How to avoid shopping for 4 months

July 22nd. I was leaving my current job as a waitress/actress working in NYC to work at a bank. The problem was I was still working at a theater in New Hampshire for the summer and I had been told by no less than 5 people that,  even though my resume stats were great, I had no chance in hell of getting a job at a bank because I had no experience.

See JillyP absolutely DE-TER-MINED to get a job at a bank (try to tell me I can’t do something, just TRY!) but since I had been waiting tables for the past two years I had no suitable “office work” clothes. So I went shopping with two of my most hysterical friends at the outlets, accepting or denying clothes based on the strict criteria of whether or not they “worked at a bank”. Point: I left Banana Republic that day spending over 350$ on my credit card for “fall clothes” then spent the rest of the day with LITERAL heart palpitations, nausea and panicking. I needed a beer (and unfortunately for me, any time I’m in need of a beer for stress related issues, it usually makes things TEN times worse; so of course I had a beer and felt worse. shhhheeeeetttt).

Since then, I haven’t been shopping. How have I done this?

I plan and BATCH my shopping for the season ahead.  Once a season I shop at outlet malls (still good quality clothing) and don’t randomly shop. If you do, you’re going to be way more prone to emotionally shop and as we just learned, that ends with beer and nausea which is gross. Even though that fated day of July 22  took probably 6 months off my life because of the stress, it was good to do because  I bought ALL that I needed for fall/winter. Even though I’m not wearing new shoes EVERY week, I still look really great and get complimented all of the time. I would bet you that last year between July and November I at least doubled the 350$ I spent on just emotionally unconcious spending.

I dont buy something unless I’d regret NOT buying it. I work in midtown Manhattan and  there are, I’d say, five of my favorite stores less than 3 blocks away at all times just begging to fill my retail desires. If there is something that I think I need/want/have-to-have I ask myself how I would feel if I left the store and didn’t buy it. Would I think about it later? 9 times out of 10 the answer is no and I can throw the item back on the display (haHA! You were trying to trick me into buying you but I OUTSMARTED YOU!) If I DO want the item, I put it on hold. The stores ALWAYS hold things for at least 24 hours. If it means that much, is that important, I WILL come back for it and its worth it. In Short: I ask myself: “If I got home tonight and didn’t buy that thing  will i still be thinking about it? If the answer is yes I put it on hold and then come back for it- if the answer is no, I put it down gracefully, smile softly over my personal triumph and leave.

I don’t bring my wallet on errands, I carry cash. When I go our for lunch/errands, it stays at my office. It sucks because I want everything (starbucks, new pretty blue earrings, arepas at the street fair today (corn bread with mozz cheese in the middle- don’t even get me started…) but it has to be done. As I’ve said in I cut up my credit card on Monday, if something is that life threatening, it will not require a cc first and anything else just isn’t. that. important.

 I change up my outfits and dress for my body type. (This is for all the ladies out there) I have 5 or 6 “go-to” items of clothing and I mix and match them up in all different variations. I get a compliment EVERY time I go out (I’m not kidding) and half of the time its on things that my friends have seen before but are seeing differently because it’s paired with something else. (And I also have amazing friends who would never judge me on whether or not my clothes were brand new, etc. )

 I stop, I sit, I think. I ask: Will this blah-blah-blah really make me happy? Then I repeat this process until I either stop lying to myself and move along or until I decide I really do need it and only then I’m allowed to buy it.

Hope these little tips help a bit!

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