retail therapy http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9426/all en-US The High Cost of the "Treat Yourself" Mindset http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-the-treat-yourself-mindset <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-high-cost-of-the-treat-yourself-mindset" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000053298210_Large.jpg" alt="when the &quot;treat yourself&quot; mentality goes too far" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you stressed? Tired? Depressed? Is daily life getting you down? Maybe you need a treat!</p> <p>Except that treating yourself can be expensive, and it doesn't actually make anything better. We are trained to believe that it will, though, and that the money we spend is justified in the name of self-care.</p> <p>Just recently, my family went through a very stressful time with my husband's job. Since he makes the majority of our income right now, that was hard on me, too. As we processed the situation and dealt with the stress, I found myself spending money. I'm a pretty frugal person, so it wasn't anything obscene, just a $20 workout top here and a lunch out with the kids there.</p> <p>Over the course of a month, though, it added up, and I realized what was happening. I was buying these things to make myself feel better or to try and make my life easier, but they weren't helping because they didn't actually address the stressful situation. I had fallen prey to the &quot;treat yo self&quot; mindset (made famous by Donna Meagle from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SG16TIC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00SG16TIC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MMUUVQNHZCRUZOPD">Parks and Recreation</a>), like up to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/23/retail-therapy-shopping_n_3324972.html">a third of all Americans</a>, especially women, do when they're stressed out.</p> <p>Fortunately, I caught myself before I did us any real financial damage, and I was able to stop. But that whole situation made me think about spending money on self-care and what it has come to mean for us.</p> <h2>Self-Care Can Be Pricey</h2> <p>Self-care can cost us quite a bit of money. Many people don't even realize that they are spending to soothe themselves until they get a credit card bill and, by then, the damage has already been done! Even folks who really don't have extra money to spend get sucked in by advertising messages and other spending pressures that permeate our culture, and make poor financial decisions in the name of alleviating stress and pressure, even just for a little bit.</p> <p>However, the costs of treating ourselves when distressed go beyond the financial. Too often, we end up confusing self-care with coping. Coping isn't always a bad thing, and we need coping strategies to get through really bad times, but they aren't something that should stay around. They aren't something that we normally think of as good.</p> <p>When we let ourselves continually care for ourselves with coping strategies &mdash; like spending a lot of money on ourselves &mdash; we never learn to actually address and overcome our problems. We risk not being aware of our own feelings, and numbing ourselves rather than telling ourselves the truth and dealing with that truth. And I don't think that's what we set out to do.</p> <p>Interested in addressing your stress without excessive spending? Here are some strategies I've found helpful.</p> <h2>Pursue True Self-Care</h2> <p>The idea that we need to take care of ourselves is actually true, but that doesn't need to involve spending lots of money. Instead, when in stressful situations, we need to focus on a few key things.</p> <p>First, look to your diet, exercise, and sleep. It's hard to be disciplined about these things when facing major stressors, but addressing them will help you stay strong and avoid adding personal illness to your list of difficulties.</p> <p>You don't have to do anything hugely out of the ordinary here. Make sure that you are eating vegetables and not filling up on sugar or other processed junk foods. Even if you have to eat out a lot, some choices are better than others. And take a walk every day. Even 20 or 30 minutes of exercise can change your whole mindset. Finally, do whatever you can to get at least seven hours of sleep. Even if you get by on less than that normally, being stressed usually means you need more sleep than usual.</p> <p>When you're under stress, you probably won't be able to be consistent with all of these, all the time. Still, making them priorities will help you focus on them when you can and hit your goals more than you would otherwise.</p> <h2>Pick and Choose Your Treats</h2> <p>It's not always a bad idea to spend money on something when you're under stress, as long as that thing will truly make you feel better. If you can get intentional about your treats and know which of your needs they are meeting, you won't feel like you need so many.</p> <p>For instance, a bright pedicure might actually make you feel better in a dreary hospital room. Or a steak dinner might be just what you need after living a couple of weeks on convenience food in order to hit a big deadline. Paying someone else to clean your house might actually relieve some of your stress if you are injured and can't do it yourself.</p> <p>But pick one or two things to spend your money on, rather than choosing everything that comes to mind. And know, ahead of time, why you're spending your money in that particular way by listing, out loud or on paper, which need you're addressing. This can help you focus on buying essential things, or at least things that will actually help, rather than spending willy-nilly.</p> <h2>Focus on People</h2> <p>Many times, when we are in stressful situations, what we really want is for someone to hear us, to listen to us talk about the situation, and sit with us in it. That can be hard to find, especially if you are under stress away from home or your family and/or close friends are involved in the stress, too.</p> <p>If you can, call that person up. Ask them for a coffee date, or even just a few minutes on the phone, and be yourself. Pour your heart out if you need to. This will make you feel better than any purchase you could possibly make, and it will lighten the load you're bearing so you may no longer feel the need to purchase anything at all.</p> <p><em>How do you deal with stress? How effective are your strategies? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-the-treat-yourself-mindset">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-resist-a-splurge">6 Ways to Resist a Splurge</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you">5 Ways to Make Retail Therapy Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-things-you-can-buy-that-make-the-world-a-better-place">19 Things You Can Buy That Make the World a Better Place</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping retail therapy shopaholic shopping habits Spending Money treat yo self treat yourself Thu, 05 May 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1703710 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Make Retail Therapy Good for You http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000023781556_Large.jpg" alt="making retail therapy healthy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After a long and frustrating day, nothing feels better than heading to your favorite store. When you emerge an hour later with heavily laden bags and a lighter wallet, you have forgotten all about the argument with your coworker, and you head home feeling much more cheerful.</p> <p>The only problem with this scenario is the lighter wallet.</p> <p>But what if you could have your retail therapy and balance your budget at the same time? As it turns out, researchers have discovered that shopping really does give you a needed pick-me-up, and used in moderation, retail therapy offers several psychological rewards.</p> <p>Here is what you need to know about the psychological soundness of retail therapy &mdash; and some suggestions for how to make your therapeutic shopping profitable.</p> <h2>Why We Like to Shop When We're Down</h2> <p>In general, people get down or irritable because they feel out of control. When you are in a sour mood, it is often related to a sense of anxiety that you do not have control over your circumstances or environment.</p> <p>And that is why retail therapy is so effective. You get a chance to have complete control over where you go, what you look for, and what you purchase. Add in the fact that most retail therapy also involves treating yourself in some way, and it's no wonder that shopping is such a common method for improving a bad mood.</p> <p>In addition, according to Kit Yarrow of Psychology Today, &quot;shopping can be a <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-why-behind-the-buy/201305/why-retail-therapy-works">rich source of mental preparation</a>. As people shop, they're naturally visualizing how they'll use the products they're considering, and in doing so, they're also visualizing their new life.&quot; Part of what makes retail therapy feel so good is getting a chance to imagine how great things will be with your new wardrobe/gadget/library of books.</p> <p>If you're not a regular user of retail therapy, just keeping some money set aside for your occasional pick-me-ups should be sufficient. But if you often indulge in therapeutic shopping, then you might want to revise your shopping strategy to make sure your mood lifter doesn't get you into financial trouble.</p> <h2>Using Retail Therapy Strategically</h2> <p>Here are five different strategies for making sure your shopping habit actually helps your bottom line.</p> <h3>1. Shop for Gifts</h3> <p>While retail therapy traditionally means buying some sort of treat for yourself, it can also feel great to buy gifts for loved ones. The next time you go shopping to relieve stress after a bad day, decide to buy a present for someone on your Christmas list, no matter what time of year it is. Since you would spend the money on a gift anyway, your shopping trip will save you money in the future while still giving you the mood-boosting sense of the control you crave. Also, you can have fun visualizing how much the recipients will enjoy the gifts you are picking out.</p> <p>If you make a habit of using retail therapy to shop ahead for holiday gifts, you will save money and stress at Christmas since you won't be shopping at the height of retail season.</p> <h3>2. Keep a List of Items You Need or Want</h3> <p>Living in the digital age means that it is possible to buy something for yourself as soon as you think of it. However, we don't necessarily need that level of convenience, and you receive no psychological benefits from it.</p> <p>Instead, make a list of items that you need or want that you could get anytime. For example, there are currently two t-shirts and a DVD that I would like to own, but I am waiting to purchase any of them until a day when I need a serious cheer-up. (I liken this to keeping an emergency bar of chocolate hidden in my desk drawer. I'll wait to enjoy it until it's going to give me the biggest mood-boosting bang for my buck.)</p> <p>By limiting your retail therapy to items that you have already decided to purchase, you keep the hit on your wallet to a minimum.</p> <h3>3. Use Gift Cards</h3> <p>Retail therapy is most dangerous when you engage in it mindlessly. But it is possible to get the same psychological benefit while being a thoughtful consumer.</p> <p>For instance, purchasing a discounted gift card from a store that is your go-to retail therapy destination is a good way to feel better without spending <em>too </em>much. Get this gift card ahead of time and keep it in your wallet. On a day when you need to indulge in retail therapy, you can lock the rest of your wallet in your glove box and shop your bad mood away without hurting your budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</a>)</p> <h3>4. Become a Mystery Shopper</h3> <p>If retail therapy is a regular habit, consider making it a part-time job by becoming a mystery shopper. Generally, mystery shoppers can receive between <a href="http://www.learnvest.com/2013/02/confessions-of-a-mystery-shopper-how-i-made-14k/">$5 and $20 per shopping trip</a>, as well as reimbursement for their purchases, although there is often a limit to the purchase amount. While mystery shopping will not necessarily be as flexible as a normal session of retail therapy, once you have been hired by a company, you can select jobs when and where you want, saving your mystery shopping for the weeks you need to feel better.</p> <p>It is important to make sure you go through a reputable mystery shopping company. You will never be asked to pay to become a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-truths-from-a-mystery-shopper-you-must-read-before-you-get-started">mystery shopper for a legitimate company</a>. It's also a good idea to check that the mystery shopping organization that hires you is a member of the MSPA, the official organization that regulates mystery shopping.</p> <h3>5. Indulge in Window Shopping</h3> <p>A recent study asked subjects to watch a depressing video clip, and then randomly assigned the subjects to one of <a href="http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/retail-therapy-shopping-psychological-benefitsworks/">two simulated shopping scenarios</a>. The participants whose simulated shopping experience gave them more of an opportunity to choose the products they liked were found to be happier after the experience.</p> <p>What's important about this study is the fact that the &quot;shoppers&quot; weren't actually buying anything, but they still experienced an improved mood. The authors of the study determined that it is the act of choosing between products that helps alleviate sadness, even if those choices are hypothetical.</p> <p>This means that you will feel just as cheered up by trying on clothes without buying them than you would from purchasing a new wardrobe &mdash; all without spending a penny.</p> <h2>Making Retail Therapy Truly Therapeutic</h2> <p>It's very easy to feel guilty about the things that make us feel good, whether that's the hidden chocolate bar in the desk drawer, or indulging in retail therapy after a bad day. But there is no reason to deny ourselves the psychological benefits of these alternative &quot;therapies,&quot; as long as we can find a way to do so strategically.</p> <p><em>Do you frequently partake in retail therapy? How do you keep it under control? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-purchases-youll-never-regret">25 Purchases You&#039;ll Never Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-sloth-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Sloth Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping bad habits buyer's remorse healthy habits mindless spending money habits retail therapy Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:00:04 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1695165 at http://www.wisebread.com 19 Things You Can Buy That Make the World a Better Place http://www.wisebread.com/19-things-you-can-buy-that-make-the-world-a-better-place <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/19-things-you-can-buy-that-make-the-world-a-better-place" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping.jpg" alt="woman shopping to make the world a better place" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What's better than giving a great gift? Giving a great gift that gives back. If you're on the hunt for a fantastic way to brighten someone's day (or just in need of a new thingamajig for yourself), peep these companies, whose proceeds help those in need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-where-you-can-always-shop-for-a-worthy-cause?ref=seealso">20 Places Where You Can Always Shop for a Worthy Cause</a>)</p> <h2>1. AmazonSmile</h2> <p>By visiting AmazonSmile, you can choose a participating charity that will be linked to your account, to which Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases. You also can pick your own favorite charity if you don't want to donate to the featured organizations.</p> <h2>2. Warby Parker</h2> <p>Pick up a pair of Warby Parker's stylish glasses &mdash; regular or prescription, everyday or sun-ready &mdash; and they will make a monthly donation to their nonprofits partner, which, in turn, will train men and women in developing countries to give basic eye exams and sell glasses at affordable prices. (The donation from Warby Parker also covers the cost of sourcing an equal amount of glasses sold.)</p> <h2>3. The Alpha Workshops</h2> <p>Purchase anything from the Alpha Workshops' products section &mdash; which features designer furniture, lighting, and wallpapers &mdash; and 50% of your purchase will cover design and educational programs for people with HIV/AIDS. Even without a purchase you can support the cause with a straight donation, the smallest of which is $25, and goes directly toward one Basic Trainee's weekly lunch stipend.</p> <h2>4. SoapBox</h2> <p>SoapBox, a mission-based personal care brand, provides a bar of soap or a month of cleaner water to a person in need for every product sold. The line includes body washes, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, bar soaps, and more.</p> <h2>5. Project 7</h2> <p>Your purchase of the tasty gum and mints from Project 7 will help fund one of its seven affiliated nonprofits, which include planting trees, emergency relief from natural disasters, feeding impoverished U.S. communities, providing clean drinking water in developing countries, and more.</p> <h2>6. Toms Marketplace</h2> <p>Everybody knows the one-for-one shoe program that made Toms Shoes famous, but it also has a Marketplace with a wide selection of other great goods &mdash; like clothing, accessories, and jewelry &mdash; that help fund other Toms projects, like helping to restore sight to someone through surgery, prescription glasses or medical treatment with a Toms Eyewear purchase, or training for skilled birth attendants in developing countries with a Toms Bags purchase.</p> <h2>7. State Bags</h2> <p>For each of the fashionable bags and accessories sold at State Bags, a backpack is donated to a local American child living in situation of need. Plus, Beyoncé is a fan!</p> <h2>8. Better World Books</h2> <p>Every time you make a purchase at BetterWorldBooks.com, they will donate a book to someone in need. As of July 2015, 17 million books have been distributed around the world.</p> <h2>9. Baby Teresa</h2> <p>For each 100% organic cotton accessory purchased from Baby Teresa, the company will donate formula to a baby in need. Buy a romper, and a romper will be donated to a baby in need.</p> <h2>10. Yoobi</h2> <p>For every Yoobi desk and organization supply item purchased &mdash; available exclusively at Target stores or online at Yoobi.com &mdash; the brand will donate an item to one of its Classroom Packs, which, once filled, will be given to a classroom in need.</p> <h2>11. Cooper &amp; Ella</h2> <p>A donation will be made based on the number of blouses purchased from fashion brand Cooper &amp; Ella to provide hot meals via its Empower program to a school in India, with a goal to provide 100,000 meals the first year.</p> <h2>12. Road Twenty-Two</h2> <p>Buy a shirt from Road Twenty-Two &mdash; which employs formerly incarcerated, homeless, or substance-addicted women to provide them steady income and valuable skills &mdash; and it will donate a shirt to a shelter.</p> <h2>13. The Company Store</h2> <p>You'll sleep better at night knowing that your purchase from The Company Store website or catalog results in an equal donation of a comforter to a homeless child in the United States.</p> <h2>14. Joan Hornig</h2> <p>American jewelry designer Joan Hornig donates 100% of the profit from your purchase to the charity of your choice.</p> <h2>15. Out of Print</h2> <p>Each product sold at Out of Print &mdash; a literary-minded apparel and gift brand &mdash; results in a book donation to a community in need, while also supporting the authors, publishers, and artists whose indelible work has impacted our lives.</p> <h2>16. Raven + Lily</h2> <p>Shop Raven + Lily's fair trade jewelry, apparel, accessories, and gifts to help the ethical fashion and lifestyle brand employ women in developing countries. They also provide access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, and education to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. Raven + Lily currently employs over 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages.</p> <h2>17. Faucet Face</h2> <p>At Faucet Face, tap is where it's at. They will donate 2.5% of all sales from their eye-popping glass bottle collection, plus a complete filter for each sale of five or more individual bottles to the clean-drinking-water charity Third Millennium Awakening. This organization employs locals in India to create filters and distribute them to needy families. Custom designs also are available.</p> <h2>18. 2 Degrees Food</h2> <p>Every purchase of a 2 Degrees Food gluten-free and vegan snack bar helps feed a hungry child, with a mission to provide 200 million kids sustenance.</p> <h2>19. Smile Squared</h2> <p>Your pearly whites will shine even brighter knowing that a toothbrush will be provided to a child in need when you make a purchase at Smile Squared.</p> <p><em>What are some of your favorite products and brands that give back? I'd love to hear some of your choices in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-things-you-can-buy-that-make-the-world-a-better-place">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-great-gifts-that-keep-on-giving">31 Great Gifts That Keep on Giving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-where-you-can-always-shop-for-a-worthy-cause">20 Places Where You Can Always Shop for a Worthy Cause</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/packing-it-in-the-independent-of-london-issues-a-challenge">Packing it in - The Independent of London issues a challenge</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-body-scrubs">The 5 Best Body Scrubs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Shopping charitable organizations charity retail therapy shopping Wed, 13 Jan 2016 12:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1637337 at http://www.wisebread.com 50 Things You Can Do Today Instead of Going Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/50-things-you-can-do-today-instead-of-going-shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/50-things-you-can-do-today-instead-of-going-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/reading-newspaper-2317687-small.jpg" alt="woman reading" title="woman reading" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether it&#39;s clothes, jewelry, electronics, or books, who doesn&#39;t like the thrill of buying something new? It feels like the perfect way to reward yourself. But if shopping is your favorite leisure activity, the financial repercussions can be disastrous. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ultimate-guide-to-cash-back-shopping?ref=seealso">Guide to Cash Back Shopping</a>)</p> <p>Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do today instead of shopping. So if you&#39;re itching to hit the mall for a little retail therapy, here are 50 ways to take your mind off an unproductive spending spree.</p> <h2>1. Experiment With New Hairstyles</h2> <p>If you want to spruce up your look, check out hair tutorials online, and then practice a few styles on your hair.</p> <h2>2. Host a Home Spa Day</h2> <p>Why spend money when you can do your own manicure, pedicure, and facial? Invite a few friends over and make it a day in.</p> <h2>3. Clean Out Your Closet</h2> <p>Can&#39;t find anything in your closet? Take this opportunity to declutter and organize your clothes by season. And for clothes you no longer wear, start a donation pile. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet?ref=seealso">14 Ways to Organize Your Closet</a>)</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/noshop-wardrobe-1037885-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>4. Declutter a Drawer</h2> <p>Just about everyone has a junk drawer in the house. You know, the drawer full of ink pens that don&#39;t work and expired coupons. Clean it out!</p> <h2>5. Tackle Yardwork</h2> <p>Those leaves aren&#39;t going to rake themselves. Besides, after spending a few hours in the yard, you&#39;ll probably be too tired to shop.</p> <h2>6. Tidy Your Car</h2> <p>A good interior and exterior cleaning might bring back your car&#39;s original shine.</p> <h2>7. Start That Novel</h2> <p>You&#39;ve been dreaming of writing a great novel for years. Stop dreaming and start writing.</p> <h2>8. Exercise</h2> <p>If you shop when you&#39;re feeling low, exercise is a good substitute. Exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones that help improve mood and balance emotions.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/noshop-exercise-4991448-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>9. Go to the Bookstore</h2> <p>A magazine, a cozy chair, and a cup of coffee &mdash; and you&#39;ve got the perfect relaxing afternoon. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unique-holiday-gifts-for-booklovers?ref=seealso">Unique Gifts for Booklovers</a>)</p> <h2>10. Call a Friend</h2> <p>If you&#39;ve lost touch with a friend, there is no better time like the present to reconnect.</p> <h2>11. Organize Your Photos</h2> <p>Whether photos are on your phone, computer, or in a shoebox, spend the afternoon creating albums and organizing your vacation pics.</p> <h2>12. Bake Cookies or a Cake</h2> <p>There&#39;s a chance that you already have the ingredients in your kitchen and the Internet overflows with <a href="http://www.delish.com/recipes/cooking-recipes/simple-cookie-recipes">simple cookie recipes</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-healthy-breakfast-cookies-with-chocolate-covered-espresso-beans?ref=seealso">Breakfast Cookies With Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans</a>)</p> <h2>13. Plan Your Meals for the Week</h2> <p>Eliminate some of the weekday chaos with meal preparation on the weekends.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/noshop-cooking-5175604-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>14. Watch a Movie</h2> <p>Pick a random movie that you haven&#39;t seen, or one that you weren&#39;t able to see in the theaters. Watch it!</p> <h2>15. Visit a Museum</h2> <p>Admission is relatively cheap, and it&#39;s the perfect way to broaden your horizons.</p> <h2>16. Play With Your Kids</h2> <p>Grab the Frisbee, a kite, or bikes and head to the park with your kids. You can&#39;t put a price on cheap family fun.</p> <h2>17. Revamp Your Budget</h2> <p>Balance your checkbook, evaluate your savings goals, or develop a plan for long-term financial success. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-a-financial-5-year-plan?ref=seealso">How to Set Up a Financial 5-Year Plan</a>)</p> <h2>18. Take a Nap</h2> <p>Catch up on your sleep and get ready for the work week.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/noshop-sleep-5152478-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>19. Start Journaling</h2> <p>Grab a notebook and put your feelings on paper, and you might get to the root of your shopping obsession.</p> <h2>20. Listen to Music</h2> <p>Use this time to create a playlist or edit your existing playlists on your iPod or tablet.</p> <h2>21. Take a Drive</h2> <p>Drive through nice neighborhoods and pick out your dream house, or explore a country road.</p> <h2>22. Play a Board Game</h2> <p>Pull out the Monopoly and enjoy four to five hours of pure entertainment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-five-economy-based-board-games-that-make-you-think?ref=seealso">Economy Based Games That Make You Think</a>)</p> <h2>23. Plan Your Next Vacation</h2> <p>Narrow down your list of top destinations, and then go online and research those places.</p> <h2>24. Try a New Recipe</h2> <p>Take inventory of ingredients in your kitchen and then search online for recipes. Or visit <a href="http://www.supercook.com/">Supercook</a>.</p> <h2>25. Do Your Laundry</h2> <p>It can take hours to wash and fold all your clothes. This is an easy way to occupy your time until the stores close.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/noshop-laundry-kid-2144565-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>26. Hit the Social Networks</h2> <p>Check out your friend&#39;s photo albums, read news stories, and add your two cents.</p> <h2>27. Daydream</h2> <p>Don&#39;t think of this as a waste of time. The brain can only focus on one thing at a time, so it&#39;s a fun way to get your mind off shopping.</p> <h2>28. Make a Video of Yourself</h2> <p>Dance, sing, or just do something else interesting. You might become the next viral hit. It&#39;s easy <a href="http://lifehacker.com/214043/8-ways-to-shoot-video-like-a-pro">to get started shooting video</a>!</p> <h2>29. Take a Bath</h2> <p>Relax your muscles, clear your mind and do absolutely nothing.</p> <h2>30. Put Together a Scrapbook</h2> <p>A scrapbook can be fun way to preserve memories and tell the story of your life.</p> <h2>31. Watch a Documentary</h2> <p>Turn to PBS, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, or another cable network, and you&#39;re sure to find at least one documentary of interest. Don&#39;t have cable? <a href="http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/">Watch them online for free!</a></p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/noshop-tv-watching-1180884-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>32. Rearrange Your House</h2> <p>Simple adjustments can free up space and give the illusion of a bigger home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space?ref=seealso">How to Live Large in a Small Space</a>)</p> <h2>33. Make a Bucket List</h2> <p>What are the top 20 things you want to do before you die?</p> <h2>34. Watch Reruns of Your Favorite Sitcoms and Dramas</h2> <p>&quot;Law and Order: SVU,&quot; &quot;Friends,&quot; &quot;Seinfeld,&quot; &quot;The Cosby Show,&quot; or whatever you can find on the tube.</p> <h2>35. Do a Jigsaw Puzzle</h2> <p>This should keep you busy for at least the next eight hours.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/noshop-kid-fun-3687712-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>36. Play Around With Your Outfits</h2> <p>Come up with new combinations and increase your wardrobe minus the shopping. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-update-a-wardrobe-you-hate?ref=seealso">Cheap Ways to Update a Wardrobe You Hate</a>)</p> <h2>37. Improve Your Vocabulary</h2> <p>Pick up a dictionary or thesaurus (or visit <a href="https://www.vocabulary.com/">vocabulary.com</a>), and impress us with your word choice.</p> <h2>38. Dust Your Entire House</h2> <p>Reduce allergens and enjoy a house that not only looks clean, but feels clean.</p> <h2>39. Clip Coupons</h2> <p>So what if you&#39;re only able to knock $10 off your grocery bill, then put it in savings. A small discount is better than none.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/noshop-coupon-3029707-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>40. Do Homework or Study for an Exam</h2> <p>Get a head start and you won&#39;t have to pull an all-night study session.</p> <h2>41. Update Your Calendar</h2> <p>Record due dates to make sure you pay bills on time and make a note of social functions. Or <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5918676/how-to-use-google-calendar-as-a-project-management-tool">build a comprehensive productivity system</a>, for free.</p> <h2>42. Surf the Internet</h2> <p>It&#39;s your online encyclopedia. Think of a topic you&#39;re interested in and expand your knowledge.</p> <h2>43. Dance</h2> <p>Whether you&#39;re cleaning your house or killing time, turn on the radio and show off your moves.</p> <h2>44. Knit or Do Needlepoint</h2> <p>Make scarves, blankets, and other wearables with your own hands. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">Gifts You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>45. Sing Karaoke</h2> <p>Invite friends over to your house for a karaoke afternoon or evening, or go to karaoke night at a local restaurant.</p> <h2>46. Clean Your Inbox</h2> <p>Go through your email and delete or unsubscribe to junk messages.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/noshop-laptop-2421533-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <h2>47. Catch Up on Your DVR</h2> <p>With limited memory, you have to watch shows before they&#39;re deleted.</p> <h2>48. Clean Your Jewelry</h2> <p>Rings, earrings, and necklaces will sparkle and look brand new after a good cleaning. You <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/shoes-accessories/jewelry/how-to-clean-jewelry-10000001059394/">don&#39;t need a lot of equipment, either</a>.</p> <h2>49. Shred Your Paperwork</h2> <p>Clean out your file cabinet and shred credit card statements, tax documents that are older than three years (<a href="http://www.irs.gov/publications/p225/ch01.html#en_US_2013_publink1000217648">conditions apply</a>), receipts, and any other personal documents taking up space.</p> <h2>50. Look for a New Job</h2> <p>The job search can take hours &mdash; the perfect distraction when you&#39;re trying to avoid stores.</p> <p><em>Do you have other ways to spend your time outside of the mall? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-things-you-can-do-today-instead-of-going-shopping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/knowing-your-triggers-can-prevent-stupid-spending">Knowing Your Triggers Can Prevent Emotional Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-small-kitchen-appliances-that-arent-worth-the-money">13 Small Kitchen Appliances That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-35-best-ways-to-spend-your-free-time-frugally">The 35 Best Ways to Spend Your Free Time (Frugally)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-things-you-can-buy-that-make-the-world-a-better-place">19 Things You Can Buy That Make the World a Better Place</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/things-you-might-not-know-about-your-local-thrift-store">Things You Might Not Know About Your Local Thrift Store</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living pastimes retail therapy shopping Fri, 29 Nov 2013 11:24:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1098789 at http://www.wisebread.com Retail Therapy: The Benefits of Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/retail-therapy-the-benefits-of-shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/retail-therapy-the-benefits-of-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping_2.jpg" alt="shopping crowd" title="shopping crowd" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="159" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Oddly enough, the relationship between money and happiness might best be summed up in the Hitchcock classic <em>Psycho</em>, when minor character Tom Cassidy explains why he's buying a house for his daughter's wedding gift:&nbsp;&ldquo;Forty thousand dollars, cash! Now, that&rsquo;s not buying happiness. That&rsquo;s just buying off unhappiness.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Retail therapy embraces a similar logic, namely that consumers can curb or ward off their unhappiness through impulse purchases. The concept often brings a sense of frivolity and sometimes even shame. But the reality is there's increasing evidence that spending money can make you feel better.&nbsp;The key is how and what you purchase. And, of course, for whom.</p> <p>A trio of psychology professors, led by Elizabeth Dunn of the University of British Columbia, recently published a paper titled, &quot;If Money Doesn't Make You Happy Then You Probably Aren't Spending it Right.&quot; Their research examines the relationship between money and happiness and seizes on an intuitive yet elusive notion: Money can and should make you happier, and if it doesn't, well, you're doing it wrong.</p> <p>&quot;Our money provides us with satisfaction when we think about it, but not when we use it,&quot; the scholars note in their conclusion. &quot;That shouldn&rsquo;t happen. &nbsp;Money can buy many, if not most, if not all of the things that make people happy, and if it doesn't, then the fault is ours.&quot;</p> <p>The scholars carve out a path for consumers to feel better through buying. Here are a few major veins:</p> <h2>Buy Experiences</h2> <p>When it comes to shopping for ourselves, research suggests that humans are bad at guessing what will make them happy. So shoppers in search of a boost should aim to purchase something that provides an experience.</p> <p>Experiences &mdash; trips, a day at the spa, camping &mdash; provide us with sensory pleasures and keep our minds focused on the present. Tangible items and merchandise, in contrast, send us into a whirlwind of thought: Will that new polo shirt fit well after Thanksgiving? Could a popped collar look any more stupid?</p> <h2>Purchase &quot;Small Pleasures&quot;</h2> <p>Another tip is to buy small pleasures instead of big-ticket items that are one-and-done transactions. It&rsquo;s similar to the idea of buying an experience because small things are likely to go hand-in-hand with social interaction: a drink after work, a round of putt-putt golf, or a coffee at the bookstore. These scenarios provide change and inject excitement into our lives.</p> <h2>Be a Do-Gooder</h2> <p>The general gist is this: Folks who spend on their friends are happier than those who don't. This helps move the idea of retail therapy beyond merely self-serving concerns and into the broader community.</p> <p>Other studies and surveys over the last few years have hinted at some other potential benefits associated with consumerism. For example, bargain hunting tends to produce a thrill greater than kissing a partner, earning a promotion at work, and even eating chocolate, <a href="http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/lifestyle-fashion/stylebeauty/shopping-4633.html">according to a study by Chevrolet</a>.</p> <p>Shopping may shrink more than your wallet, too. Walking around, carrying bags, and dodging foot traffic is undoubtedly one way to burn calories. In Britain a study of 4,500 women found that shoppers stay out longer &mdash; thus walking more &mdash; when they go with friends. About 57 percent of the women said they felt physically healthier after a good shopping spree.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Find Balance</h2> <p>It probably goes without saying that splurging on a home theater system or dropping $5,000 for a week-long spa trip is not the best way to deal with a bad breakup. There are better coping mechanisms.</p> <p>But there are clearly some emotional and even physical benefits associated with shopping. In fact, sometimes carefully considered self-spending can do some real good. The key is moderation and a clear understanding that transactions aren't a substitute for true emotional nourishment.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retail-therapy-the-benefits-of-shopping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wrap-gifts-with-leftovers">How to wrap gifts with leftovers.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-the-treat-yourself-mindset">The High Cost of the &quot;Treat Yourself&quot; Mindset</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-retail-therapy-good-for-you">5 Ways to Make Retail Therapy Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Shopping emotional spending experience gifts gifts retail therapy Wed, 01 Dec 2010 23:42:09 +0000 Chris Birk 352179 at http://www.wisebread.com Knowing Your Triggers Can Prevent Emotional Spending http://www.wisebread.com/knowing-your-triggers-can-prevent-stupid-spending <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/knowing-your-triggers-can-prevent-stupid-spending" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eat money.jpg" alt="" title="Hungry?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="222" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>To save money, I quit reading women&#39;s magazines a couple of years ago. I don&#39;t save money by not paying newsstand price for a magazine, or even the subscription price (which is usually pretty cheap). I stopped reading fashion magazines because they are my worst and most fast-acting triggers for emotional spending. </p> <p>I cannot flip through an issue of Vogue without <a href="/resisting-the-impulse-beauty-buy">immediately rushing out</a> and purchasing a variety of face creams, body-slimming shapewear, or shoes. All it takes is a few minutes of perusing the articles and ads (definitely more ads than articles) to push my <strong>Need to Buy</strong> button.</p> <h4>Just doing their jobs</h4> <p>In a sense, this means that these magazines are incredibly successful. They exist solely to get you to buy stuff. There are few magazines aimed at women today that targets anything other than your pursestrings. The ads are obviously meant to inspire you to buy products, but so are the fashion spreads. Hell, so are the articles. The beauty advice. The health columns. Save the occasional &quot;serious&quot; piece about victims of landmines or female soldiers in Sri Lanka, women&#39;s magazines are essentially one giant advertisement with one simple message: <em>you aren&#39;t good enough, but if you buy this, you&#39;ll be almost good enough</em>. </p> <p>Some magazines are very open about it. Lucky Magazine, for instance, eschews high-fashion or couture spreads for simply charted pages just chock full of season &quot;must haves&quot;. Half the time, they don&#39;t even bother with models - they just photograph the clothing and shoes and accessories against a white background and list the price and where you can buy it. Other magazines are more insidious in their approach. From airbrushed models with flawless skin and too-tiny limbs, between product pitches in the most unlikely of places, notions of female beauty and personal worth are incredibly skewed in woman-oriented media that it&#39;s amazing we buy into it at all. Really, if you think about it, it&#39;s almost like an abusive relationship. Magazines promote an idea of loveliness that is unattainable (and also, frequently, rather freakish), all the while promising you that if you just try a little harder, and buy a little more, you just might be beautiful enough. </p> <p>For me, ingesting the content of these rags is like a so-called gateway drug. Oh, sure, I derive some pleasure from reading, say, British Vogue. I won&#39;t lie - I LOVE fashion. I love the collections, I love the artistry, I love the crazy make-up and the pageantry. But the joy is short-lived and quickly followed by the need for a hit of something stronger, like say,<strong> a massive shopping spree in the Nordstrom shoe department</strong>. Or a pricey facial and haircut. Or a mani-pedi and some spendy bronzer (because tans make you appear slimmer! and hide cellulite!). </p> <p>And just like a hit from the proverbial crack pipe, irresponsible and non-essential spending damages me. It takes away money that I could use to buy something that I really need, or even something that I want but haven&#39;t saved up for - such as an XBox or a nice couch. It racks up credit card debt that I don&#39;t have the money to pay down in a timely manner. The spending itself gives me only a momentary high, a fleeting sense of self-worth, before I&#39;m faced with the fact that I haven&#39;t fixed any actual problems that plague me.</p> <p>The fact that I have a similar reaction to reading home decorating magazines (&quot;God, my living room is so blah! I guess I have to paint it and replace the furniture! Again!&quot;) obviously speaks deeply to my sense of inadequacy in all things appearance-related. The strange thing is that I don&#39;t generally feel particularly ugly, nor do I hate my abode. Sure, I could lose a few pounds and I&#39;m not crazy about my haircut right now, but I don&#39;t feel particularly hideous until I stare for a couple of hours at, say, Cosmopolitan, and I suddenly feel very, very bad about having visible pores and thighs that are larger than my forearms.</p> <p>(By the way, I do know that there are a few magazines out there that are radically different from mainstream fashion and gossip magazines, with more informational articles and a wealth of fun, positive, and honest info about women&#39;s issues. In fact, a variety of blogs have stepped up to fill the void of fashion analysis with well-written, thoughtful, and funny writing - to say nothing of some of the great discussions that occur between faithful readers in the comments section. This is how I get my fashion fix without falling into the magazine trap.) </p> <h4>For every action, there&#39;s an equal and opposite reaction</h4> <p>I won&#39;t go entirely Naomi Wolf on y&#39;all, because although I personally can&#39;t read Vogue (or watch Sex In The City) without desperately wanting to spend, spend, spend, I&#39;m aware that not everyone reacts in the same way. I have friends who devour women&#39;s magazines with a sense of zest, and feel inspired by the images rather than downtrodden and deprived. However, for every action, there&#39;s a reaction, and nearly all destructive behavior has a trigger. </p> <p>In this way, emotional spending is very much like an eating disorder. I don&#39;t say this lightly, and I&#39;m not intending to downplay the danger of a serious disorder such as anorexia. Financial ruin is a big damn deal, but still not as serious as starving to death. However, the mechanism that triggers self-destructive behavior is similar, and it rests deep in a well of negative self-esteem. </p> <p>People who are treated for eating disorders are taught to avoid the triggers that invoke their self-destructive eating habits, and the same advice can be applied to learning how to control your spending.</p> <p>Sometimes, triggers are incredibly specific, unavoidable, and painful, like the death of a loved one or stress on the job. The point is that self-destructive behavior is largely brought on by feelings of inadequacy or loss. When we feel like we have less, we are spurred on to gain a sense of having &quot;more&quot;, even if that &quot;more&quot; is something very minor. It&#39;s the kind of mentality that can frequently lead people who don&#39;t have much money to <a href="/jettison-the-junk-why-clutter-clouds-your-mind-and-saps-your-energy">acquire tons of junk</a>, just so they can feel like they have &quot;stuff&quot;.</p> <h4>Do you have a trigger?</h4> <p>It can be hard to pinpoint what exactly it is that causes you to spend like there&#39;s no tomorrow. For me, it took a while to connect my exposure to high-fashion print media to my spending sprees. Another trigger is window shopping. Oh, I can go look at pretty things for hours, but if I&#39;m going to be constantly exposed to pretty things that I can&#39;t afford, I will be very likely to go out and purchase something to make me feel better about it later. </p> <p>In fact, I have a fashionista friend who I simply <strong>cannot</strong> go shopping with. She&#39;s funny, smart, and vivacious, but she loves spending money and loves being around people who are spending money. When we go out, I make a point to avoid retail areas. If I end up in any kind of store with her, she infects me with all kinds of shopping viruses, and before I know it, I&#39;ve bought something I really don&#39;t need. She never asks me along to make me feel bad, but rather to seek my opinion on items that she has already scouted out and is considering for purchase. That she values my opinion on sartorial choices is really quite flattering, and I feel like a total jerk for finding ways to weasel around going shopping.</p> <p>I&#39;m sure that there are people who believe I should explain to her that I have trouble tagging along with her on shopping trips, but in a way, I&#39;d rather just not approach her spending as a topic. She happens to have enough disposable income to do with as she likes, and I don&#39;t want to create any awkward feelings by telling her that watching her buy a $200 pair of high heels triggers my repressed spending bug. So, my response is simply to schedule times together where we hang out at each other&#39;s homes or in restaurants that are not right next door to a Barney&#39;s.</p> <p>Some people might argue that you simply need to &#39;grow up&#39; or &#39;get over&#39; your emotional responses to these triggers, and I think it&#39;s an admirable goal to develop ways of dealing with the emotions. But I also believe that there is some value in deciding when these triggers are worthy of being removed from your life altogether. In my case, it&#39;s easy to avoid window shopping, and no one forces fashion magazines down my throat. I&#39;m able to get my fashion fix online, and I feel fine with that workaround. Sometimes, you may need to choose to end a relationship with someone who brings you stress and grief, be it a friend or a family member.</p> <p>A family friend who has suffered from bulimia her whole adult life finally severed ties with her mother, a woman with some severe emotional problems of her own and the main trigger for my friend&#39;s boughts with emotional eating. Linsey&#39;s post about <a href="/biggest-money-saving-tip-move-far-away-from-the-joneses">moving away from The Joneses</a> made me realize that many people prefer to deal with those kinds of feeling by removing themselves from a situation or activity that they know affects their ability to make sound judgments. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/knowing-your-triggers-can-prevent-stupid-spending">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-things-you-can-do-today-instead-of-going-shopping">50 Things You Can Do Today Instead of Going Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-increasing-your-financial-literacy">Tips for Increasing Your Financial Literacy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jettison-the-junk-why-clutter-clouds-your-mind-and-saps-your-energy">Jettison the Junk: Why Clutter Clouds Your Mind and Saps Your Energy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/join-america-saves-week-february-24-to-march-2nd">Join America Saves Week February 24 to March 2nd</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-champion-of-savings-over-spending">A champion of savings over spending</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Debt Management debt emotional spending retail therapy shopping spending control triggers Wed, 16 Jul 2008 22:57:13 +0000 Andrea Karim 2231 at http://www.wisebread.com