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My Savings Theory

September 23rd, 2006 at 10:31 pm

I love shopping but friends always make fun of how I never buy things when shopping in groups. And the main reason I prefer shopping alone is because I like being frugal and analyzing the intrinsic worth of my potential purchases with my weird algorithms (nerd!). I love being told I "look like a million bucks" when I only spent about $20 for the entire outfit.

Whenever I go shopping, one thing I do is use the "TALK" test when contemplating purchases. Not the most creative of names, but I've found this applies to almost all those past purchases where I've regretted spending so much for an awful item. TALK is an acronym where I ask myself if I'm feeling any of the following emotions as I shop:

Tired - Contrary to what some may think, when I am tired I tend to want to grab those items I've been hedging about and just pay and leave. Many times at the end of a long day of shopping, if I haven't made any purchases, I want to just go ahead and buy something, to justify this long, fruitless day at the mall/thrift store/garage sales. But don't give in to lax judgement! If you're tired, put everything down and GO HOME AND SLEEP!

Angry - I have coworkers who call this "retail therapy." Me, I don't tend to buy clothes when I am angry, but I do end up making other wasteful purchases of the food variety. Best cure is to go home and go running instead.

Lonely - This is my biggest downfall emotion. It does sometimes strike me that here I am, in New York City, surrounded by millions of people, yet I still feel alone. So, clothes become my dearest friends; they flatter me, they make me look good, and they always hang around (Ha ha!) with me. It has taken me years to curb this impulsive buying, which included forcing myself to take different routes while walking in the city (to avoid certain stores), to leave my credit cards and cash at home so I would have no money on me, but I have a long ways to go in fighting this.

"Keeping up with the Joneses" - From having once lived in a rather affluent area, I've noticed people who are particularly "brand name" happy. And no offense, but many times the logo is there, but the design and style is- whew! But people have to have it. Especially with handbags, I have heard women just go up to a salesperson and say, "I HAVE to buy a handbag today. I don't care how much it is, what is your most recent style?" Seeing people throw their money away on expensive items has made me even more aware of my own spending. I've learned, just from going through the broke grad student phase, that I shouldn't live above my means- especially when I can't afford it! Spending money for "image" is just wrong in my book.

So there's one of my shopping theories. If it sounds odd to you that I have such a system, well, yes I tend to be a nerd, but in the end, I'm saving money =)

5 Responses to “My Savings Theory”

  1. JanH Says:

    I LOVE it! That's so great. You've covered so much of what our shopping is based on. And so well, too. I'm going to try to remember this when I need to be out. Also, my sister in law is awesome in looking good for so little. She constantly amazes me with her insight into shopping. And she sees a decorating thing in the store and goes home and makes her own out of things you wouldn't think of using to substitute and very inexpensively. And it looks the same. Sometimes, much better!

  2. LuxLiving Says:

    Nahhh, not odd. Insightful maybe, but not odd!

  3. veronak Says:

    Interesting I'll have to consider your ideas when I am shopping as well. great post

  4. Cindy M Says:

    Wow, I like your philosophy, it matches mine, ha-ha. I do all my serious shopping alone and only buy from thrift shops after perusing the big places to see what's supposed to be "in," though that word means next to nothing to me anymore. Shucks, I wear what I like and it gets compliments because I know what colors and shapes I look best in. Guess I'm getting old; I just hate the sloppy casual styles these past few years, downright unflattering to most women (chunky heels or stiletto, for one, give me a break). What I do more often these days to keep from buying much of anything is to get into my closets and drawers seasonally and play with what I have, pair colors, try the full outfit on, mix it up. It's so easy to forget what you already have, and I always find something I don't remember buying.

  5. kealina Says:

    pretty cool theory... i don't usually buy when out with others too although it's fun to try on stuff and see what flatters my body shape... for buying, i get almost all my clothes from garage sales and love it that way... it's so flattering when people tell you that you look great and your whole outfit was less than $10...

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