How I Learned Not to Shop

This blog is an update as well as an advice providing write-up. When I first started getting paid for my job as a receptionist in 2007/2008, I was more like a kid in a candy store then a responsible graduate who had taken business and math courses that had focused partially on dealing with money.

But the year I became ill with a psychotic episode via Depression I started to not spend my money even less well. Luckily, I was only $1700.00 in debt so my Dad could pay that off for me with money he had saved for me from when I was paying rent at home. But 4 years later I really got into debt to the tune of $17 000 and with interest once I had my Dad co-sign a loan so I could pay down almost a small car with interest. I have been doing that paying down $381.00 a month every month since I got into debt.

This was a very stupid thing to do although I must mention I think it did have something to do with a mini-episode of depression or some type of mood disorder during this time as even at that time I could not remember doing it. Just that I came back after a small vacation in Montreal that was all paid for and sometime between paying for that vacation and returning from it in May, I got into debt in approximately 3 months.

By this time I was on disability and making even less then the little I made as a receptionist. And making even $380.00 less then that amount has made my budget very tight. I wasn’t able to save that little amount per month for a small vacation a year, I wasn’t able to shop anywhere even near the amount I had been shopping, even keeping a budget that would provide enough so I could get everything I need each month would become a challenge with medical costs etc.

So, I stopped shopping online altogether at first. Then, I only shopped for what I needed. Every time I saw a dress or pair of shoes I wanted a great deal but I didn’t have the money for I would pin the item on Pinterest. As you can guess, there was a lot of pinning going on at first especially with my impulse spending ways. Eventually I might keep items I liked in my shopping cart and if I very much liked the item, after a a month or two, I might purchase it providing I had an event to wear it to or nothing similar in my wardrobe.

That was the worst of my shopping. At the mall I was pretty good even before I had debt. The tactile quality of an item made me a lot more careful when spending my money. I preferred to spend my money at malls on makeup and I only had so much cash to spend at one time because I rarely used credit cards, and still practice that. And if I spent on them I always paid them off.

The other way I spent less money was quitting a weight loss program called Herbal magic which saved me about $400.00 a month and was the bulk of my debt. It paid for my loan payment every month. It was hard to do but I had only lost about 10 lbs on it due to my medications and it was simply too expensive. The only thing that worked about it was the idea of losing weight by cutting your portion size. All the herbs required were a crazy amount of money.

Now, I have stayed out of debt a year and a half. I’m still budgeting carefully according to what I need each month and I pay careful attention to what I but and the balance on my credit cards and bank account. I think if this is possible for me to do on a very small budget, it is possible for anyone, even on a large budget. It is also important, to know your weaknesses and walk away when you don’t have the money to buy the item you want.