When I worked full-time at a desk job, which was actually up until yesterday (!!), I used to use my lunch hour as a midday pick-me-up shopping marathon if I had a particularly stressful day. I would run to grab a
frivolous iced coffee and then hit up a couple of stores in the strip mall near the office. It would be a fast shopping trip and I would do just a few loops around the store before deciding on purchasing a couple of items. I definitely knew I didn’t need them but I also felt like purchasing them would make me feel more relaxed. It was rare that I would spend a significant amount of money on splurge items, but it was enough to add up to a good amount of money being racked up on my credit card bill. Most often I’d buy things like a shirt and a cute pair of earrings, or a new wallet that I needed because just that morning I took a look at the one I was using and decided that I hated it.
In some ways having a desk job was good because it prevented me from staying out shopping for a good chunk of time, but it was unfortunate that my shopping trips were quick and mindless. When I would sneak out of the office and come back with a bag full of goodies in my trunk awaiting me, it felt like a rush. Having purchased a couple of items or a basket full of girly products from the drug store across the street was something that eased stress and let me mentally unwind from the morning block of meetings and design work.
Even though not all purchases/shopping tricks are dangerous, it’s important to think very carefully about why and what you’re buying. It’s bad practice to wake up one morning and decide you want a pair of sneakers and immediately head out to the store to drop $125 on a pair of designer ones. Do your research, fight the compulsiveness, and make sure you have enough wiggle room in your budget to afford the item you want. See the flowchart below to help you through those occasional treat yourself purchases!
Now that I’m oFficiAlLY working full-time at TFD (screams with utter joy into the abyss) I plan on being much more diligent about controlling my boredom/stress fighting shopping trips. Focusing on things like structuring walks outside in the sunshine into my daily schedule is far more important to me than running out to the store to buy crap I don’t need with money I don’t have.