Saturday, February 26, 2011

Serious Business

I have been joking that shopping has taken over for my food addiction, but when I take a look at my behavior, I think it's true-- not a joke.

There are a couple of issues at play. One, we sort of decided that we're strongly leaning toward being childless by choice (not trying one last time after I lose weight-- the reason I got the surgery, actually) and that comes with the realization that we are two professionals living without a huge financial obligation. In other words, we're finally making pretty good money for only two people to have to live on so we've got disposable income. Second, going clothes shopping and continuously fitting in smaller and smaller sizes is a hugely reinforcing NSV. So not only have I been telling myself "I can afford this", I've also been telling myself "I deserve this."

It's gotten to the point where I'm worried though. For the last two months I've had to transfer money from savings before the end of the month (not cool) and even more worrisome than that, I've spent the last week or two of the month actively looking forward to the next month so I can go shopping again.

My mother is compulsive with spending money (shopping, and even more horribly, gambling) and I have always promised myself that I would not be like her. She and her husband are in a desperate place financially (bankrupt for the 2nd time in her life, and the IRS is garnishing her wages) and its not like I am ANYWHERE near that, but boy does this seem like it has the potential to spin out of control.

So here is my public vow. March will be the month of no new clothes. March will be the month of no new shoes. March will be the month of no unnecessary spending.

I'll let you know how it goes.


  1. I TOTALLY had to do the same thing. I was buying, buying, buying...but only able to wear the clothes for a few months. So, I'm limiting my buying now and that helps. It is so hard though when you start fitting into all of those cute, cute things!! Good luck on your self imposed boycott. :)

  2. Hey the important thing is that you recognize a pattern. Since my impending job loss, I've really paid attention to the things I buy needlessly. Its amazing when you pay attention! I actually tried to spend the entire month of January - only buying necessities like food, cleaning products, etc. NO frivolous spending. It was eye opening! You can do it in March! :)

  3. I go through periods of buying and spending. I do feel I have an addiction to it and have to consciously stop myself especially now that I'm trying to clear up debt and given generously to a mission in Kenya. I think that one addiction can easily replace another when we're not careful. At least you are fully aware of what you are doing and trying to nip it in the bud before it is too far out of hand. Best of luck!

  4. yup..the shopping is crazy fun but dangerous in this house too!


  5. I think - putting it out there is a big huge step. Now you have to pay great attention to it and see what you see. I think making the goal of no unnecessarily spending in March is a fantastic one. Maybe the tendency is there - but maybe it's that plus the fact that buying clothes is just so much more fun then it's been in a long long time. You're making up for lost time. I think the time away will help you understand what exactly it is.

  6. I had WLS also for fertility reasons. You can get into my story in my "about me" section on my page. As for you, I'm a shop o holic also. But, I kind of have to be because being in 18-22s for the last 11 years of my life and now in 14/16s doesn't leave me much option. So, I don't mind, lol. We're hoping to start our 4th fertility treatment next month! :)

  7. I've been worried about the same thing. It feels like I am substituting shopping for food. However, I was also unemployed for 6 months and couldn't shop before. Since I had surgery 2 weeks before starting the new job I am not sure if it is a food substitute or just the fact I can afford to buy stuff again. Either way, I think I am out of control. I bought 4 pairs of shoes on Sunday after buying 2 pairs of jeans, a top and a pair of sandals on Saturday. I need help.