Girl Meets Debt: No Longer a Shopaholic?

shopaholicFor anyone who has read my blog since the beginning, you might remember my blog tagline as being Girl Meets Debt: Journey of a Recovering Shopaholic.

My current tagline is Girl Meets Debt: My Journey to a Debt-Free Life. Not exactly, the most original but I feel it represents myself and my blog much more accurately.

Don’t get me wrong. I was definitely a shopaholic before. I used to consider shopping a hobby and would go to the mall at least weekly. If I saw something I wanted, I would buy it instantly as long as I could charge it on my credit card. I shopped when I was happy and I shopped when I was sad. I shopped when I was bored and I shopped when I was mad. I shopped by myself and I shopped with friends. I shopped when the seasons changed and… well you get the picture. In other words, GMD was a shopaholic.

I am a smart girl but I didn’t really see my shopaholic ways as being a serious problem because I think our consumerist society has portrayed shopaholics as flaky, fashion-obsessed women living in a material world like Becky in the popular Confessions of a Shopaholic book series. How popular culture portrays and downplays shopping addictions is whole other post that I won’t get into here. Let’s just say I strongly disagree.

I chose to change my tagline because, even though I was a shopaholic, that wasn’t the reason for the bulk of my debt. 78% of my original debt is from student loans. The other 22% is from credit card debt which yes did include shopping, but also included getting braces as an adult and living in an expensive city while surviving on a low-income. Regardless of where the debt came from, I still have it and this blog will document my journey to a debt-free life :)

It’s been about half a year since I have stopped my shopaholic ways and even though I am tempted almost everyday since I work downtown in the commercial building that houses the City’s main indoor shopping mall, I have yet to succumb to serious temptation. I no longer make impulse buys because I think long and hard about every single piece of new item I buy. I ask myself if I really need it or if I could do without it. Usually I only buy something new if something old needs replacing and I always try to find a good price. Price matching, comparison shopping, using coupons and discount codes have all become regular in my vocabulary.  I also no longer charge things to my credit card. All in all, I am a Girl in control of her shopping.

Starting this blog, has really kept me accountable with my spending because I want to pay off that debt as soon as possible.

Last night, J and I went to the mall because I wanted to buy a cute pair of denim shorts for spring from American Eagle Outfitters. I’ve eyed these shorts for a while but I finally bought them last night because American Eagle Outfitters was having a store wide 40% off sale. Guess who walked out with 4 polo shirts, 1 sweater, and a pair of shorts? Not I! His name starts with a J…

I was a good Girl and walked out with just the denim shorts. Ok fine, maybe a pair of flip flops too. :P

49 Comments on Girl Meets Debt: No Longer a Shopaholic?

  1. Alan@escapingmydebtNo Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm (1 year ago)

    I am glad to hear you have stopped the excessive shopping. But the point I like that you made is the fact that it doesn’t matter where the debt came from, and you are working on getting out of it. I would also agree, that although my blogging is very young, I can see where reading other’s blogs have helped get me focused on getting debt down. You surely are not alone.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Alan. My blogging is also very young but in a just a few short months, being a part of this wonderful online community has impacted my financials so positively :)

      Reply
  2. debtperceptionNo Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm (1 year ago)

    I totally read this part as if I were reciting a poem…
    “I shopped when I was happy
    and I shopped when I was sad.
    I shopped when I was bored
    and I shopped when I was mad.
    I shopped by myself
    and I shopped with friends.
    I shopped when the seasons changed
    and…” I think you should finish it. :)

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm (1 year ago)

      I will obliged :)

      I shopped when I was happy
      and I shopped when I was sad.
      I shopped when I was bored
      and I shopped when I was mad.
      I shopped by myself
      and I shopped with friends.
      I shopped when the seasons changed
      and I shopped to try to new trends ;)

      Reply
  3. Kendal @HassleFreeSaverNo Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm (1 year ago)

    Props! I’m also a shopaholic and I keep telling myself I need to address the problem. Sometimes I do well and avoid the shops or don’t buy anything when I visit them. Other times, however, I go on binges and realize pretty quickly that what I’ve just purchased means very little to me. I’m glad to hear you’re making good progress and I hope I can say the same soon!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Kendal. I know exactly what you mean when you say you go on shopping “binges” and have buyer’s remorse later. This was my life for many years. Stopping is hard, not going to lie, but it is doable! We can support each other! :)

      Reply
  4. MorgaineNo Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm (1 year ago)

    You’ve made great progress in these short months and I would say from what I’ve read that you’ve earned the title “smart shopper” as opposed to “shopoholic”.

    As another former/recovering shopoholic, I can definitely relate to how hard it is and how much progress we’ve made. Keep up the good work! :)

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Morgaine! I do feel like a “smart shopper” now :)

      I think society tends to “downplay” the seriousness of a shopping addiction because I know so many girls just like me. Or maybe I should say, how I use to be!

      Reply
  5. annaNo Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm (1 year ago)

    I can definitely relate to the shopping by whatever mood I was in – the worst is with girlfriends because everything always looks *amazing* and I *had* to get it (all of it). ;) Good for you for thinking about purchases versus impulsively spending – that’s kinda funny that J ended up with the shopping spree, though at least it’s a reasonable amount.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm (1 year ago)

      “Anna that dress looks amazing on you, you have to get it! And don’t forget you need matching accessories and shoes to go with it too!” :P

      I think J was a wee bit embarrassed about his unplanned shopping spree. We didn’t discuss what happened after lol.

      Reply
  6. TheBantuGirlNo Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm (1 year ago)

    All I have to say is well done! Making positive changes is a wonderful feeling!!!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm (1 year ago)

      Amen to positive changes :)

      Reply
  7. Well Heeled BlogNo Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm (1 year ago)

    Hahaha good for you! Sometimes my husband surprises me with his “I just want to go shopping.” Unfortunately for my wallet, I’m usually game. I have gotten better at not getting things just because they are cheap, though, so at least whatever I buy, I can wear for a while.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm (1 year ago)

      Hahaha J didn’t want to go shopping with me. I had to convince him but once we got to the store and he saw the 40% off store wide sale he went all out!

      Reply
  8. Johnny Moneyseed (@JohnnyMoneyseed)No Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 5:05 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m proud of your GMD, you’re finally “meeting” your debt. You should seriously consider checking out thrift stores. I don’t buy anything new anymore unless I know I absolutely need it and I couldn’t find it in a thrift store for 5% of the retail price.

    On a side note, I hate when adults wear clothing from American Eagle :-/

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 6:35 pm (1 year ago)

      I’m gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket
      I’m, I’m, I’m hunting, looking for a come up, this is *beep* awesome
      I wear your granddad’s clothes, I look incredible
      I’m in this big ass coat from that thrift shop down the road :P

      Reply
  9. kathrynNo Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm (1 year ago)

    I also got braces when I was an adult, and for the next 10 years, I had a monthly payment (4 kids got them too..I least i got a family discount) :)You’ll never regret it .
    Yesterday my husband and I went into a shopping mall.We hadn’t been in one for almost 6 months, because we were in the middle ofOutback Australia.
    I turned to him and said, “now I remember why I hate shopping” Dodging masses of people….we grabbed some groceries and left.
    Congratulations on leaving your shopaholic ways behind you.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm (1 year ago)

      I have never regret getting braces as an adult! A nice smile is priceless :)

      Reply
  10. Budget and the BeachNo Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 5:38 pm (1 year ago)

    Glad to hear you’ve overcome your shopoholic ways! Progress!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks B&B! I’m still tempted to shop all the time but I no longer succumb to temptation :)

      Reply
  11. KK @ Student Debt SurvivorNo Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm (1 year ago)

    I like the new tagline, and like you said I think it better fits where you are in your life right now. You’re more than a recovering spend-a-holic :-)

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks KK! I like the new tagline as well. As boring as it may be :P

      Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Kevin :)

      Reply
  12. Grayson @ Debt RoundupNo Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm (1 year ago)

    I enjoyed this confession. This is the only way to keep control of increasing debt. Nice work GMD!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 8:01 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you for your kind words Grayson :)

      Reply
  13. Mr. 1500No Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 7:57 pm (1 year ago)

    Do you find that having the blog makes you behave better?

    I’ve only been at it for 3 months, but I question everything much more. I want to show all financial moves, good and bad. The last thing I want to do is post something stupid and get ridiculed. With my exercise goal, I’m also incredible motivated to workout (I made the younger daughter sit on my back today while I did push-ups “Daddy, why do I have to do this?!?”).

    So, do you think blogging helps you?

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm (1 year ago)

      I think blogging does help me behave better financially. My blog is anonymous so I have the option of being 110% honest. Sometimes I think I’m too honest :P

      Reply
  14. JustinNo Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm (1 year ago)

    Great job on making it out with only a pair of jeans and flip flops. It’s important to focus on small victories, those will win the war for you.
    I also like your new tag line.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm (1 year ago)

      Ain’t that true! Small victories do win the big war :D Thanks Justin!

      Reply
  15. Mo' Money Mo' HousesNo Gravatar
    April 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm (1 year ago)

    I’ve never really been a shopper, but when it comes to buy little things here and there at Shoppers or the grocery store, I’ve definitely had to try hard this year to curb this instinct. It’s just so hard because Shoppers is right near my work!

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm (1 year ago)

      The little things add up so fast! And as for Shoppers, I love to hate it ;)

      Reply
  16. The Norwegian GirlNo Gravatar
    April 4, 2013 at 12:31 am (1 year ago)

    good for you! I used to shop way more before, but now I`m what I call a smart shopper. I do have my shopping sprees everynow and then, but it`s always paid by money that I´ve saved up, and I buy clothes that I need, and clothes that are classic so I can use them several seasons.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 4, 2013 at 6:47 am (1 year ago)

      I’m all about buying the classics now too :)

      Reply
  17. Holly@ClubThriftyNo Gravatar
    April 4, 2013 at 4:11 am (1 year ago)

    I’m glad that you are changing your ways! I used to buy excessively too and ended up with a bunch of credit card debt in my 20′s =/

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 4, 2013 at 6:48 am (1 year ago)

      I wish I had changed my ways earlier…but it is what it is :)

      Reply
  18. Kelly@CrueltyFreeCanada.caNo Gravatar
    April 4, 2013 at 6:51 am (1 year ago)

    You did well, focusing on the one item you needed/wanted. Good job! I love how Gail Vaz-Oxlade says, when you are shopping and using a credit card (which I do although I pay it off every month so I never pay interest – I only use it to get points) that you shouldn’t think about how great the item or deal is or how it makes you feel – think of how you’ll feel when the bill comes :) That helps keep me in check. It’s way to easy these days to shop online etc. with “intangible” money that you don’t notice it adding up as much.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm (1 year ago)

      Awww Kelly, i technically bought 2 items that shopping trip but thank you for your kind words :) You sound so smart with your finances! That’s awesome!

      Reply
  19. My Shiny PenniesNo Gravatar
    April 4, 2013 at 7:29 am (1 year ago)

    Good job! It’s kind of empowering to walk in to a store and come out with what you intended. You’re telling the stores, suck it, your marketing powers have nothing over me! Lol.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm (1 year ago)

      Well technically their 40% off EVERYTHING in the store had all the marketing power over me lol but I’m happy that I only bought what I’ve been eying for so long. The flip flops were cute so I couldn’t resist :P

      Reply
  20. John S @ Frugal RulesNo Gravatar
    April 4, 2013 at 7:55 am (1 year ago)

    Way to go! I was very similar when I got into credit card debt. If I wanted it, regardless of how I felt, then I would generally buy it. Like has been said, those small victories are HUGE in the grand scheme of things.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks John :) I’m happy we have both changed our ways!

      Reply
  21. MackenzieNo Gravatar
    April 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm (1 year ago)

    I like the new tagline! I can relate to the shopping; I wasn’t a shopaholic, but I was an emotional shopper. If I had a bad day at work, boom, need to go buy some shoes and feel better. It was an unhealthy cycle for me and my wallet!

    And you can’t beat shorts at that price! :)

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 4, 2013 at 4:04 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Mackenzie, I like the new tagline too! I think I was a combination of an emotional shopaholic. It was the worst combo ever :(

      Reply
  22. Mochimac @ Save. Spend. Splurge.No Gravatar
    April 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m an admitted shopaholic at the core of my nature. I like new things. It’s weird because I also like to save…. I binge on shopping.

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm (1 year ago)

      But you also save like a machine so it’s ok to binge shop once in awhile ;)

      Reply
  23. Erin (aka BrokeMillennial)No Gravatar
    April 5, 2013 at 9:16 am (1 year ago)

    I know I wasn’t here from the beginning, but it’s awesome to read about how you’ve learned to curb spending habits. Do you have specific sites/apps you use for price comparisons?

    Reply
    • Girl Meets DebtNo Gravatar
      April 6, 2013 at 9:21 am (1 year ago)

      I’m not tech savvy enough to know of specific sites or apps to use for price comparisons, I just use good ol’ Google :)

      Reply

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