Help! I'm a shopoholic! How do I/should I stop?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by frannn, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. frannn

    frannn <font color=blue>please stop the madnesssss alread

    Nov 2, 1999
    I get great deals on mostly everything I buy. Only problem is that I buy too much...or maybe I keep too much. I love to shop for presents, but maybe that's cause I just love to shop. We pay for our annual WDW trip with our annual tax refund, but I'd love to try to lower our bills/save some other $ instead. Whenever I hear of a great sale (not just a regular sale) my heart starts beating really fast and I make time to go. Am I really helping us to save $, or just the opposite? I pretty much do all the holiday shopping, and am able to do it all without dipping into our pooled account (just use the $ I maintain). Does anyone else do this? Is it normal to buy a large sack of stuff at a sale and "save" it all in the attic for presents (some of which I keep)? I usually manage to get everyone great presents. I guess the real question is 1) does anyone else do this, and 2) is it a good or bad thing?

    Thanks for helping to nurture my neurosis.
  2. dpayne1969

    dpayne1969 DIS Veteran

    Jan 23, 2004
    i can relate to you lol.I have my x-mas shopping done for this year thanks to last years 75% off sales.And i,like you get everyone some really great gifts from the mall instead of wal-mart
    I am able to buy Tommy cologne for like 6.00.I too cant pass up the deals.At the time of buying i say to myself "well,i dont know who will get this but for 6.00 someone will"I see it as i have saved us soooo much money plus got some great gifts at the same time.I dont know if it is good,or bad but i do it as well.
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  4. grlpwrd

    grlpwrd <font color="orange">I'm here for the mouse more t

    Jul 28, 2000
    I tend to do that, too, and I am trying to cut down on my stockpiling tendencies... but it's not easy. :crazy:

    I will stock up on necessities, like toiletries when they go on sale, but with gifts I am very selective now. I try to tell myself why buy this $6 gift if the recipient isn't really going to enjoy it and possibly re-gift it or even donate it? That makes me think about whether saving that $$$ is really best after all. I don't want to give them junk or something they will just get rid (of).

    I think it helps to keep a list and to devote a special shelf or area for the gifts so at least you know what you have and so maybe you won't overbuy too much. I tend to keep my closet shelves full of gifts with one shelf for kid gifts, one for male-oriented gifts, and one for general gifts, like for teachers and other special folks.

  5. janette

    janette DIS Veteran

    Nov 23, 2001
    Yes, I'm really trying to quit. I have so many new toys etc, I give them away when we have company but it seems like I don't usually have what I need for gifts. Now that my girls are older it's just too hard to use gifts I happen to have on hand.

    I've finally admitted to myself that no matter how good a deal I've gotten on some of the stuff I would be better off just buying a specific gift when it's needed instead of having my stockpile. I also have a bad tendency to forget what I have and where I've stashed it.

    I've quit going to the stores when I hear about a sale, if I don't go I can't buy.

    I'm really going to try to have a garage sale next month, I won't sale the stuff too cheap but will try to get some of my $$ back. What I don't sale is going to the Salvation Army to give away for xmas.

    I really have to dig my way out of some of this stuff.
  6. wdwpluto

    wdwpluto <font color=blue>The TF looked all over but couldn

    Feb 16, 2000
    For me to cut down on my shopping, I needed to have a goal. Like right now DH and I are saving for a downpayment our first house. So if I see something and feel the urge to buy (whether for myself or as a gift), I stop and think about having a home. That helps me consider whether or not I 'really' need to buy whatever it is that's in my hand.

    However, I do still stockpile gifts, but only for people that I know I will buy for anyway. I don't buy something unless I know that I will give it to, say, my dad, for the next holiday/birthday.
  7. SusanD

    SusanD Mouseketeer

    Aug 18, 1999
    I have been a stay at home mom and I do enjoy saving money. Goodwill is one of my favorite but I also enjoy a great markdown at big department stores.

    Last fall I started a new job and noticed something interesting. I was spending alot less because I have less time to shop. This is a good thing...more income...fewer expenses.

    My problem before was that I would often over buy. Gifts for the gift cupboard (just in case) and getting more for each person than was necessary.

    I am now just trying to buy what I need for the immediate future. That means even if it is a good deal I still need to walk away.
  8. msblrobs

    msblrobs Faith, Trust, Pixie Dust 26.2 or Bust

    Feb 27, 2004
    I, too, am a shopaholic and I tend to stockpile "great bargains." It is definitely a double-edged sword. My dh and I just got back from an anniversary trip to WDW and I have committed myself to minimize the shopaholic behavior by reminding myself that it undermines my savings for Disney. I feel when you have a goal in mind and you can think about the goal everytime the urge to shop hits, it is easier to refrain from overspending. Best of luck to you - I definitely feel your pain.
  9. kfeuer

    kfeuer <font color=blue>My kids are going to think I'm ol

    Jan 24, 2003
    I also feel your pain (Target clearance is an ongoing weakness for me). I've finally come to the realization that if I don't need it and no one else I know needs it, it's not a good deal at any price. I know exactly what you mean about the "high" you get when you find a good deal, though. It is hard to think logically sometimes when you're in the store. Sometimes I'll get home and think "Why did I buy this?" and end up returning it.

    The best way I've found to avoid this behavior is simply to avoid shopping. You can't be tempted if you're not in the store.
  10. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

    Feb 25, 2002
    One thing I find interesting is that you "love to shop for presents."

    I'm not a present person. Hate giving them. Hate GETTING them even more. I'm a pretty practical person, and if I'm going to move something every week to dust it, I'd better love it. I'm also a little set in my ways. I want a specific kind of purse. I look good in certain colors. I use certain lotion - giving me gifts of these things is doomed for failure - unless its the right brand/ right size/ etc. So almost no gifts thrill me. And I hate that you've spent your hard earned money on giving me something I don't appreciate.

    My MIL is like you - loves to get a bargain, and often these bargains end up at my house as gifts to me.

    I sometimes suspect that my MIL - who is a very generous person - sometimes uses her gift giving to hide her bargain addiction. - And its worse yet than that. I'm naturally frugal, so she gives me things I'd have never spent any money on (not even at a bargain). And she is a spendthrift on a limited income - which means we often give her a little cash. So in effect - I'm buying my own gifts I don't want! Love her dearly, she is a sweet generous woman - so there is no way to explain this to her that won't hurt her - I just have to live with it.

    (She has started to learn She called the other day from a consignment shop that had "great clothes I would love!" And ASKED if I needed anything before she bought it. I said my closet was already full of clothes I loved, and I'd have to get rid of something to get anything new - and the risk of someone else shopping for that something was too great).

    Anyway, something to think about. To me, getting gifts is a burden. It presents me with an obligation I haven't asked for - an obligation to use your gift (that I don't want) and an obligation to you for the gift (I now "owe" you a gift in return, or favor, or friendship, or at least a darn thank you note that I am so bad at writing and will cause me endless guilt for not sending). This may be a cultural thing. I'm always shocked when people here talk about bringing gifts back for an entire classroom of kids! Imagine the burden that creates for the other children and parents. So many of you give gifts so casually.

    Some things it makes sense to have a "gift stash" for. Little kids birthday presents. You know your kid will go to a few this year, might as well have a Transformer you bought on sale on hand to go. I have a few "extra" Christmas gifts - so if someone suddenly shows up on Christmas, I can pull something small out so they aren't left out of the unwrapping. But, once you start shopping for the person - choosing a gift with thought for them - gift stashes don't make much sense.

    There are plenty of other things it makes sense to save on. If there is a really good deal on laundry detergent - you'll use it eventually. In general, you want to have some idea of the time value of money and the cost of storing it, however. Having $100 tied up in laundry detergent for a year when it could be earning 8% somewhere - only if the $100 spent has saved you more than $8, and isn't saving you any money if you need to put an addition onto the house.
  11. lovemygoofy

    lovemygoofy DIS Veteran

    Jun 9, 2004
    I limit my shopping. I get to "bargain shop" twice a month. Each time I have a limit that I spend; should I go over it, then it is deducted from the next trip to the store. Each month I have a list of people I need to buy gifts for. If I have any money left over when I'm done I may buy a giftcard for a store or a resteraunt but normally I put it in my traveling fund. When it's time for holiday shopping I start in Sept/Nov and buy some many each time I go shopping then I mark them off my list. They do not get something else later on when I'm holiday shopping for others.

    I'm a shopping person and love to give presents but the lack of space and lots of extra spending money helps me limit what I do buy. Oh yeah, I have a rule that I don't have more than two of anything in the house at the same time when talking about toiletries or cleaning products.

    Hope this helps,

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