one rich kiss.
14. Rich People Get Fresh Like No One's Watching
Even though they are. People are always watching.
15. Rich Men Love A Good Pinky Ring
And they show it off every chance they get.
16. Rich People Don't Need A Mic
Andddd anytime anyone says, "Thank you," they know it's for them.
17. Rich People Boast
But it's mostly about things they can do or have done.
18. When Rich People Are Bored...
They blow things up for sport with Kanye West
19. Rich People Can Get All Up In Your Face
And dare you to unfold your arms.
20. Rich Men Make Pharrell Go
21. When You're Rich...
People sit around watching you smoke your pricey cigars.
22. Rich People Play Around In The Studio
Even when they charge per hour
23. Rich People Pay Timbaland For Beats
We all know Tim's beats are minimum 100K. That doesn't hurt Jigga's wallet one bit.
24. Rich People Sip Tea
From a tiny teacup. Jay's pinky is struggling to stay down. Rich people do that.
25. Rich People Make This Face Often
Because only a hefty bank account can make a man look this happy.
26. Rich Men Have Secret Handshakes
That you could never afford.
27. Rich People Don't Want You Reading Over Their Shoulder Either
Especially when it's Beyonce.
28. Rich People Have Rich Friends
Even when their friendship don't make no kinda sense.