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03-09-2011
  61
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kristi_b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: CA Coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softgrey View Post
shopping is the process of looking...
so i say---look, but don't touch...
pretend your are at a museum or something and just enjoy the view...

:p
I love that!

I was a pretty serious shopaholic between 1998 - 2001. It was easy out here in the Silicon Valley, when everyone was getting tech rich in those years. I still kept within my means those days, but I bought everything I thought was just okay. After the tech bust and 9/11, I starting putting things in perspective. Do I really need this? Can this money go to better use, gifts, family, my favorite charities? Now, in this economy, you really have to be thoughtful. My income peaked in 2007 and I was still spending and giving, more than saving. I still consider myself a shopaholic, in terms of what softgrey describes so well, as going to the museum. There's just something heavenly about being buried in a bunch of racks, for hours on end, looking at the "art", escaping reality, but just browsing.............................., until you find that one must have. :p

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08-09-2011
  62
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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Adding up all my clothing expenses of a whole year was sobering to say the least. I could've paid myself a nice holiday, or saved all that on my "will buy an apartment" account, but no, I decided to spend it on clothes and shoes.
Now I ask myself how much I need whatever it is I want to buy, and it actually works. I still shop but way less than I used to. In the same spirit, writing down things like "who needs 25 bras/15 pairs of jeans?" etc is pretty efficient too.

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08-09-2011
  63
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stealthmodesteph's Avatar
 
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I mostly shop online - I consider myself a "smart" shopper (I don't know if I want to use the term shopaholic, because I don't think I am one, really) I don't pay full price for the majority of my purchases. I always look for a coupon code or wait until something goes on sale. I also shop at secondhand designer stores and on ebay a lot, to find a good deal.

Often something I want will sell out before going on sale or I will wait too long to buy it and it will finally sell out. If I really want something, I will search for something from seasons ago on ebay or sale blogs- then I know I really want it! It makes the purchase a bit sweeter, knowing that I waited and searched for it for so long.

Keeping a spreadsheet in Excel has really been helpful to me and is something I started a few seasons ago. It's a "reality check" to how much money I'm spending on shoes, clothing and accessories and a way for me to keep track of coupon codes and when they expire, etc. I usually put everything I want in the spreadsheet, including their prices and add it all up for a total. That total is always so high that I immediately start to cull my list and also prioritize things. I colour things in green when I buy them, and another colour for my "next priority". It sounds dull, but I get a strange satisfaction out if it.

I do the majority of my wardrobe shopping when I travel, and I am very regimented about my purchases (I stick to a list pretty well). I am starting to think that I should only allow myself to shop on vacation!

My problems:
- endless internet browsing. Shopping in person tires me, especially compared to the ease of browsing online and the endless range of stores. There are very few stores in my city that carry clothes I am interested in, so the internet is my main outlet for shopping.

- "outfits" that never come to fruition (always searching for the missing link), so that I am left with expensive orphan pieces that I find difficult to incorporate into other outfits

- End of season sale impulse purchases. I think- it's such a good deal (who can resist 70% off!) but spending $500 is still $500 no matter how you look at it.


Last edited by stealthmodesteph; 08-09-2011 at 02:15 PM.
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08-09-2011
  64
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BonjourTristesse's Avatar
 
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Softgrey, I adore you for making this thread. I feel like it's almost a bit of a "taboo" to discuss this on TFS - where everything is about consumption really.
I really, really want to shop less... Shopping is almost a hobby for me. It's not so much about possessing new items, I just find certain things so beautiful and pleasing that I feel like I need to own them. My biggest problem is probably that I'm a university student, therefore I can spend a maximum of 200-300 EUR on clothes. If I went to H&M that would been a fortune...but I only tend to like really expensive, quality stuff. It's not so much about the brand (although I just recently bought a gorgeous burberry headband ;-).)
It's more that I really appreciate quality and would chose a 200 EUR cashmere top over 10 H&M sweaters. Ahhh... it's terrible :-(
In october I'll start my master program at our diplomatic university, which means I'll be able to work much less -> therefore have less budget. I really need to pull it together and stop shopping. I have everything I need for the winter. But shopping makes me feel so good and pretty... And contrary to another poster in this thread who said once she tries clothes on they don't look good, I've to say with me it's the complete opposite. My body wears basically everything extremely well which makes it hard not to buy new clothes.

I'll start tonight by unsubscribing asos, anthropologie, netaporter, luisaviaroma & co. I hope this'll be a start.

Oh and TheIda -> I agree on cooking. It's a pleasure for me too... I try to distract myself - especially when I feel lonely or unhappy - with other things now... Wish me luck please!

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12-09-2011
  65
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softgrey's Avatar
 
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^^i'm glad you like it dear...

at least you're buying quality when you spend...
so that is not a bad thing...
hopefully this means that you are starting to build a wardrobe rather than just filling your closet with 'stuff'...

i guess it's all about discipline and making carefully considered choices...
being really, really particular does keep me from buying a lot of stuff because it's just not 'good enough' in some way or another...


shopping has never been a therapeutic thing for me the way i know it is for so many people...
but i agree that it's necessary to find other things to do and enjoy...
i like cooking as well and agree that it is very relaxing and satisfying...

wishing you luck!...

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12-09-2011
  66
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thisismyname's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthmodesteph View Post
- "outfits" that never come to fruition (always searching for the missing link), so that I am left with expensive orphan pieces that I find difficult to incorporate into other outfits
This happens to me so often... I keep thinking that I found the "missing link" to make an outfit work, but I just end up buying more stuff and not wearing the original pieces that I wanted to showcase in the ideal outfit...

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12-09-2011
  67
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TianCouture's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Where the crystals grow...
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I have officially stopped and I am having a really hard time "adjusting" especially as I plan my fall wardrobe... No more Margiela (for obvious reasons, he walked, so did I) no more Thom Browne and certainly no more Rick Owens/Raf Simons (Raf is my all time favorite)! Thankfully I have all the necessities suit and suit separate wise, but I have no wear to work clothing. I'm in very high end retail and merchandising and the issue is I could be re-doing a store one minute and on a train to NYC the next for a "swanky" dinner and I never have time to change...So this fall I am doing what Mom always told me to do---great jeans, white shirts and great shoes which again, I already have! I get so many compliments when I'm in jeans and a crisp white shirt and it's going to be so easy to dress this fall! But I've already been let down with the fast fashion, so I did have to step up a tinnnnyyyyyyy bit to J.Crew and Zara, which has been a big change. Got some great stuff at Zara---they have mens fantasy tweed sweaters and the lyrca sweater like Prada showed for Fall 11 Men's. This Spring, however, I am going back to Raf---already pre-ordered from seven7NewYork. And buying lunch at work---can't even tell you how much I spent last year! All the savings/clothing I could have from just lunches!

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13-09-2011
  68
flaunt the imperfection
 
softgrey's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thisismyname View Post
This happens to me so often... I keep thinking that I found the "missing link" to make an outfit work, but I just end up buying more stuff and not wearing the original pieces that I wanted to showcase in the ideal outfit...

yeah...
you know...the opposite happens to me...
i will have something forever and never wear it...
and then one day i will find this other thing that just BELONGS with the thing i already have...
and then i wear the first thing constantly---all of a sudden, just like that...

that's why i don't get rid of stuff too often...
i've learned that if i am patient enough, eventually i will find the perfect soulmate for each and every piece in my closet...

:p...

tian-
men have it SO much easier!......
i bet you look amazing in your t-shirt and jeans...
and i really do like j.crew menswear...
there is some twisted part of me that just really likes preppy looks on men...doesn't matter what age...it always looks good to me...


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14-09-2011
  69
scenester
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Posts: 73
I went through a phase when I couldn't seem to stop buying variations of the same thing - cotton shirts, loose silk tanks, grey knits. I felt pretty bad about it, but I noticed that about a year go, I slowed down quite dramatically, and for the last six months I've lost interest in acquiring new clothing, and I've been very happy wearing what I have, although I always go to shops to see what's in, and new styling ideas.

I think on hindsight, although I was in full acquisition mode a few years ago, it tapered off when I reached an "equilibrium" - when I have built a good foundation of basics and have enough variety to keep things interested. Like soft grey said a few posts back, I will wear something all the time for a period, and then I will find something else in my closet that I neglected and it's like falling in love again. So not all frequent shopping equates to a bottomless pit of desire and craving... sometimes it may be a necessary step to building a good wardrobe.

The only thing I still regularly purchase is shoes - I walk around a lot, and wear mostly flats, so whenever I find a good pair, I usually have a worn out pair to throw out.

I think about every purchase I make, whether it's cheap t-shirts from Zara or an expensive dress by Vanessa Bruno - it needs to earn its place. What works for me is to put whatever I'm oogling down and just walking out. 90% of the time you never regret just even another 30 minutes of "cooling off" time.

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19-09-2011
  70
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advo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
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Right now, I'm combining the 4-5 pieces per season with a budget and it seems to work quite well. Every time I see something, I remember that it's not one of the 4-5 pieces I want to buy this season or that's it outside my budget. Of course, I've only done it for a month so we'll see how well I fare during the sales periods

Another measure, that I'm incorporating is thebirdy.com. It's a website that tracks your purchases every single day - so much easier than doing an accounting overview every month which I always procrastinate. I think confronting yourself with where you're money is going is probably one of the most effective methods to stop the spending spree.

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20-09-2011
  71
flaunt the imperfection
 
softgrey's Avatar
 
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birdy seems interesting...
i might try that for a bit and see how it goes...
thanks for the tip advo!


liny- i think you're right...
i sometimes call myself a 'binge' shopper...
i will go on a binge for awhile and then i just sort of settle down and stop for awhile...
that's when i really enjoy wearing all the things that i have purchased...

to be honest...
i am really enjoying wearing a lot of the things in my closet right now and am not even all that tempted to shop...

also, i am turning a critical eye on things that haven't been worn in awhile and coming to terms with the fact that there are some things i own that are great but simply don't fit my lifestyle...

and then there are other things that are really really me...
and i need to wear them a LOT more often...
...

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20-09-2011
  72
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advo's Avatar
 
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^You're welcome. I actually spent last night typing in EVERYTHING from the entire year and... Yikes No wonder why this article, no. 1 in particular, rang a bell for me:

http://www.squawkfox.com/2010/09/09/real-reason-broke/

Quote:
The Real Reason You're Broke

1. You spend good money on crap.

Are you craptastic? Cool, Iím sure the marketers love you since youíre spending your hard-earned money on crap. And you know the crap Iím squawking about. Crap is the stuff thatís cluttering your home and bursting out of your front door. Itís the disposable, upgradeable, and superfluous stuff you buy in a heart-beat because youíre worth it! But crap costs. Crap consumes your space, can initially make you feel good but can lead to feelings of guilt, and can make you broke. Please, learn to identify crap and end the spending spree Ė youíre worth it. Smile. See Just say NO to crap! for the craptastic details.

2. You donít have a budget.

Iím dropping the B-word ícause I know you donít have a budget, have little clue about your living costs, and donít track your spending. Yes, starting a budget can be scary and learning about your true financial situation can be a bummer. Get over it. Please. Do the mathy math for once and for all and find your net worth, add up all your debt, track your spending, and build a budget that reflects your real reality ó not the la-la land dream-world you prefer to live in. Only when you face the facts by spending the time to manage your money will you stop being broke.

3. You donít earn enough.

This is a hard one to swallow, so Iím ordering you a second drink. If you canít balance your budget after cutting the crap from your spending, then youíre probably not earning enough money. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Take a sip.

There was a time in my life when I had three jobs ó THREE JOBS ó to make ends meet. I worked my tail off to earn enough cash to cover the rent, buy better quality food, and pay off my student debt. You want to know How I Paid Off My Student Debt in Six Months? I worked my arse off with a full-time job plus two oddball gigs evenings and weekends! I didnít own a car, I didnít wear fancy clothing, and I didnít wine and dine on the weekends. I was broke, after all. And I worked most minutes of every day to bring home enough dough to dig myself out. The answer here isnít easy ó youíll have to find a way to make more money. Check out How To Find a Job for some pavement pounding ideas. Love is tough, I know. Smile.

4. You donít pay off your debt.


If you donít have a plan to conquer your debt, then youíre going to be broke forever. Do yourself a solid by downloading the Debt Reduction Spreadsheet to dig yourself out, starting today. While youíre at it, set your financial goals and make your Needs and Wants List ó only then can you really tackle that mess you put yourself in.

Once youíre in the know, itís time to look at ways to increase your minimum payments. Paying just the minimum balance is a sure-fire way to keep the debt hanging around your neck like a noose forever, so dig into that debt by paying it off sooner. Donít believe me? My handy dandy Credit Card Calculator shows you how many years it will take and how much interest youíll pay by just paying the minimum. Yes, the results will probably make you cry. So deal with it, already.

5. You donít save.

If youíre up to your eyeballs in debt thereís no doubt that itís very very hard to save 10 percent of your take-home pay. I hear ya. But saving even a smidgen of your salary for a rainy day or in an emergency fund is a wise way to get started. Iím a big fan of savings and have tapped my own emergency fund when times got tough in Reasons to Build and Love an Emergency Fund. You may not need surgery like I did, but you never know when tough times happen.

Start a savings plan by taking a good hard look at your spending patterns, your subscriptions and services, and find ways to cut back. For example, downgrading your television package ó or canceling it completely ó adds up to money that could be put into a high interest savings account. The idea is to be consistent and set up automatic deposits into a specific account set aside for emergencies. Get some ideas in 50 Ways to Save $1,000 a Year. Itís not hard to save ó you just have to want to do it.

6. Youíre clueless about your investments.

Do you know what youíre invested in, or did you let your financial advisor pick a bunch of posh-sounding investments without asking a single question? Itís your money and you have every right to know your Return on Investment (a calculator), How Much Your Mutual Funds Really Cost (a calculator), and How Long Until Your Investments Recover (another calculator). Not asking these questions or knowing the answers is a smart way to loose your shirt in the market. Not fun.

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27-09-2011
  73
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softgrey's Avatar
 
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so- i signed up for the birdy...
but it's rather useless unless you sit down and actually track each and every purchase...
*sometimes a receipt has a whole bunch of stuff on it too- so that is just too time consuming and nitpicky for me...

...

it's why i could never do something like weight watcher's or anything where you have to track every single thing you put in your mouth, etc...

it makes my head hurt!...
...

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27-09-2011
  74
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advo's Avatar
 
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
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Yes, it was a very tedious process in the beginning. But afterwards, I find it very convenient to enter new purchases. I find it far easy to do than say, spreadsheets.

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28-09-2011
  75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softgrey View Post
so- i signed up for the birdy...
but it's rather useless unless you sit down and actually track each and every purchase...
*sometimes a receipt has a whole bunch of stuff on it too- so that is just too time consuming and nitpicky for me...
you might want to try evernote instead. Evernote is a suite of software and services designed for archiving. easy enough for simple simons like myself to use:p

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