retail therapy http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9426/all en-US 8 Self-Destructive Habits That Keep You in Debt http://www.wisebread.com/8-self-destructive-habits-that-keep-you-in-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-self-destructive-habits-that-keep-you-in-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-541589586.jpg" alt="Woman learning self-destructive habits that keep her in debt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>America's consumer economy is built on overspending, and our consumer culture encourages the liberal use of credit to pay for everything from cheeseburgers to cars. Pulling ourselves out of the &quot;debt is just part of life&quot; mentality takes a nearly herculean effort. If you're having a hard time getting there, maybe a few bad habits are holding you back. Here are eight self-destructive behaviors that keep you in debt.</p> <h2>1. Keeping up with the Joneses</h2> <p>Viewing consumption as a competition will keep you overworked, stressed, and broke. Disconnect as much as possible from a lifestyle influenced by constant comparison and one-upmanship. Instead, shift your focus to things less visible &mdash; freedom, financial peace of mind, and victory over debt.</p> <h2>2. Impulse buying</h2> <p>Developing new methods to tempt consumers with impulse buys is a science unto itself. If you don't recognize and steel yourself against the tactics marketers use, your budget will always be vulnerable to last-minute splurges. Explore <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=internal" target="_blank">ways to stop impulse buying</a> and teach them to your kids.</p> <h2>3. Playing the victim</h2> <p>Maybe your parents didn't set a good financial example. Maybe you're terrible with numbers. Maybe you're reeling from a financially disastrous divorce. Whatever the situation, it's time to move beyond it. Playing the money victim only deflects responsibility and sets people up for a lifetime of financial chaos. Retire your old script. Embrace positive change and develop new financial skills little by little. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-your-finances-back-on-track-after-losing-everything?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get Your Finances Back on Track After Losing Everything</a>)</p> <h2>4. Practicing &quot;retail therapy&quot;</h2> <p>Coping with boredom and stress by shopping creates a maddening loop. Working harder to pay the credit card bills makes us more stressed &mdash; a condition that only invites more retail therapy and more debt. Jump off the hamster wheel once and for all. Try to de-stress through simple experiences, time with friends and family, mindful exercise, and relaxing hobbies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-things-you-can-do-today-instead-of-going-shopping?ref=seealso" target="_blank">50 Things You Can Do Today Instead of Going Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>5. Bailing out your adult children</h2> <p>It's difficult to watch kids make the same mistakes we made (or worse, make mistakes so profound, ours pale in comparison). But bailing adult children out of sticky financial situations only achieves two things: First, it spreads the damage and puts parents' financial security at risk. Second, it teaches children that there will always be a last-minute money superhero to save the day. Skip the heroics and practice a little tough love.</p> <h2>6. Treating yourself</h2> <p>Phrases like &quot;I'm going to treat myself&quot; (and its cousin, &quot;I deserve it&quot;) are used to justify a host of financial missteps. Sure, treating ourselves can be a genuinely healthy motivator and we may even &quot;deserve&quot; whatever it is we want to buy. The danger of these justifications lies in their overuse. Remember, it's not a treat if you do it every day. And the thing you deserve most is to live a financially secure life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-the-treat-yourself-mindset?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The High Cost of the &quot;Treat Yourself&quot; Mindset</a>)</p> <h2>7. Being an early adopter</h2> <p>New technology is expensive. Rushing out to buy the latest smartphone, gaming system, or ultrathin TV not only means you're paying top dollar, but it also means you're much more likely to charge it. Take a breather. Wait for competitors to enter the market and drive down prices with comparable products. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tech-life-8-reasons-why-you-shouldn-t-be-an-early-adopter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Be an Early Adopter</a>)</p> <h2>8. Ignoring personal finance</h2> <p>The fundamentals of personal finance don't go away just because you ignore them. If you're not living by a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=internal" target="_blank">realistic budget</a>, avoiding consumer debt, spending less than you earn, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-you-arent-saving-enough-for-retirement" target="_blank">investing for retirement</a>, you're likely being controlled by your money instead of controlling it. Without a few basic personal finance skills under your belt, debt doesn't become just a possibility &mdash; it becomes a scary inevitability.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-self-destructive-habits-that-keep-you-in-debt">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/3-ways-good-sleep-makes-you-wealthier">3 Ways Good Sleep Makes You Wealthier</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-expenses-to-ditch-after-age-30">5 Expenses to Ditch After Age 30</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/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</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/not-rich-enough-and-not-poor-enough">Not Rich Enough and Not Poor Enough</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/how-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle bad habits behaviors impulse spending keeping up with the joneses loaning money retail therapy treat yourself Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:00:17 +0000 Kentin Waits 1911509 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Prevent the Winter Blues from Busting Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-prevent-the-winter-blues-from-busting-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-prevent-the-winter-blues-from-busting-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_sad_window_507633424.jpg" alt="Woman keeping SAD from destroying her budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you start feeling a bit funky once the cold weather hits? For some, seasonal change can trigger depression called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. With SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and can continue throughout the winter months. You might feel more tired or moody than usual. You may gain weight, oversleep, or have a heavy feeling in your arms and legs.</p> <p>Though doctors don't know<em> exactly </em>what causes SAD, it might have something to do with a decrease in sunlight. Less sun can affect anything from your circadian rhythm to your serotonin and melatonin levels. The result? You don't feel yourself. And you may not maintain your usual habits in other areas of your life, like spending.</p> <p>Here's how to keep SAD from sabotaging your budget this winter &mdash; as well as some things you can do to help yourself get out of a funk on the cheap. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-creative-ways-to-avoid-spending-money?ref=seealso">13 Creative Ways to Stop Spending Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. Unlink Payment Methods</h2> <p>While you might not randomly head out to the store at midnight, online shops are always open. You may have even linked your credit cards or PayPal account to your favorite store. Consider unlinking your payment methods so you'll need to pause for a moment before pushing the buy button. In the time it takes you to find your wallet, you may have second thoughts about your purchase.</p> <h2>2. Practice Self-Care</h2> <p>Instead of rushing to retail therapy to soothe yourself, consider spending time versus money. Practice self-care by doing things to ease your sadness. Take a warm bath, go for a walk, or visit YouTube to find a new yoga video. If you're having trouble thinking of what might make you feel better, try drafting up a list you can consult when you're feeling low. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-online-workout-videos-for-free-or-cheap?ref=seealso">7 Online Workout Stations for Free or Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>3. Enjoy Free Stuff</h2> <p>You may also want to make a list of all the free and fun things going on in your area. Being around people is important for people who have SAD, and it can help boost your mood. Check local calendars for events that look interesting to you. Instead of buying new books or music, check them out from your library.</p> <p>And when you want to spend, try consulting with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-miss-free-ice-cream-again-complete-calendar-of-annual-free-stuff-days">Calendar of Annual Free Stuff</a> before heading out. There are many events throughout the year where you can score free food and more, allowing you to indulge without the financial guilt.</p> <h2>4. Cook Ahead</h2> <p>If you find you're spending tons of money on takeout or restaurant meals, plan ahead. You can make meals without much effort by using a Crock-Pot. Here are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes">25 easy recipes</a> to get you started. And if you're really stuck on what you should consume, here's a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals">frugal meal plan</a> for every single day this month. Eating a healthy diet may even help with your SAD symptoms. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans?ref=seealso">How to Eat on $20 a Week (With Meal Plans)</a>)</p> <h2>5. Reach Out</h2> <p>In the study on sadness and shopping, the researchers did discover an important link. The people who were sad were also more self-focused, which ultimately led to more spending. Thinking of others may help break the cycle. Instead of driving yourself to the mall when you're feeling down, you might call a friend to chat or meet up.</p> <h2>Easy Ways to Combat SAD</h2> <p>There are some things you can do at home to help ease your SAD symptoms. Of course, if you have concerns about your mood or health, it's always a good idea to make an appointment with your primary care physician.</p> <h3>Open Your Curtains</h3> <p>No, really. Do anything and everything you can to get more sunlight into your life. This may mean that you'll want to contact a landscaper to trim branches or bushes that are blocking light from getting into your home. Consider moving furniture, like your desk or reading chair, next to windows in your home or office.</p> <h3>Venture Outdoors</h3> <p>The weather may be frightful, but a quick walk around the block might make your day a bit more delightful. Getting in as much sun as possible can help lift your spirits. You'll be able to catch some rays even on cloudy days. Try to get outside within two hours of waking for the best results.</p> <h3>Exercise Daily</h3> <p>Moving your body is good no matter what, but for people with SAD, it's particularly important. Working out relieves stress and anxiety. These things can exacerbate SAD symptoms. Bonus points if you can exercise in the sunlight while getting in some fresh air.</p> <h3>Spend Money</h3> <p>On the right stuff, that is. There are a few products that can help with SAD. Look into buying a portable <a href="http://amzn.to/2hNmrtb">light box</a> that is made to emulate the sun. A light box works by stimulating all your eye's photoreceptors. Some people even choose to take certain supplements to ease their symptoms, including St. John's wort, SAMe, melatonin, and omega-3 fatty acids. Always consult with your doctor before starting any supplements.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-prevent-the-winter-blues-from-busting-your-budget">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-3"> <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-keep-anxiety-from-ruining-your-budget">5 Ways to Keep Anxiety From Ruining Your Budget</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/frugal-tip-do-not-spend-when-you-are-sad">Frugal Tip: Do Not Spend When You Are Sad</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/not-the-sort-of-person-who">Not the sort of person who ...</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/track-your-spending-or-not">Track your spending. Or not.</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/use-only-what-you-need">Use only what you need</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Health and Beauty Cooking depression free stuff mental illness retail therapy SAD seasonal affective disorder self care spending Thu, 05 Jan 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1865738 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Terrible Money Situations You Need to Stop Getting Yourself Into http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-money-situations-you-need-to-stop-getting-yourself-into <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-terrible-money-situations-you-need-to-stop-getting-yourself-into" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_money_wallet_87621441.jpg" alt="Woman getting herself into terrible money situations" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to money, I know I can be my own best friend and my own worst enemy. Most of the time, I'm frugal, intentional, careful, and deliberate with my money. But, every once in awhile, it's like I forget all of those principles. Maybe I want something badly, even though I can't afford it. Or I am tired and it's easier to spend than to think first.</p> <p>Now, I've never gone totally off the rails financially. But I can see where these acts of &mdash; let's call them what they really are &mdash; self-sabotage &mdash; undermine the principles I desire to live by.</p> <p>As I've gotten older, I've gotten better at staying out of these situations, and I know you can do the same. Here are some of the places where I've gotten into trouble in the past.</p> <h2>1. Overspending</h2> <p>It's hard to live within your means. It just is. There's so much that you want, and that doesn't even take into account what you need. But overspending &mdash; spending more than you make &mdash; is a sure way to get into deep financial trouble.</p> <p>Even if you don't get into debt, and some overspenders don't, you'll end up living paycheck to paycheck, juggling which bills need to be paid so that nothing gets turned off this month. That life isn't any fun at all, even though spending the money might be a blast. Besides, eventually some large expense will come up, and you'll end up in debt because you won't have the money saved to cover it.</p> <h2>2. Credit Card Debt</h2> <p>This usually comes as a result of overspending for a period of time. When you get used to spending, it starts to feel natural to just put something on your card. Do this enough times, and you'll find yourself with a bill you can't cover at the end of the month.</p> <p>The problem with credit card debt is that it feels deceptive. Sure, there's interest to pay, but the minimum payment looks so small. It might take you a while, but paying it off feels entirely doable.</p> <p>However, you'll end up paying forever and paying a lot in interest. And even those minimum payments can add up. Maybe you can handle one or two of them, but get three or four (or 10), and making the payments becomes a lot more financial stress than you need.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">The Fastest Way to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a></p> <h2>3. Not Saving for Retirement</h2> <p>It's easy to prioritize everything else over retirement. When you're young, retiring feels like such a long way off that it's easy to wait too long to get started. And when you're older, it's easy to spend or save for your kids rather than for yourself. Many parents panic about paying for college and end up putting their savings there rather than into their retirement accounts.</p> <p>Most &quot;real&quot; jobs come with some sort of retirement account and, often, with a matching plan from the employer. Take full advantage of this as soon as you are eligible. If possible, have the money deducted from your paycheck automatically, so you don't even have a choice in where it goes each month.</p> <h2>4. Buying Too Many Toys</h2> <p>This probably comes with the territory of overspending, but it seems like a specific trap that you can fall into. Many people (myself included) tend to live pretty frugally most of the time, but are willing to spend quite a bit of money on a toy. This can be something like sports equipment, a designer purse, a new car, technology, and other splurges.</p> <p>I think that a lot of us live such stressful lives that we feel like we deserve something that will help us rest or, at least, make us feel better about ourselves. So we spend a lot on an item based on the idea that it will improve our lives. Even if it does actually help us de-stress, the financial impact can cause as much or more stress in the long run.</p> <p>It's much better to save up for a toy, or rent one, or ask friends and family to contribute to a fund toward it for your birthday or another holiday. That way you will actually lower your overall stress levels, rather than adding to them.</p> <h2>5. Going Out Too Much</h2> <p>Sure, it's fun to get dinner and drinks with your friends. And it's probably a good idea to go to happy hour with the coworkers here and there, to forge connections and get to know people. But when you're doing it every night, those bills are going to add up.</p> <p>You don't need to deprive yourself to make good decisions about when and where you spend when it comes to eating (and drinking) out. Lowering your spending can be as simple as ordering an appetizer and a beer instead of a meal and a cocktail. You can get creative, too. Some of my friends and I take turns hosting a meal along with one or two signature drinks and the overall cost is much lower than what we'd spend if we met at restaurants.</p> <h2>6. Spending to Save</h2> <p>Sure, there are times when it's worthwhile to spend a bit more on a quality product so that you don't have to buy another one anytime soon. But I've also seen this as an excuse to spend way too much. Not sure how this might apply to you?</p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">What about when your car dies? Y</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">ou might legitimately need a new one. But it's a trap to believe the voices that say, &quot;Buy a brand-new car. That way you will save, in the long run, on maintenance costs.&quot; Instead, you can buy a car off a two or three -year lease. You still get the benefits of low maintenance, but you save a lot off the initial price.</span></p> <p>Or, maybe, you see a pair of nice new boots in the store. They're high quality, and you think to yourself, &quot;Sure, that's a lot of money. But if I buy those, I won't have to buy boots for several years.&quot; That might be true, but before you purchase, think about how many pairs of boots you already have sitting in your closet.</p> <p>Sometimes, buying quality is the way to go. But other times, it's an excuse we use to let ourselves spend more than we should.</p> <p><em>What financial traps do you tend to fall into? How do you keep yourself from jumping into them with both feet?</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/6-terrible-money-situations-you-need-to-stop-getting-yourself-into">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/10-golden-rules-of-personal-finance-everyone-should-know">10 Golden Rules of Personal Finance Everyone Should Know</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/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money">The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About 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/12-everyday-money-tasks-youve-been-doing-wrong">12 Everyday Money Tasks You&#039;ve Been Doing Wrong</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/10-ways-you-disrespect-your-money">10 Ways You Disrespect Your Money</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/8-financial-wake-up-calls-and-how-to-deal-with-them">8 Financial Wake Up Calls — And How to Deal With Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Shopping debt going out money traps overspending retail therapy retirement savings stress shopping Tue, 02 Aug 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1763991 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Smart Shopping Reminders That Will Save You Big http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-shopping-reminders-that-will-save-you-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-smart-shopping-reminders-that-will-save-you-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_smiling_shopping_96557647.jpg" alt="Woman becoming smartest shopper ever" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're tempted to splurge on something you don't need, what's your decision-making process? Do you let emotion determine whether you head to the check-out counter, or do you rationally consider the financial pros and cons? Do you even have a strategy? If the answer is no, don't panic. Lucky for you we've compiled a comprehensive list of questions to ask before pulling the trigger on any splurge-y&nbsp;purchase. Read on and smarten up!</p> <h2>1. Shopping Can Be More Satisfying Than the Purchase Itself</h2> <p>Buyer's remorse is the slyest devil of them all. At first you're beaming about your new pair of designer jeans. But will you feel the same way a month out when the high of the buy wears off? Research shows that the flood of happiness we feel when we make a purchase peaks at the check-out counter and then slowly starts to dwindle. Indeed, it's the experience of shopping that satisfies us &mdash; not the purchase itself.</p> <p>&quot;Thinking about acquisition provides <a href="http://jcr.oxfordjournals.org/content/40/1/1">momentary happiness boosts</a> to materialistic people, and because they tend to think about acquisition a lot, such thoughts have the potential to provide frequent mood boosts,&quot; said Marsha L. Richins, author of the research paper, <em>When Wanting Is Better Than Having</em>. &quot;But the positive emotions associated with acquisition are short-lived. Although materialists still experience positive emotions after making a purchase, these emotions are less intense than before they actually acquire a product.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Shopping to Cure Sadness Only Makes Us Sadder</h2> <p>Retail therapy is a term used so flippantly that it can be difficult to take seriously. Yet studies show that when we're feeling sad or grieving, we tend to compensate with compulsive shopping. As it turns out, shopping can seem to fill an emotional void while really only serving to dig it deeper. In truth, shopping to curb that feeling of loneliness actually <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/100962304">makes us feel lonelier</a>. Take this sage advice: If you're going through a breakup, battling depression, grieving the death of a loved one, or otherwise feeling alone and blue, take a pause from recreational shopping until you've addressed your emotional state.</p> <h2>3. Just Because It's a Good Deal Doesn't Mean It's a Good Deal for You</h2> <p>The price tag on that gorgeous wicker chair very well may be a steal &mdash; but is it truly a good deal for <em>you</em>? For instance, maybe you already have a perfectly fine chair in the living room, and this one, though newer and nicer, would nonetheless qualify as an unnecessary purchase. If you weren't planning on buying a wicker chair until the good deal came along, then you're running the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master" target="_blank">risk of throwing your money away</a> on something you simply don't need. And that's not a good deal at all.</p> <h2>4. Don't Buy It If You Can't Afford It</h2> <p>It's simple advice. It's also crucial. If you can't afford to take the financial hit, put away that wallet. And if it's a stretch but you think you can swing it, take a moment to consider all the possible future unknowns. If you lose your job, or your spouse does, or some other unforeseen circumstance dramatically shifts your financial situation, will you look back on this purchase with regret?</p> <h2>5. Don't Buy It if It Will Derail Your Financial Goals</h2> <p>Maybe you're saving for college. Or a down payment on a new car. How will this purchase influence the savings goals that you've set for yourself? If buying that new sofa is going to derail your plans to save up enough money for a down payment on the house where you want to put the sofa, consider pumping the breaks. Take it one financial goal at a time. And remember: Your financial habits today determine your future financial health.</p> <h2>6. Consider the Hidden Costs</h2> <p>As with boats, in-ground pools, and motorcycles, there are purchases that require future funding not specified on the price tag. Boats, for example, need fuel, winter storage, and almost constant maintenance. And you can't operate a backyard swimming oasis without investing in at least the basic accessories, such as a pool cover and cleaning tools and treatments. Whatever the purchase you're considering, does it have any financial strings attached &mdash; and if so, can you afford them?</p> <p><em>What do you quietly tell yourself to help you curb the urge to spend?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-shopping-reminders-that-will-save-you-big">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/heres-how-to-get-a-sale-price-match-at-16-popular-stores">Here&#039;s How to Get a Sale Price-Match at 16 Popular Stores</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/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal">6 Ways to Convince a Store Clerk to Give You a Deal</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/this-creative-shopping-strategy-could-save-you-tons">This Creative Shopping Strategy Could Save You Tons</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/retail-therapy-the-benefits-of-shopping">Retail Therapy: The Benefits of Shopping</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/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying emotional spending happiness materialism reminders retail therapy saving money smart buys Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:00:16 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1757848 at http://www.wisebread.com 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-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/flashback-friday-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-money">Flashback Friday: 23 Mental Tricks That&#039;ll Help You Save 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/6-ways-to-resist-a-splurge">6 Ways to Resist a Splurge</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/8-self-destructive-habits-that-keep-you-in-debt">8 Self-Destructive Habits That Keep You in Debt</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/when-self-care-actually-harms-your-budget">When Self-Care Actually Harms Your Budget</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/stampede-death-walmart-black-friday">How many human lives is a flat panel TV worth?</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-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/9-ways-your-lazy-habits-are-costing-you">9 Ways Your Lazy Habits Are Costing You</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/5-ways-to-stop-your-mindless-spending">5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-reason-we-still-spend-to-impress">The Real Reason We Still Spend to Impress</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-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/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-deep-conditioners">The 5 Best Deep Conditioners</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</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/things-you-might-not-know-about-your-local-thrift-store">Things You Might Not Know About Your Local Thrift Store</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/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</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/6-smart-shopping-reminders-that-will-save-you-big">6 Smart Shopping Reminders That Will Save You Big</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/how-to-wrap-gifts-with-leftovers">How to wrap gifts with leftovers.</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/holiday-gifts-for-your-co-workers">20 Gift Ideas for Your Co-Workers</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/self-sufficiency-self-reliance-and-freedom">Self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and freedom</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/a-champion-of-savings-over-spending">A champion of savings over spending</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wage-slave-debt-slave">Wage slave, debt slave</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