I am Aloysa, and I am a shopaholic. But you already know this.
The other day, one of my friends asked me if I knew how much money I spent on shopping in 2012. I was clueless. But being curious by nature, I pulled up all my bank account statements and did some research. I added, I subtracted and, finally, I got the number.
I single handily spent $8,676 on clothes, shoes, handbags and make-up in 2012. This is where you are supposed to gasp and say something like this “She is a sick, sick person.” Guess what? I have to agree with you on that. No one in their right mind should be spending that much money on stuff that no one needs.
In 2012 I bought things because they looked pretty. I bought things because they were on sale. I bought things because I convinced myself I needed them. I bought things because I had a rough day. I bought things because I was bored. I bought things because I just could.
If the number above does not make sense to you, let me put it into perspective. I spent on average $723 a month.
Things I Could Do Monthly With $700
- Pay down debt. This $700 a month would be more than a solid start of tackling our student debt.
- Save up an emergency fund. Since I decided to be brutally honest with myself and my readers, I have to admit that we do not have an emergency fund. We live from paycheck to paycheck, and when we save up a bit, we usually spend it on travel. I know, I am not a great example of fiscal responsibility.
- Open a Roth IRA. We have 401K plans through our jobs. Unfortunately, our company does not match our contributions. Opening a different retirement account always seemed like a good idea to me. The money that goes into a Roth IRA account is after taxes, which is a nice way to save for our future retirement.
- Renovate our bathroom. One step at a time. Our bathroom is starting to fall apart. Not literally. Not yet. But there are some very obvious signs of wear and tear. The longer we wait, the more money we might end up needing to fix it up.
- Buy more groceries to cook at home. Cooking at home has many great benefits. It is healthier. It is cheaper. It helps to brown bag lunches to work. It saves money.
- Give it to someone who is in need. Someone could go and buy a pair of shoes they need, or buy food for their children, or pay their bills. This is where I feel ashamed of my reckless, deranged spending.
Life After Shopping
Every time I open my closet and look at the stuff that I have acquired during this past year, I feel like everything that I own is weighing me down. Quite literally. If I could return all the purchases and get the money back, I would do it in a heart beat.
My pathetic life priorities are hanging in the closet, and my bank account has tumble weeds rolling through it. I am turning forty in five months, but I still act like a kid in a candy store when I go to the malls. I turn into a different person, a person I cannot control. Or, let’s be honest, I refuse to control.
It is time to grow up and be a strong woman I always considered myself to be. Therefore, no more malls and no more shopping for me in 2013. I am going cold turkey. In fact, I wrote this post mostly for myself. I am going to read it every time I have even a vague thought, or an inclination to run to the mall. It will serve me as a good reminder of who I have become and who I want to be.