Confession: I used to be a frequent returner of items purchased. Simply put, I’d buy things thinking they’d be fun, look good, would be nice to have, or could come in handy. Often I was mistaken. I’d get home and see the items in a different light. I was trapped in the pitfalls of shopping. Shopping had become a habit to fill a void. Can you relate?
Eventually it occurred to me that I was wasting gas taking items back to stores. I routinely had bags of items taking up space in my car that I needed to return somewhere, and it created stress for me. The cycle looked like this:
frustration —> shopping —> relief —> regret —> return the items
I realized I often felt as though the money we’ve budgeted to give me to spend on myself each month was never enough. It turns out I was looking to things to make me feel better about myself or my home, and no amount of money would achieve that. I allowed the pitfalls of shopping to cloud my vision for my poor choices.
One day I asked God to change my perspective. It didn’t happen in a miracle minute, but it is happening. Recently I realized it’d been a few months since I’d been in a particular super store and when I reported this to my not-easily-impressed husband he was amazed! Don’t doubt that God can stop up a hole inside that you’re trying to fill with unnecessary things.
- It’s a good idea to take the 24 hour test – don’t leave a store with an item. If you truly need it, you can buy it the next day (or week).
- One form of accountability in my marriage is mentioning any purchase over $100 to Chris so I can be accountable before making a mistake. He does the same for me.
- Recognize shopping as a type of addiction. Have you ever taken a “hit” of immediate (though temporary) joy by buying this season’s big-ticket item? We humans are sneaky – we can label anything from a watch to shoes to an oven as a “necessity”.
Has shopping lured you into becoming your short-term pick-me-up?
“A bargain is something you can’t use at a price you can’t resist.” ~Franklin P. Jones