I am feeling depressed. I went to the mall and there was a 5

I am feeling depressed. I went to the mall and there was a 50% off sale and I spent $120.00. Then I went to bath & body and spent $40. My husband knows I bought stuff but he doesn’t know what I spent. The bag is in my closet. We’re living on a fixed income because we’re retired. I see the word sale and I have to spend. I’m a guilty mess.

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I'm sorry that spending at your recent trip to the mall has caused you to feel depressed. Are you able to return any of your purchases if you regret them or feel some were too expensive? I'm sure that if you told your husband about your purchases, he'd understand and realize that this was a slip up and that you'll be more aware of your budget next time. One thing that helps me if I ever have to run errands or feel like going to a shopping center is I use only cash as sort of an allowance to myself and leave my credit and debit card at home for that day- that way I can only spend what I have. Please don't get too down on yourself about this slip up in budgeting- we're all human and its human nature to want beautiful and fun things in our lives- it's just all about budgeting and having compassion towards ourselves as we work through shopping issues and work to overcome our overspending. I hope this advice helps!

Thank you. I’d too embarrassed if I returned them. It’s a good idea to leave my credit cards at home and I’m going to do that. I’m reading the book To buy or not to buy. I’m reading it now. Thanks for the words of encouragement @MiniMeltdown07

Debit cards are the next best thing to cash in terms of sensibly managing money since what's on the card is what you have, and you can budget within it. If my local bank branch is closed, I use my debit card to run errands if I'm unable to withdraw a small amount of cash from the teller or find an ATM nearby. I think you'll find that the debit card at the mall if you need to go to the mall will definitely help you manage your money without overspending. You can do this and I'm rooting for you! And I agree, the book definitely gives us something to think about and is a great resource.

I’m going to try to look not buy. My sister will help she doesn’t buy anything

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@bamw My sisters are great at keeping me under control if I’m ever in a shopping center or mall- I think your sister will be great in helping you control desires to shop too. I hope that you have fun seeing your sister at your next outing together.

I’m trying. It’s going to hurt when I return it but I don’t need it. We would have some money if I didn’t spend so much money. It’s the coupons that I get or a sale that’s what makes me buy. I’m still reading the book and it makes me think.

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@I just came back from the mall. I was supposed to walk. There was a sale at Joann fabrics and I spent $12 I didn’t show my husband I just hid it. I also went into the paper store and spent $37. I’m feeling really down. I’m home now and I’m going to read the book. bamw

I will talk to my husband and see what he thinks I should do. I don’t know if he’ll understand how bad this problem is. Most of the time I think he feels helpless about the situation. I understand why I shop. Mostly depressing and getting a high when I buy and crash afterwards. I’ll talk with my sister about doing something different. Yes I see a therapist every week. She’s trying to help. She’s the one that encouraged me to look into shopping addiction. It seems to control my life. Maybe I’m weak.

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@bamw You’re not weak at all, you’re showing a lot of strength and self-awareness working through this and it really is tough to admit a shopping addiction to strangers let alone family. I remember when I told my parents and sisters that I had a shopping addiction, I broke down crying, but they’ve been very supportive of me in ym shopping addiction recovery and are proud of the steps I made. Its definitely worth it to tell your husband and sister- my sisters know to not take me shopping and they purposefully center our hangouts around going to the beach or park or another fun activity. Luckily, my sisters don’t shop very often so it isn’t a sacrifice for them to limit where we can go as sisters. It’s great that you’re going to therapy and I’m glad that you’re telling your therapist about your shopping issues. I can completely relate to your shopping to ease feelings of depression- I’ve done the same thing, especially after I was blindsided by a breakup 3 years ago- I kept buying so many things to feel pretty because being broken up with about a week before my birthday was so upsetting. I believe in you, and I know what it feels like to feel like shopping is controlling your life- I used to wake up and go to bed shopping on my computer and through all of my steps and 3 years of ups and downs I’m doing a lot better. There’s hope for all of us and slow and steady wins the race.

I’m kind of proud of myself because I went to the paper store and didn’t buy anything although it was hard but that’s only one store. I know that I don’t need anything. But I think I buy because I feel happy. Then I go home and hate myself for spending money we don’t have. I still feel hopeless.

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@bamw I’m proud of you for going to the paper store and not buying anything- I remember that you said its one of your favorite stores, so that shows a lot of strength to resist that temptation. I also shop/have shopped to feel happy and know the all too familiar feeling of going home and hating myself for spending money. All we can do is to try to be better in terms of spending each month and do things to build our happiness and self-esteem that don’t involve shopping as much. My things that I’m finding make me happy are doing artwork, baking desserts/cooking, and doing my 80’s aerobics exercise VHS tapes. I believe in you and please celebrate this little victory with the paper store rather than being too hard on yourself.

Well I definitely have to watch my spending. Our tea just went up $68. It’s a struggle not to shop everyday. This increase is putting a lot of stress on me. Do I want to still shop or really stop. It’s a dilemma because I really like to shop. I ask myself do I really need to shop to make me happy. Then I get coupons to use in certain stores I like. I’m so tempting thinking I’m getting a bargain. How does one resist?

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@bamw What I do, as hard as it is is I throw away store coupons for Ulta, Sephora etc that are sent to me in the mail so that I can’t have the special deal and shop from that store. Coupons turn into shopping which turns into a binge-shopping experience, so I throw away the temptation as soon as the coupons come in the mail. The only exception for coupons I allow is Safeway grocery store coupons for my twice a month grocery store purchases- I plan my meals around the coupons on meat and produce so that I can maximize savings at the grocery store. I hope this helps!

It’s a good idea. It’ll be hard to throw out the coupons but I’ll do it. You give me great advice. Thank you. Right now I’m going to throw away the coupons. It’ll hurt but I’ll do it. It’ll be hard too. I think it’s a good start with my shopping addiction.

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It was hard for me to throw away coupons too- but using a Sephora coupon would turn into using an Ulta coupon and so on and I realized that they were massive triggers for me. Savings at one store would encourage me to get savings at another and I would then look at my credit card statement and realize that the promise of savings in a coupon triggered major shopping binges- I ultimately wasn't really saving at all because it triggered so much spending. If it's too hard to throw them all away, you can try to keep only one coupon and stick to the minimum amount of purchase to use the coupon.

Ok I’ll use only one and throw out the rest. If they come in the mail I think that’s the time to throw it away. Tomorrow I’m going to the mall with my sister. She gives pretty good advice when I’m looking around but when she buys something once in awhile I get envious and want to buy something because I think that she has good taste and don’t think I do. I think everyone has better taste and control except me. I feel like such a mess but I’m glad I can contact you and get an honest response and advice.

@bamw Have you talked to your sister about getting envious when she purchases things and some insecurity about thinking that she has better taste and more control in spending than you? I think she could also help comfort you and help you realize that you have good taste and that you can have control in your shopping. The concept of taste is such an individual thing and I believe that everyone has taste and individuality, you have taste I’m sure of it. Have you opened up more to your husband about shopping issues?

My sister has told me that I have good taste but I can’t believe her. She knows that I have a shopping problem and stops me from buying some things but she’ll say yes sometimes and says that I’ll get it anyway and I do. I did go through my leggings and I am taking them to a consignment shop. Going through them made me realize that my shopping addiction is as bad a problem as I thought I’m overweight and if clothes fit me I feel good but I realize when I get home that I shouldn’t have bought it and it doesn’t make me happy. I feel guilty too because I sneak it into my room. I feel like a total hopeless case.

@bamw That’s good that your sister reassures you that you have great taste, and I am really proud of you for going through your belongings and picking out things to donate to the consignment shop- it allows you to part with things and declutter and it will make the future person to own those things very happy. I can relate to feeling overweight- I gained weight during covid and want to lose 25 pounds to get into absolute top shape and I too have too many leggings and sweatpants to wear around the house. Please realize that I’m sure you’re very beautiful at any weight and its good that you find clothes that make you feel and look beautiful- you just have to buys less of them and stick to a budget over time. You’re not a hopeless case , your family believes in you, I believe in you, and you just need to believe in yourself a little more. Have you talked to your therapist more about shopping issues? Also, to make you feel better, I am obsessed with Express brand high waisted skinny jeans, and I have 60 pairs in the exact same style and size and with different colors- if I’m not ashamed of the huge collection of denim jeans that I have collected over the years, please don’t be ashamed of how many leggings you have. I’m rooting for you!