Night-out; Shopping; Your clothes still have price tags! What?!

By: LaMeka Howard

     This is the evening that you decided to be with your lady-friends. All of you are having a nice evening out to eat, having good conversation, sharing information on what you’ve learned for the week, avoiding talking about your children, but you slipped out saying, “Suzie cut her hair and I was devastated,” or your lady-friend says, “Sean had a good football game and had a touch-down,” or another conversation that leads into relationships. “He is always watching television,” or “Girl my honey always surprises me with something,” with a small gesture your friend rolls her eyes upward and says, “Girl we don’t want to hear that because we don’t have it,” or another friend says, “My Hubbie is always productive, but he’s working hard.” Then work comes in the conversation too, “Girl I have to stay on top of my game, but I love what I do,” or “Girl we have to make this happen we don’t want to be broke.” We get in to topics like I’m getting big and I need to lose weight, and the conversations seems never-ending. Money, investments, movies, family, friends, the house, the bills, the cars, the conversations continue.  You and the lady-friends eat and have dessert and you’re almost done for the evening.  You take a deep-breath and say to yourself, “This is too much for me with all this conversation,” so you and your lady-friends decided to go to the mall to window shop-like that’s really going to happen.

You say to your lady-friends,” Let’s go in to this store and JUST look around.” You find yourself just LOOKING and then all-of-sudden something captures your eyes, looking at it seems clear across the store, and it’s looking right at you, and it’s telling you to “Come buy me.”  You leap to it as if it’s the last one on the rack. You search anxiously for the right size, and darn your size it’s gone, and then you turn around and you found it another rack, because someone was too lazy to return it to its original place. What is so mesmerizing about this shirt? It’s the color, it’s the style, it’s the fabric the rubs against the skin, it’s the name (brand) it’s the look, you look at how it fits, it makes you feel young and good, and then that moment comes when you look at the price tag and you say “REALLY” it’s this much and then you convince yourself that you need it. The shopping impulse increased significantly because you have to have it. You don’t even care about trying it on because you definitely know if fits! You show it to your lady-friends and ask for their opinion and they tell you, “Girl it’s cute but can you afford it?” You’re like, “How do you know I can’t afford it” you say to yourself and then reply to them by saying, “Well yeah,” knowing that you can’t but you lie to keep them from knowing that you’re skipping a bill just to get that soon to be out-of-season shirt.  One of your lady-friends encourages you not to buy it but invest in to something that’s going to give you a return on your investment and not on something that has a less than 1-year closet life shelf.

     You contemplate should I buy with Angel on your right shoulder, like it used to be in the cartoons from Walt Disney, telling you, “No it’s not wise for you to buy this shirt because you have to pay your bill,” and the Dark Angel on the other side of the shoulder says, “Go ahead and do it, it’s just one shirt. Enjoy what you work hard for and besides you deserve it.” Well, you decide to follow the side that led you to believe it’s worth buying and not to regret that you’re buying it.

     Now you’re in line and there are additional items that’s enticing you to spend: there are earrings, bracelets, hats, scarfs and the list goes on. You decided not to purchase anything else other than the one shirt. Your lady-friends wait by the front entrance of the store watching other shoppers shop and spend time with family and with friends, while waiting for you.

      “Your next in line,” the clerk says moving you through as though your on an assembly line. When walking up to the counter the clerk asks “was anybody helping you today,” then you reply “Yes myself” the clerk was stunned by the reply and quite speechless. The clerk rings up your purchase and advises you that your total comes to $125.00. Your heart beats fast and the excitement of you looking cute in it runs through your veins. You feel warmer and fuzzy inside of buying something new. The anticipation and envision of you wearing it is already a snap shot photo in your mind, and waiting to model in it and then having to post it on Facebook and Instagram for people to like and to heart your photo. You slowly reach in your purse, because you don’t want to seem desperate to buy, find your wallet, pull out the Visa credit card, hand it over to the clerk, and she pushes back because you can swipe your own card, you insert in to the machine, tap the option credit and pray that the card will allow you to spend. It went through and finally your receipt prints. You sigh, and you want to shout “Yes” but keep your composure. The clerk kindly hands over your yellow and pink bag and says, “Thank you for shopping with us and come again.” You take the bag from the clerk’s hand and said thank-you, then you exit the store and reunited with your lady-friends.

After ice cream, laughter and enjoying the late night sunset, you advised your lady-friends that you’re going home so you can rest. When returning home, you went to your room, removed the shirt from your bag, hung it up in your closet, and noticed this was item 300 in your closet of clothes that still have price tags on them that you never popped. You had a Confession of a Shopaholic (COAS), 2009 movie, moment but realized that you didn’t really need another shirt; instead you realized that money spent on a credit card was not an emergency but for pleasure. You thought to yourself, “No more clothes.” She reminds herself of a line from the movie of COAS when the little girl passes by the window as her thoughts are saying out loud, “When I look in to shop windows it was like I was in another world a dreamy world filled with perfect things,” she realizes that those perfect things that she may call perfect [nice, trendy, brand, pricey] may not be what is needed; instead it may bury her in debt and the pressure of overspending becomes addictive.

Have you ever said this to yourselves ladies? Have you ever looked in your closet and realized that you have not popped tags and buy buy buy? Have you ever looked back and ask yourself why in the heck did I buy this outfit and now I’m never going to wear it? Have you had any regrets for purchasing your clothes? Have you had any issues with not being able to fit anymore because your body weight has changed! Did you realize that money spent could have been added to a Savings account?

         Well here are some great money saving tips that keeps you Shopaholic  Savvy!:

  •  Before going shopping, do a closet inventory first. Assess what you need before you buy.
  •  If you no longer want your clothes give them away to family, friends, colleagues, charities, or sale them online such as Craigslist or OfferUp
  •  Try on your existing clothes to see if they fit and then if you can no longer fit it, replace it
  •  If you go shopping ask yourself is it a need or a want
  •  Ask yourself is it in your budget
  •  Ask yourself should you buy or should you save
  •  Find stores that offer discounts, coupons and cash credits for what you’re buying.
  •  Do price comparison online versus going to the store because it saves time
  •  When buying your clothes ask yourself how long are you going to wear this out fit before giving it away—basically how long is it’s life-span
  •  Ask yourself how frequently are going to wear it
  •  Ask yourself how many places can you wear it too?
  •  Ask yourself if you have shoes to match your outfit
  •  Ask yourself is the price worth purchasing the outfit such as the quality, durability and longevity and the fabric (and you better not say, “yes,” lol).
  •  Ask yourself how many other people may be wearing the same outfit
  •  Ask yourself does fit you right
  •  Ask yourself does it fit in to your personality
  •  Ask yourself why are you buying these clothes

    When there is more time to assess what you need to buy you have a greater chance of thinking do you really need to buy and maybe using that money to save.  Have a Suzie Orman moment that you are either Approved or you’ve been denied! This toughens the decision-making process and ensures there’s not a deficit in your decision.  Overall, be Shopaholic Savvy!  where your shopping technique is financially right!

 Much Love!

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