Thursday, July 24, 2008

Question of the Day: To Return or Not to Return

As much as I am a shopaholic, I am a return-aholic. I almost never make my mind up right when I see something, so I bring it home, try it on...and usually return half of what I buy. This is great, in theory, except that in practice two disconcerting trends emerge:

1) I end up buying stuff I wouldn't really buy in the first place, reasoning that I can always return it
2) When I go to return it, I find something else I like instead, and usually end up blowing the whole refund.

Now, the issue is this: I have two things to return from Banana Republic, amounting to a pretty sizeable $200. One is a top I like, but admit was not worth what I paid for it; another is a dress that was unanimously voted on by my friends to be returned. But what if I go to return it, and get drawn in by the sales all over again? Sure, I can pretend that I am strong enough to resist that, but at this point, I am not sure that I am. On the other hand, it is $200 just sitting there.

What to do? Any ideas?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dawn of a New Day

The time has come, people. As much as I love, love, love to shop, I am slowly starting to recognize that sometimes it can be a teensy bit much. And while I have tried the justifications of 'I'll only buy things I REALLY love' or 'I'll only buy investment pieces' blah blah blah, the truth is, I cannot resist the lure of a sale. Of a bargain waiting to be had, of the last pair of shoes, of a bag that will inspire murmurs of reverence when I step on the subway.

So I have decided to go cold turkey for a month.

I realize that a month for most people is nothing and will elicit snorts of contempt from most of you. But for me, a month without shopping is a big thing. I cannot set foot into a fabulous summer sale for a month, I cannot stop and pet the back-to-school goodies for a month, I cannot even kill time by wandering into the corner shop for a month. I MUST BE STRONG.

I will be chronicling my month of no spending (on clothes and accesories) here, and taking a good, hard look at why I feel the need to buy. But don't worry, I won't get all self-righteous and eco-holic about it. As long as gleaming leather handbags and silk dresses exist, the shopaholic in me lives on.

And now, to help me through this difficult journey - what do you do to curb the urge to shop?