Author Topic: Need a spending intervention - HELP  (Read 30953 times)

horsepoor

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2015, 03:10:59 PM »
I cancelled one of them.  The other surprise boxes you need to order separately.  I am subscribed to all the emails with the sales and stuff.  Shouldn't I keep the sale emails so I only shop with sales or is that just a trigger? :/

Whenever you get a new email, scroll right to the very bottom and click the "unsubscribe" because those sales emails are a total trigger to get you clicking around and buying stuff you didn't know you wanted when you woke up that morning.  Unsubscribe to everything.  If they don't have an unsubscribe, just block them.

On the 401(k) question, only contribute enough to get your match because you're paying 25% INSANE INTEREST on your credit cards.  Pick one of the 25% cards that you've cancelled/cut up and pay it down, then move on to the next one and kill that.  Your credit score will recover, don't worry about that.  Having maxed credit cards hurts your credit too but that isn't stopping you.

She's paying 25% federal taxes on her last dollar earned.

But if she plays it right she could get the cards paid off and then plow as much as possible into 401(k) at the end of the year because taxes are on an annual basis and credit card interest accrues monthly.

News Flash:  Your Debt is an Emergency!

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2015, 03:17:57 PM »
I cancelled one of them.  The other surprise boxes you need to order separately.  I am subscribed to all the emails with the sales and stuff.  Shouldn't I keep the sale emails so I only shop with sales or is that just a trigger? :/

Whenever you get a new email, scroll right to the very bottom and click the "unsubscribe" because those sales emails are a total trigger to get you clicking around and buying stuff you didn't know you wanted when you woke up that morning.  Unsubscribe to everything.  If they don't have an unsubscribe, just block them.

On the 401(k) question, only contribute enough to get your match because you're paying 25% INSANE INTEREST on your credit cards.  Pick one of the 25% cards that you've cancelled/cut up and pay it down, then move on to the next one and kill that.  Your credit score will recover, don't worry about that.  Having maxed credit cards hurts your credit too but that isn't stopping you.

She's paying 25% federal taxes on her last dollar earned.

But if she plays it right she could get the cards paid off and then plow as much as possible into 401(k) at the end of the year because taxes are on an annual basis and credit card interest accrues monthly.

News Flash:  Your Debt is an Emergency!

That's a great idea actually.  I get my bonus in December $7875 and if I pay them off by May I can put a lot into my 401k starting then.  Need to really do this :/

JLee

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #52 on: December 07, 2015, 03:20:46 PM »
I cancelled one of them.  The other surprise boxes you need to order separately.  I am subscribed to all the emails with the sales and stuff.  Shouldn't I keep the sale emails so I only shop with sales or is that just a trigger? :/

Whenever you get a new email, scroll right to the very bottom and click the "unsubscribe" because those sales emails are a total trigger to get you clicking around and buying stuff you didn't know you wanted when you woke up that morning.  Unsubscribe to everything.  If they don't have an unsubscribe, just block them.

On the 401(k) question, only contribute enough to get your match because you're paying 25% INSANE INTEREST on your credit cards.  Pick one of the 25% cards that you've cancelled/cut up and pay it down, then move on to the next one and kill that.  Your credit score will recover, don't worry about that.  Having maxed credit cards hurts your credit too but that isn't stopping you.

She's paying 25% federal taxes on her last dollar earned.

But if she plays it right she could get the cards paid off and then plow as much as possible into 401(k) at the end of the year because taxes are on an annual basis and credit card interest accrues monthly.

News Flash:  Your Debt is an Emergency!

That's a great idea actually.  I get my bonus in December $7875 and if I pay them off by May I can put a lot into my 401k starting then.  Need to really do this :/

Take the entire amount of your bonus and use it to pay off credit cards. Close the accounts as soon as they are paid.

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #53 on: December 07, 2015, 03:25:07 PM »
I don't get my bonus till next Dec

galliver

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #54 on: December 07, 2015, 03:33:42 PM »
Since you really like fashion, how about learning to sew/alter your own clothes?  That's a productive hobby that should cost far less than what you're spending on clothes.  I'm sure there's some classes in NY that aren't crazy expensive.

I am hopeless with this kind of stuff.  I am more of a computer brain.
You seem like you're the perfect follower of the "refashionista" (Google her). She refashions thrift store clothes, and some of the refashions are super easy or even no-sew. Disclaimer: I don't actually do this, but then, I have very minimal requirements for my clothes.

The way I see it, there are two ways to be a foodie: eat regularly at the most expensive, trendy restaurants, or learn to cook awesome food yourself. And one of those is much more awesome. Same goes for fashion. And you CAN learn either skill. Just be ready to mess up!

Incidentally, I totally understand feeling more confident from being better dressed.  But that doesn't have to cost $2000/month!! I'd...actually be curious to know what that looks like. I don't think I have anything that cost more than $200 (down coat and boots...). I got three sweaters this weekend for $45 altogether! Will last years, I hope.

Exflyboy

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #55 on: December 07, 2015, 03:41:53 PM »
$261 a month can be put towards clothes once I am out of debt.... sorry that is not the right way of thinking .... ahh

No it is NOT the right way.. But its a heck of a lot better way than where you are right now.

I don't know what your aims are, maybe you said in your original post. But getting to being FI is more of a mindset than anything else. Being in any kind of debt is something that would laser focus any Mustashian, and everything else would be gone without until that debt was gone (unless it was very low interest).

But that's what you need to do if you eventually want to be financially independent.

You will get the best deals on everything, go without new cars, never finance anything (except a house), cut off cable, $10 a month cell phone etc etc. Clothes?.. That's what thrift stores are for.

Maybe you just want to be able work all your life and retire at 65?.. That's perfectly fine (assuming your health and job market allow you to do that), but even so you still should get OUT of debt and STAY OUT.. Thats just being sensible.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #56 on: December 07, 2015, 03:44:27 PM »
$261 a month can be put towards clothes once I am out of debt.... sorry that is not the right way of thinking .... ahh

LOL true, but it is an improvement on your earlier way of thinking. Once you're out of debt, you can reward yourself (in moderation). Right now, though, you need to go on a spending diet. If you feel the urge to shop for clothes, go into your closet and "shop" among the clothes you haven't worn for a while. Make new outfits out of what you have.

Evgenia

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #57 on: December 07, 2015, 05:11:12 PM »
I strongly recommend reading All Your Worth by Elizabeth Warren for a strategy to get you out of debt, and to show you what a sane (though hardly Mustachian) budget looks like.

I think, as others have said, that most of what's required is a shift away from being a consumer to... something else.

Start by watching the movie What Would Jesus Buy, especially during this holiday season. It's free online.

Who are you without the clothes and shopping? Think about that and see where it leads. Is there anything you would rather be doing with the time and money you currently spend shopping? It might be travel, or the ability to take a year off of work. Sometimes the answer is "Nothing," which is why shopping might be filling some sort of gap -- i.e. not having a hobby, not getting outside to exercise enough, etc. What would your brain be thinking about if it didn't have the mental overhead of debt to deal with? You're thinking about it, and it nags you: how much mental space is debt, the consequence of shopping, taking up?

Make and carry a little card with you and, before you make another purchase, pause, pull out the card, and review it with yourself. Ask:
* What am I doing here? (In the moment, in the store: quite literally, what are you doing there?) Why am I here right now? (Bad day? Depressed?)
* Do I own something like this already? (Probably yes.)
* Can I afford it? (Absolutely not, in your case.)
* Where will I put it?

Think deeply about what's behind the clothes you're buying, too. How much environmental destruction is caused by infinite consumption in a finite world? A ton. Shopping isn't something we should feel good about. The textile industry is almost as ecologically destructive as the oil industry, in terms of water and air pollution and carbon emissions, and that's before the slave labor, landfills, and all the rest. Sit with that for a while and see if it reflects the person you believe you really are, or want to be.

Do not carry credit cards on your person. Put your credit cards in jars of water and freeze them. If you need one to travel or book a flight, the water will have thawed by then. I find it more effective, however, to give the cards to someone you trust (mom or dad, whomever) so that you physically do not have them and need to go through the socially awkward act of asking for them in order to get them back. This makes you face someone else and have to admit and express what you need them for and why (even if you don't actually have that conversation, having to physically go get them from someone else makes you step through that process).

Use a browser plug-in like Leechblock to prevent you from seeing shopping websites you might use.

Exflyboy

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #58 on: December 07, 2015, 07:00:36 PM »
^^^^^This^^^^!

simplertimes

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #59 on: December 07, 2015, 07:29:44 PM »
CONGRATULATIONS on taking the first steps and cutting up cards, canceling accounts, and unsubscribing from email lists!  You should be PROUD of yourself for taking these difficult first steps!!!!!

Many, MANY people in America have this problem.  You are not the only one!  But you are one step ahead of most of them as you have realized something is wrong and have sought out help and advice.  Good for you!

This is such a wonderful opportunity to improve your sense of self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem.  When you realize your goal of paying off the cards and finding other ways to entertain yourself/find happiness you will feel so good inside!

On another note, thank you to everyone who recommended books and videos in this thread, I am eager to read/watch them myself!

kite

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #60 on: December 08, 2015, 06:01:46 AM »
Was the $1000 food & recreation over and above the cafeteria spend?

"Rarely eat dinner at home" is another cause of debt like what you've got.  Cathy Erway wrote a blog that became a book about not eating out in NY for two years.  No take out, no restaurants, everything prepared at home.  The financial savings are incredible.  At least the clothes can be worn a couple times.  But meals & drinks had in bars and restaurants are gone in tomorrow's flush, leaving behind only the hole in your wallet and excess fat & salt in your body to tax your circulation and organs. 

I have a loved one about 10 years older than you, similar income  (before the SHTF) who ultimately had to go bankrupt.   Her spending patterns were similar and felt normal to her.  But they aren't normal.  It's plum crazy.  The sooner you catch on to that, the better. 

Lucky for you, you're realizing before it's too late. 


ooeei

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #62 on: December 08, 2015, 07:47:33 AM »
Since you really like fashion, how about learning to sew/alter your own clothes?  That's a productive hobby that should cost far less than what you're spending on clothes.  I'm sure there's some classes in NY that aren't crazy expensive.

I am hopeless with this kind of stuff.  I am more of a computer brain.

4 years ago I'd eaten vegetables maybe 5 times in my life, and never cooked anything not in a microwave.  Now I make homemade pizza, great salads, bake bread, grill chickens, etc etc etc.  If you'd told anyone 5 years ago that I'd be a really good home cook, they'd have rolled their eyes out of their heads.  If you'd asked me, I would've laughed on my way to a fried chicken place.  As it stands, my girlfriend and I have friends over fairly often and cook them meals, which they're almost always impressed by.  We also cook for her large extended family when we go visit.

If I, the pickiest eater and laziest college kid there was, can learn to cook meals that my critical foodie aunt and girlfriend's Chinese grandmother compliment, YOU can learn to alter clothes.  Nobody is born knowing how to cook, alter clothes, or write novels.  These are learned skills (which your natural abilities can certainly help with), and I guarantee if you commit to doing it you can become good at it.  You may not become a world famous fashion designer, but you can be good enough to impress friends and people you meet.  Next time someone compliments an outfit and asks where you got it, imagine saying "I made it."

norabird

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #63 on: December 08, 2015, 08:52:48 AM »
On the article front, I also think this can help with the 'aha' light bulb of understanding that shopping compulsions are about more than shopping: http://www.gq.com/story/buzz-bissinger-shopaholic-gucci-addiction

2ndTimer

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #64 on: December 08, 2015, 09:38:26 AM »
For how to replace the habit, try to find something else to fill that time.  Instead of sitting down in front of the computer, go for a walk, or read a book or learn to play chess, or some other free or low cots hobby.   I copied this from a previous poster because it is particularly good advice.  Exactly what activity you choose will depend on who you are.  Try thinking back on things you enjoyed when you were little.  Choose one and figure out how to bring it back into your life cheaply.  Doing it cheaply is the key here because if you have chosen the right thing, you are going to find you want to do it a lot. 

Here is how doing this worked out for me.

My particular thing turned out to be music.  I started the experiment with a yard sale stereo and some trips to used media stores to stock up on old CDs from the dollar bin.    Eventually, I decided that the only way for me to really appreciate music was to learn to make it so I put out the word that I wanted a piano and the in-laws offered me the ancient digital that their daughter had learned on.  Not a great instrument but free is the right price.  Then I signed up for the beginning piano class at the community college.  I also put out the word to friends and neighbors that I wanted all their old piano music.  I now have a pile of music books two feet high.  Eventually, I decided that I wanted a better piano so I spent some time visiting stores and reading CraigsList.  After a while, the perfect piano showed up used and I snapped it up.

During this time, I noticed something happening to my credit card statements.  They went way down.  Between class and practicing there was no time to shop. 

My social life got more interesting because people who are doing things attract other people who are doing similar things.  My neighbor wants to play duets with me.  The guy I met at the acupuncturist's office wants to tell me about his experiences with the accordion.  My SIL digs out her violin and confides that she'd like to start playing again.  Notice something about these activities.  None of them cost anything. 

I haven't even begun to explore the musical events that are free or discounted with my college I.D.  Someday when I have more time...


honeybbq

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #65 on: December 08, 2015, 09:44:10 AM »
UNSUBSCRIBE to all the fashion magazines you get. Cold turkey. DO NOT OPEN. Donate them or give them away.

UNSUBSCRIBE to ALL the emails you get from shopping companies. A sale is just a trigger for your to browse. Don't let them control you this way.

BLOCK the websites from your own computer. You can do this. Pick your top 5 website where you blow money and BLOCK them. Now you can't get to them online. You have saved your sanity.

UNSUBSCRIBE from ridiculous boxes. You're buying SHIT AND YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT IT IS! Can you see how ridiculous this is? Stop feeding the addiction.

Look for shopaholics anonymous or another type of therapy to help you get this under control. It really does sound like an addiction to me. Bets of luck.

Exflyboy

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #66 on: December 08, 2015, 09:44:38 AM »
This reminds me of the orthopedic surgeon that was on the phone when a lightening bolt struck the house and part of the shock went thru his head!

When he woke up his brain had been re-wired and he learned to play concert piano.. eventually wrote and performed his own recital.. The guy had never been interested in classical music before!

Pretty wild, although maybe taking a bolt thru the head is not the best way to cure spendy habits..:)

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #67 on: December 08, 2015, 12:50:11 PM »
UNSUBSCRIBE to all the fashion magazines you get. Cold turkey. DO NOT OPEN. Donate them or give them away.

UNSUBSCRIBE to ALL the emails you get from shopping companies. A sale is just a trigger for your to browse. Don't let them control you this way.

BLOCK the websites from your own computer. You can do this. Pick your top 5 website where you blow money and BLOCK them. Now you can't get to them online. You have saved your sanity.

UNSUBSCRIBE from ridiculous boxes. You're buying SHIT AND YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT IT IS! Can you see how ridiculous this is? Stop feeding the addiction.

Look for shopaholics anonymous or another type of therapy to help you get this under control. It really does sound like an addiction to me. Bets of luck.

Just unsubscribed from about 50 more shopping emails.  I usually only use 4-5 shopping services though and those are particular difficult.  I ordered a mystery box on November 5, and it arrived yesterday.  It's full of awesome stuff!  I wore one thing immediately...to choir practice.  I do belong to a choir and this week have 3 rehearsals.  I'm pretty musical but dropped playing my instruments awhile ago.  I would love a piano (really dislike the sound of keyboards) and play a little...play other things too.  I do have hobbies...

I'm not sure making my own clothes would be cheaper than the ones I buy.  I don't buy high end stuff, and I am not worried about it last 10 years but with enough rotation it will.  A capsule wardrobe gets washed and worn way too often and wears out quickly.  But I DO have enough clothing now. 

Right now I am ITCHING to go buy another mystery box since I loved this one so much but I will NOT DO IT.  You guys are my support group right now.

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #68 on: December 08, 2015, 12:50:28 PM »
Going back to read a couple of articles you guys posted.

norabird

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #69 on: December 08, 2015, 01:09:05 PM »
Some questions:

Why are you afraid of wearing stuff out? If you love it, shouldn't you wear it as much as you can, to enjoy it fully? Why do you think you deserve and are entitled to the treat of these boxes? (I used to feel so. entitled. to everything I wanted to have and do).

Take the items from the last box and think about how you got a high from receiving them but then have to get *another* high--how the feeling of 'newness' fades so quickly and you need something even *newer*. Isn't it sad to not be able to relish the feeling of having something new, to put it down as soon as the next stuff comes in?

Just food for thought. You can totally do this and I think having a 'support group' on the forum is a great idea for you. You can always come join us in the journals if you want...

pbkmaine

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #70 on: December 08, 2015, 01:29:24 PM »
My question is this: what's missing in your life that you need all these "treats"?


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MudDuck

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #71 on: December 08, 2015, 01:40:53 PM »
I just cut up 2 cards.  The other one I can't find (prob not a good thing!) And the 4th one is a Best Buy card and I almost never spend/go there.  It was for a computer.  This lovely computer auto-fills my credit card info into websites :/  Need to disable that.  And it autofills on another subscription box I use.

That's what I wanted to post: clear your CC numbers from your computer. Delete your cc number from amazon and similar. Change your passwords to shopping sites to something that is impossible to remember (make it look like a VIN number), then write it down and put it somewhere inconvenient. That allows you to still log in if you REALLY want or need to buy something, but it would require an extraordinary effort when compared with just clicking once or twice. If you really, REALLY want to waste your time/money on something, you'll have to, for example: wait until you are home from work, drag a step stool over, climb to the top of the closet, bring down a heavy box (I dunno, maybe it's full of books?), dig an envelope from the bottom, and then get the password from inside. OK, NOW you have to go get your CC from where you've stashed it, since your computer or phone no longer "remembers" it. This way, if it is getting cold and your coat is worn out and you've budgeted for a new one: sure, order it when you're ready. But if it's just impulse shopping from your desk or during lazy couch time, you may find it's too much trouble.

tarheeldan

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #72 on: December 08, 2015, 01:43:51 PM »
Change your passwords to shopping sites to something that is impossible to remember (make it look like a VIN number), then write it down and put it somewhere inconvenient.

Absolutely. I use: http://passwordsgenerator.net/

honeybbq

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #73 on: December 08, 2015, 02:30:25 PM »
My question is this: what's missing in your life that you need all these "treats"?


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edmundblackadder

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #74 on: December 08, 2015, 02:49:40 PM »
As a New Yorker, who really likes fashion and spends <$200 a year on clothes, I suggest turning your shopping habit into a museum habit -- you get all the joy of looking at beautiful things, but museums are way cheaper and you can't take the objects home with you. The Costume Institute is a gem where you can coo over seaming and fabric and seriously haute couture that normal people can't and shouldn't afford; FIT currently has a denim exhibit that I am dying to go to and an upcoming Fairy Tale Fashion exhibit that I suspect is going to be CHOCK-FULL of McQueen (I desperately want to see pieces from the Spring 2002 McQueen collection up close); there are some amazing artifacts at the National Museum of the American Indian; and that's just off the top of my head.

Or if it's the joy of the hunt rather than the artistic thrill that gets you, check out geocaching: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.aspx?lat=40.704234&lng=-73.917927

Putting books on hold at the NYPL gives me a triumphant feeling when I FINALLY get my hands on them: "I have acquired the prey! I have triumphed over the hordes and now I HAVE THE THING!" But I don't have to keep the stuff and I don't have to pay money (except fines, but that's easily avoided if you can read a calendar).
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 03:32:33 PM by edmundblackadder »

galliver

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #75 on: December 08, 2015, 03:03:31 PM »
Just wanted to chime in that as much as cooking at home is "sacred" around here, if someone offered me the chance to have all my breakfasts,  lunches, and snacks provided in my workplace for $7/day ($150-170/month) for high quality food, I would totally do it. I actually enjoy cooking and I would cook with abandon on weekends and for dinner, but even the most enjoyable activity becomes a drag if you HAVE to do it daily. I think this tradeoff is absolutely worth it for a single person (there's an economy of scale when you cook for even 2, let alone 4 or more). And especially worth it given the food is probably cooked relatively fresh instead of reheated. Obviously, this is dependent on price so I don't think I'd go for it if it was over ~$10/day, but $170/mo sounds like a bargain to the me that used to live and eat alone. *shrug* OP, in your shoes I would definitely focus on the shopping habit and your relationship with credit, and worry about your caf spending WAY down the line.

celticmyst08

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #76 on: December 08, 2015, 03:07:47 PM »
Right now I am ITCHING to go buy another mystery box since I loved this one so much but I will NOT DO IT.  You guys are my support group right now.

Let me guess - Stichfix? I got three boxes from them when I was trying to build up my professional wardrobe. It was definitely exciting, especially because they understood my style so well and all the stuff they sent me was pretty much spot on. But - after I got what I needed, I cancelled. It was hard, especially when coworkers would talk excitedly about the boxes they just got. But now after almost a year I don't even miss it.

The first few weeks after quitting are the hardest for compulsive spending, I've found. After that, you start not to miss whatever it was. A few more months and it's a distant memory, and you wonder, "why did I blow money on THAT?"

snuggler

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #77 on: December 08, 2015, 03:18:19 PM »
Just wanted to chime in that as much as cooking at home is "sacred" around here, if someone offered me the chance to have all my breakfasts,  lunches, and snacks provided in my workplace for $7/day ($150-170/month) for high quality food, I would totally do it. I actually enjoy cooking and I would cook with abandon on weekends and for dinner, but even the most enjoyable activity becomes a drag if you HAVE to do it daily. I think this tradeoff is absolutely worth it for a single person (there's an economy of scale when you cook for even 2, let alone 4 or more). And especially worth it given the food is probably cooked relatively fresh instead of reheated. Obviously, this is dependent on price so I don't think I'd go for it if it was over ~$10/day, but $170/mo sounds like a bargain to the me that used to live and eat alone. *shrug* OP, in your shoes I would definitely focus on the shopping habit and your relationship with credit, and worry about your caf spending WAY down the line.

I think it is over $10/day for her- from what I read, it is $150-170 every paycheck, and paychecks appear to be either bimonthly or every other week.

So, it is probably more like $16/day, or $8/meal. Doesn't seem like that great of a bargain to me, but then again I'm down to (after a lot of life adjustments) ~$250/month for a family of two.

galliver

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #78 on: December 08, 2015, 03:29:16 PM »
Just wanted to chime in that as much as cooking at home is "sacred" around here, if someone offered me the chance to have all my breakfasts,  lunches, and snacks provided in my workplace for $7/day ($150-170/month) for high quality food, I would totally do it. I actually enjoy cooking and I would cook with abandon on weekends and for dinner, but even the most enjoyable activity becomes a drag if you HAVE to do it daily. I think this tradeoff is absolutely worth it for a single person (there's an economy of scale when you cook for even 2, let alone 4 or more). And especially worth it given the food is probably cooked relatively fresh instead of reheated. Obviously, this is dependent on price so I don't think I'd go for it if it was over ~$10/day, but $170/mo sounds like a bargain to the me that used to live and eat alone. *shrug* OP, in your shoes I would definitely focus on the shopping habit and your relationship with credit, and worry about your caf spending WAY down the line.

I think it is over $10/day for her- from what I read, it is $150-170 every paycheck, and paychecks appear to be either bimonthly or every other week.

So, it is probably more like $16/day, or $8/meal. Doesn't seem like that great of a bargain to me, but then again I'm down to (after a lot of life adjustments) ~$250/month for a family of two.

You're right! My bad! I'm always secretly annoyed when people miss obvious details like that and now here I am doing it.

I would probably still postpone changing that to after dealing some with the shopping addiction since relatively speaking it's a drop in the bucket, and I'd probably start with having breakfast at home, then keeping snacks at desk, and then move on to packing lunch; breakfast is less of a logistical challenge and can be really cheap: yogurt, eggs, oatmeal, etc. (more of a price differential with cafeteria food than lunch would likely be)

CommonCents

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #79 on: December 08, 2015, 03:31:16 PM »
A thousand percent unsubscribe from all of these mailing lists, particularly the sales.  It's not really a bargain if you buy things you don't need.

Do you love your clothing?  Would you miss it if it were to disappear?  Consider that if you keep buying at this rate you won't be able to wear all of the things you currently own.  You will either have to become a hoarder or get start to rid of clothes you say you love.

Homework: Tally up what you buy in a month.  Then figure out how much you have of those items, so you know how often you're wearing your clothes.

(Also consider, it takes a long time to wear out clothes.  By not overspending and filling up the closet now, you will have closet space to deliberately purchase a few carefully chosen items or accessories each year to add the current style.  If you continue to overspend you will be throwing away clothes you just told us you love, that you barely wore.  Better to keep the money in your pocket.)

ETA: If you like having new and different outfits, take on the challenge of learning how to put together your OWN different outfits shopping from your own closet, rather than wearing them in the same way over and over (and how the boxes told you to wear them).  Accessorize, layer, etc.  Watch this for ideas of how versatile your clothing can be:   She wore the same dress (technically the same 7) for 365 days without once repeating an outfit.  http://www.theuniformproject.com/
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 03:48:31 PM by CommonCents »

2ndTimer

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #80 on: December 08, 2015, 04:26:13 PM »
Right now I am ITCHING to go buy another mystery box since I loved this one so much but I will NOT DO IT.  You guys are my support group right now.  That makes this an excellent time to really think about what that itch is and how the mystery box will scratch it?  Once you understand what need you are filling with shopping, you can start looking for a less toxic way to fill it. 

Villanelle

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #81 on: December 08, 2015, 06:18:53 PM »
UNSUBSCRIBE to all the fashion magazines you get. Cold turkey. DO NOT OPEN. Donate them or give them away.

UNSUBSCRIBE to ALL the emails you get from shopping companies. A sale is just a trigger for your to browse. Don't let them control you this way.

BLOCK the websites from your own computer. You can do this. Pick your top 5 website where you blow money and BLOCK them. Now you can't get to them online. You have saved your sanity.

UNSUBSCRIBE from ridiculous boxes. You're buying SHIT AND YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT IT IS! Can you see how ridiculous this is? Stop feeding the addiction.

Look for shopaholics anonymous or another type of therapy to help you get this under control. It really does sound like an addiction to me. Bets of luck.

Just unsubscribed from about 50 more shopping emails.  I usually only use 4-5 shopping services though and those are particular difficult.  I ordered a mystery box on November 5, and it arrived yesterday.  It's full of awesome stuff!  I wore one thing immediately...to choir practice.  I do belong to a choir and this week have 3 rehearsals.  I'm pretty musical but dropped playing my instruments awhile ago.  I would love a piano (really dislike the sound of keyboards) and play a little...play other things too.  I do have hobbies...

I'm not sure making my own clothes would be cheaper than the ones I buy.  I don't buy high end stuff, and I am not worried about it last 10 years but with enough rotation it will.  A capsule wardrobe gets washed and worn way too often and wears out quickly.  But I DO have enough clothing now. 

Right now I am ITCHING to go buy another mystery box since I loved this one so much but I will NOT DO IT.  You guys are my support group right now.

If you aren't buying high end stuff and you supposedly don't have a massively large wardrobe, how are you spending $1500/mo?  Something doesn't add up, so I don't think you are buying honest with yourself.  At non-high end prices, that probably about 25-30 pieces *per month* (figuring $50-55 average, and that certainly isn't cheap or low end pricing). 

Go now and count how many piece of clothing are in your wardrobe.  You can skip undergarments and workout gear for now, unless you buy a lot of those as part of your Issue.  Count every shirt, blouse, dress, pant, skirt, scarf, necklace and whatever else you wear and tally by category.  Then look at those numbers.  Again, just because you occasionally wear everything doesn't mean your wardrobe isn't way, way too large. 

Then box up at least 1/3 of it, trying to keep your wardrobe balanced.  If you have 4 navy cardigans, some of which are printed, box 1 or 2 and keep 2 or 3, for example, but make sure you are boxing stuff from the current season, not just all your tank tops during the winter.  Tape the boxes shut and live like that for 4 months.  When you still have plenty to wear, sell whatever is in those boxes, and box up another 1/4 of what is left.  Repeat.

You have too many clothes.  At non-high end prices and $1500 average per month, your wardrobe is massive. 

Dee18

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #82 on: December 08, 2015, 08:15:53 PM »
Can you sell some of those clothes and use the money toward your massive credit card debt?

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #84 on: December 09, 2015, 10:13:56 AM »
Online impulse buying used to kill me too. I find it helps to unsubscribe from all the marketing emails, one at a time, as they are crafted for the sole purpose of making you want to shop! The less you look at the site(s), the less you'll buy, most likely.

I also gradually shifted toward almost 100% thrift-store shopping. Try that... and then start cutting down your volume. Make yourself give something away for everything you buy, one for one, or even two for one.

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #85 on: December 09, 2015, 10:38:25 AM »
The question you have to ask yourself is, do you enjoy buying clothes more or enjoy being in debt more?  Or do you enjoy not being in debt more than having a ton of clothes?

Also, I can absorb all your credit card debt, and I will only charge you 12% annual compounding interest.  :-D

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #86 on: December 09, 2015, 11:05:31 AM »
The question you have to ask yourself is, do you enjoy buying clothes more or enjoy being in debt more?  Or do you enjoy not being in debt more than having a ton of clothes?

Also, I can absorb all your credit card debt, and I will only charge you 12% annual compounding interest.  :-D

It is interesting a number of us have offered mental tricks to the OP to help re-wire her thinking..

Do you enjoy being in debt more than buying clothes, Or take 261 one dollar bills each month and BURN them, because that's what the interest is doing to you etc.

What is sad to me is not so much that people get themselves into these situations.. Most of them don't care, and to be honest I don't care either.. In fact it does us with stock portfolios a lot of good.. More debt = more money spent= higher stock values + dividends.. Great go spend all you want!

No whats really sad from my perspective is the OP now KNOWS what she is doing "wrong" and appears to be in the NEED for the mind tricks.

This strikes me as a mild form of mental illness, like any addiction.

I mean we know she can't afford to keep dong this so just STOP SPENDING MONEY ON USELESS CRAP.. crap that is HURTING you.. literally! If she was of sound mind, she would JFDI.

Maybe this says more about the power of advertising in our culture?.. Power to negatively alter our brains!

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #87 on: December 09, 2015, 11:08:25 AM »
It's a good sign that you have the guts to post a plea for advice here, I'm sure you've noticed how blunt many MMM forumers can be.  You also seem to have a good attitude about making a positive switch, cutting up credit cards etc.  This need for a positive change you feel tells me that you feel stressed and sometimes helpless because of the financial habits that have worked their way into your lifestyle.  Making a change won't be easy, but remember that you are in a better position than many others with debt/spending problems.  Your salary is more than twice my household income for instance.  You have the power to make very drastic changes to your finances and ultimately your freedom and most importantly your overall happiness. 

- Start with cutting up your credit cards (yes, even the best buy one)
- Pay Credit cards off and live cash only for a while
- then max your 401 and put everything else towards student loans
- if you really need a "fix"/some motivation, give yourself $100-$200 (cash) gift for clothing as a reward for paying off the credit cards. ( After they are paid off! )
- Make sure to read all the MMM posts, even more than once if they apply strongly to your situation.
- The best way to avoid unessisary spending is to change your focus from wanting things to doing productive (and inexpensive) hobbies and activities like fitness, volunteering, side-hustles that earn money, being creative (designing or creating something) or just spending time rather than money with friends/family.  Who has time or cares about shopping for clothes online after a day like that?

Good luck

galliver

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #88 on: December 09, 2015, 11:22:37 AM »
The question you have to ask yourself is, do you enjoy buying clothes more or enjoy being in debt more?  Or do you enjoy not being in debt more than having a ton of clothes?

Also, I can absorb all your credit card debt, and I will only charge you 12% annual compounding interest.  :-D

It is interesting a number of us have offered mental tricks to the OP to help re-wire her thinking..

Do you enjoy being in debt more than buying clothes, Or take 261 one dollar bills each month and BURN them, because that's what the interest is doing to you etc.

What is sad to me is not so much that people get themselves into these situations.. Most of them don't care, and to be honest I don't care either.. In fact it does us with stock portfolios a lot of good.. More debt = more money spent= higher stock values + dividends.. Great go spend all you want!

No whats really sad from my perspective is the OP now KNOWS what she is doing "wrong" and appears to be in the NEED for the mind tricks.

This strikes me as a mild form of mental illness, like any addiction.

I mean we know she can't afford to keep dong this so just STOP SPENDING MONEY ON USELESS CRAP.. crap that is HURTING you.. literally! If she was of sound mind, she would JFDI.

Maybe this says more about the power of advertising in our culture?.. Power to negatively alter our brains!
Wow...Have you never had a bad habit that was hard to break, or pattern you got into that was hard to change? Can you honestly say you make every choice in your life consciously and 100% logically, without ever using a trick or incentive to change your behavior?

Everyone has their own demons. For some it's money, for others it's diet and/or fitness, for some it's drugs, for some it's work, timeliness, and general responsibility, and for some it's social skills and not being a jerk.

If you have absolutely NO issues, you eat well, work out, keep a bedtime, call your mom and/or grandma and/or best friend regularly, recycle, etc then welcome to Earth, oh Angel!

horsepoor

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #89 on: December 09, 2015, 11:34:01 AM »
OP, you might find it helpful to start a journal in the Journals section here.  There are other journalers who are tackling big debts, and it might be inspiring and supportive for you to follow them as well.  I recommend you check it out.

matchewed

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #90 on: December 09, 2015, 11:34:36 AM »
(Warning- the following is completely un-mustachian)

Have you looked into clothing rental boxes? They give you all of the thrill of the mystery box, but for only about $50/ month. I have a job where I am expected to look professional and neat for frequent outside meetings. Instead of buying a large wardrobe of clothes so that I can make sure I don't wear the same dress every time I see a client or do a presentation, I just started renting the clothes instead.

Of course, you can keep the clothes and the company charges you for them. If you think that would be a temptation, do not do a clothing rental box. You can also schedule clothes to be resent, so you aren't saying goodbye to them forever when you send them back.

Yeah the OP has, that's part of their problem. FACEPUNCH

Exflyboy

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #91 on: December 09, 2015, 11:52:10 AM »
The question you have to ask yourself is, do you enjoy buying clothes more or enjoy being in debt more?  Or do you enjoy not being in debt more than having a ton of clothes?

Also, I can absorb all your credit card debt, and I will only charge you 12% annual compounding interest.  :-D

It is interesting a number of us have offered mental tricks to the OP to help re-wire her thinking..

Do you enjoy being in debt more than buying clothes, Or take 261 one dollar bills each month and BURN them, because that's what the interest is doing to you etc.

What is sad to me is not so much that people get themselves into these situations.. Most of them don't care, and to be honest I don't care either.. In fact it does us with stock portfolios a lot of good.. More debt = more money spent= higher stock values + dividends.. Great go spend all you want!

No whats really sad from my perspective is the OP now KNOWS what she is doing "wrong" and appears to be in the NEED for the mind tricks.

This strikes me as a mild form of mental illness, like any addiction.

I mean we know she can't afford to keep dong this so just STOP SPENDING MONEY ON USELESS CRAP.. crap that is HURTING you.. literally! If she was of sound mind, she would JFDI.

Maybe this says more about the power of advertising in our culture?.. Power to negatively alter our brains!
Wow...Have you never had a bad habit that was hard to break, or pattern you got into that was hard to change? Can you honestly say you make every choice in your life consciously and 100% logically, without ever using a trick or incentive to change your behavior?

Everyone has their own demons. For some it's money, for others it's diet and/or fitness, for some it's drugs, for some it's work, timeliness, and general responsibility, and for some it's social skills and not being a jerk.

If you have absolutely NO issues, you eat well, work out, keep a bedtime, call your mom and/or grandma and/or best friend regularly, recycle, etc then welcome to Earth, oh Angel!

My post wasn't meant so much as a criticism (although I'm wracking my brain for a habit I found hard to break.. apart from maybe being a jerk..:)..), more from a brain science perspective I suppose. The brain releases dopamine (feel good hormone) in response to doing things that "feel" good.

In this case shopping for clothes has been wired into the dopamine releasing circuit. We know that the brain can literally be "hard" wired to do this and that's why the habit is hard to break.

In other words you either need to find something else to release some dopamine, and if that something else is counter to the shopping then its doubly effective.. So in my case seeing my account balance rise is a feel good.. Of course that is completely counter to spending money.

Addicts of all stripes do the same thing of course, alcoholics want a relationship with their family and all that comes with it.. well that's counter to drinking.

I just think its interesting that advertising has probably keyed into this ability of the human brain's ability to re-wire itself (I mean literally that's what it does according to brain scientists) and hence we have young people starving themselves to look like supermodels.. Taken too far of course anorexics starve themselves to death.

I wonder for the OP, seeing this in an "anatomical way" might help?.. Its not YOU baby its your BRAIN!!

Hmm, maybe not..:)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2015, 11:55:52 AM by Exflyboy »

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #92 on: December 09, 2015, 12:08:13 PM »
(Warning- the following is completely un-mustachian)

Have you looked into clothing rental boxes? They give you all of the thrill of the mystery box, but for only about $50/ month. I have a job where I am expected to look professional and neat for frequent outside meetings. Instead of buying a large wardrobe of clothes so that I can make sure I don't wear the same dress every time I see a client or do a presentation, I just started renting the clothes instead.

Of course, you can keep the clothes and the company charges you for them. If you think that would be a temptation, do not do a clothing rental box. You can also schedule clothes to be resent, so you aren't saying goodbye to them forever when you send them back.

Yeah the OP has, that's part of their problem. FACEPUNCH

Post seems to be deleted now, but this is about the equivalent of telling an alcoholic to just get a couple little airplane bottles and having a taste.  Seriously, cut the cord, you'll feel better.

Villanelle

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #93 on: December 09, 2015, 12:13:32 PM »
I've said it before in this thread and I'll say it again. I think a one in, one out policy would be hugely helpful, OP.  You say you love and wear everything in your massive closet.  So force yourself in to Sophie's Fashion Choice.  Buying a new sweater (or ordering a new box) will mean you have to pick an item you love and wear and that is still 100% wearable, and sell it (and yes, you need to sell it, even if it takes effort, not just donate it).  And yes, you must do it immediately, before you gut the tags off the new item, no exceptions. 

galliver

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #94 on: December 09, 2015, 12:33:57 PM »
The question you have to ask yourself is, do you enjoy buying clothes more or enjoy being in debt more?  Or do you enjoy not being in debt more than having a ton of clothes?

Also, I can absorb all your credit card debt, and I will only charge you 12% annual compounding interest.  :-D

It is interesting a number of us have offered mental tricks to the OP to help re-wire her thinking..

Do you enjoy being in debt more than buying clothes, Or take 261 one dollar bills each month and BURN them, because that's what the interest is doing to you etc.

What is sad to me is not so much that people get themselves into these situations.. Most of them don't care, and to be honest I don't care either.. In fact it does us with stock portfolios a lot of good.. More debt = more money spent= higher stock values + dividends.. Great go spend all you want!

No whats really sad from my perspective is the OP now KNOWS what she is doing "wrong" and appears to be in the NEED for the mind tricks.

This strikes me as a mild form of mental illness, like any addiction.

I mean we know she can't afford to keep dong this so just STOP SPENDING MONEY ON USELESS CRAP.. crap that is HURTING you.. literally! If she was of sound mind, she would JFDI.

Maybe this says more about the power of advertising in our culture?.. Power to negatively alter our brains!
Wow...Have you never had a bad habit that was hard to break, or pattern you got into that was hard to change? Can you honestly say you make every choice in your life consciously and 100% logically, without ever using a trick or incentive to change your behavior?

Everyone has their own demons. For some it's money, for others it's diet and/or fitness, for some it's drugs, for some it's work, timeliness, and general responsibility, and for some it's social skills and not being a jerk.

If you have absolutely NO issues, you eat well, work out, keep a bedtime, call your mom and/or grandma and/or best friend regularly, recycle, etc then welcome to Earth, oh Angel!

My post wasn't meant so much as a criticism (although I'm wracking my brain for a habit I found hard to break.. apart from maybe being a jerk..:)..), more from a brain science perspective I suppose. The brain releases dopamine (feel good hormone) in response to doing things that "feel" good.

In this case shopping for clothes has been wired into the dopamine releasing circuit. We know that the brain can literally be "hard" wired to do this and that's why the habit is hard to break.

In other words you either need to find something else to release some dopamine, and if that something else is counter to the shopping then its doubly effective.. So in my case seeing my account balance rise is a feel good.. Of course that is completely counter to spending money.

Addicts of all stripes do the same thing of course, alcoholics want a relationship with their family and all that comes with it.. well that's counter to drinking.

I just think its interesting that advertising has probably keyed into this ability of the human brain's ability to re-wire itself (I mean literally that's what it does according to brain scientists) and hence we have young people starving themselves to look like supermodels.. Taken too far of course anorexics starve themselves to death.

I wonder for the OP, seeing this in an "anatomical way" might help?.. Its not YOU baby its your BRAIN!!

Hmm, maybe not..:)

When you elaborate on it that way it sounds much less judgmental :) And for the record, I never did call you a jerk, I just said SOME people were jerks, like some people are fat (like me), and other people are always late. There are many good things about me (I'm told...), and the people I know who are chronically running late are generally good people overall, and the people who are jerks are probably great at their job and taking care of themselves or something. We're just all flawed, silly humans.

For the record, addiction to the "accounts going up" feeling can also be detrimental, when it drives someone to become cheap rather than frugal (which is one of my all-time favorite MMM posts, linked solely for convenience of anyone reading who isn't familiar with it http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/10/24/frugal-vs-cheap/). Not saying you're cheap. Just saying your dopamine-releasing behavior also has the potential for detrimental effects. The real trick with any activity/hobby is to keep it in balance.

Admittedly, some activities/hobbies lend themselves more to overspending than others, but it's possible to overspend on virtually anything: you can buy a lot of expensive, high-end kitchen equipment and ingredients. People on this forum spend a lot on sports equipment(/bikes), race entry fees, classic cars, horses, travel, flying as a hobby, etc. Quality art supplies, musical instruments, yarn and fabric, power tools, etc are also costly, although DIY is highly encouraged here. The real unifying features in these hobbies are (1) when accepted, they are well within the doers means, and if they delay FI/FIRE it's willingly and knowingly; (2) the doers are active, creative participants rather than collectors (working on cars vs collecting high end models, cooking vs just going to fancy restaurants and bars, painting/sculpting/crafting instead of just purchasing those products, etc); and (3) the doers genuinely derive personal satisfaction and pleasure from it. And as an afterthought (4) bonus points for the skill being marketable as a side gig down the line (mechanic skills, flying, sewing, carpentry, etc) or improving health in some way (cooking, sports).  As such, I think fashion can totally fit in this worldview as an aesthetic and artistic pursuit and a hobby without much of a problem...but the OP needs to bring it within the parameters of (1), (2) and preferably (4) (I liked the personal shopper idea suggested above as a possible outlet) to take it out of the realm of passive/consumerist "collecting" and into actually engaging with it as an artist...

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #95 on: December 09, 2015, 01:53:13 PM »
Wow, what a great thread. Love all the advice. This topic really resonates with me. I totally empathize with you in your compulsion to shop for clothes. Your shopping habits mimic mine from a few years back. Most of the advice read here I had to implement to overcome this horrible habit. I've spent three years working on spending. I make north of your income by quite a bit, I am married and we have rentals that DH handles so we have another big chunk of income there. THEN to top it all off, I also run multiple side gigs earning good money from those. I have NO debt but 4 mortgages. I did not have a hair on fire emergency as in your situation but the wastefulness of my spending was just so out of control.

So, in a nutshell, this horrible habit of mine had to stop. I had to get into my head, like really, really understand that by spending oh 2k a month on "stuff", it could be clothing, horse equipment whatever was NOT helping me meet my FI goal at all! If I really thought I was ever going to be able to retire on a conservative fixed income I needed to cut the spending cord. (I realize that is not your goal, but for each of us the reason to STOP is our own)

Each year after finding MMM I would join the "Buy no new clothes in xxxx year" - I want you to STRONGLY consider making a serious go at that. You can set your exclusions to things like undergarments etc. I FINALLY after three years am going to (just about) make this goal.

I have SOOOO many nice clothes, there is absolutely no reason for me to have more. I did not need to cut up my CCs, but did unsubscribe to EVERY SINGLE horse, clothing, jewelry, newsletter, sales emails etc. I just cannot see them at all, I cannot go to the websites or I will fail. I know it.

So, as part of my process to throttle back, and perhaps in your case you can use it to ramp back up, slowly. In 2013 I shopped at ebay. As a seller, I needed to get my ranking high, as high as possible to encourage buyers to choose my products over others. I used this as my logic to continue to buy vast amounts of things. Because I am a seller, I did allow spending what money i'd earned (akin to your idea of dog walking) I would buy a name brand sweater for $8 total and it would be a $60 value surprise in the mail. I still felt like I was over spending, even doing that - that was two years ago. I did finally get my ebay account to my goal. Whew. I am very goal oriented, money has never been an issue, it is still a matter of when is too much, too much! At that point I was able to buckle down and halt all of that.

Another curse I had to deal with is 30 years worth of clothes. I cannot imagine your closet! I don't typically wear my clothes out and I haven't gained much weight over the years so our entire walk-in closet was FILLED with my clothes. As phase 2 of no clothing shopping. I purged that closet and boy did that feel awesome. How can one person even think that they can wear 60 pairs of jeans? Really? I donated 12 hefty bags of perfectly good clothes that I could easily have listed on ebay (just thinking of the work that would have been gives me a headache). Instead I donated to a local horse club who got credit for the clothing to get cash back for a year end saddle. All that clothing was then in turn donated to local charities, so it was a double win.

So, How have I done this year on my "almost" buying NO clothing for the entire year? I have bought only one single clothing item. period. It was a Columbia fleece jacket at a company sponsored baseball game and I had $20 in reward tickets. I could not bring myself to buy food, what a waste that would have been. so I bought a $60 jacket for $40. It was something missing from my wardrobe and I don't regret it.

I've given up alot the last few years, but not because of money, I suffered a major back injury so I need to pop that in here. It was serious and very scary and that injury helped propel me to dive into finances. At one point I wondered if I would be forced to go on Disability and that terrified me. 

As a result of all the changes in my life in the last three years as well as me and my DH diligently focusing on becoming FI. We are now looking at my RE date in January 2017. January 2016 (yes less than a month from now) We will begin to LIVE on our rental income. My income is going to be socked away for one last rental, and a couple of other life changing purchases that will propel us in to RE.

Without overcoming a severe spending habit, FI would not have been so close on my horizon. The strange thing is to non-MMM folks my spending is/was the norm.

I hope you do start a journal, and join the "buy no new clothes in 2016" thread when it starts.

You CAN AND WILL do this! I cannot wait to see your CC debt at 0!

partgypsy

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #96 on: December 09, 2015, 02:21:06 PM »
Just so you don't think everyone face punches here, I had a similar thing with feathering my nest, my house. Probably the most extravagant thing was a leather couch and ottoman, and 2nd a new mattress (around 500). But this extended to kitchen towels, rugs, and especially bed linens! (my gazingus pin).  I used to love looking at the catalogs of sheets and blankets and coverlets. At some point I realized, I have all the sheets and blankets I need for at least the next 10 years! why am I looking at this stuff? Ditto for house furnishings and other house stuff. So I unsubscribed to the emails and the catalogs. although I still like to watch Hgtv shows (fixer upper is my favorite) strangely enough I don't miss them, and every once in a while I will get an occasional house furnishings catalog they are just not that compelling. Which makes me wonder, what was that all about? I am definitely not perfect (see Xmas thread) but maybe I am learning.

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #97 on: December 10, 2015, 01:14:35 PM »
I've said it before in this thread and I'll say it again. I think a one in, one out policy would be hugely helpful, OP.  You say you love and wear everything in your massive closet.  So force yourself in to Sophie's Fashion Choice.  Buying a new sweater (or ordering a new box) will mean you have to pick an item you love and wear and that is still 100% wearable, and sell it (and yes, you need to sell it, even if it takes effort, not just donate it).  And yes, you must do it immediately, before you gut the tags off the new item, no exceptions.

I think I am going to do a version of this.  I have a PayPal account and I can use that to do my ordering most of the time.  I think I am going to start a policy where all of my regular salary goes to my bills/paying off debt and any fun money spending, I need to sell something and have them pay me with PayPal and then use that for any additional clothing purchases.  That way my current clothing is paying for my new clothing.  I know that this is a modified version of what everyone else is calling for but I am not ready for give it up entirely.  It might motivate me to sell things or earn extra on the side.

matchewed

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #98 on: December 10, 2015, 01:21:01 PM »
From a habit standpoint all that is doing is ensuring that you continue the habit while eliminating debt. What happens after you eliminate debt? At some point you'll have to tackle the habit or you fall right into the same trap.

mm1970

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Re: Need a spending intervention - HELP
« Reply #99 on: December 10, 2015, 01:32:02 PM »
To be more specific, my shopping problem is these online "subscription boxes" where you either get a mystery box of clothing or you choose 1-2 items and they surprise you with the rest.  Everything is on trend and fits.  It's part clothes shopping/part surprise/and part gift.  It's incredibly addictive.  If you want to invest in something invest in that!  I have an app idea for this industry percolating.
Yes, and this is excessive.  I have been reading about these sites for awhile, on some blogs.

Stitch fix, the fitness one (shoot...Fabletics?)

Anyway, while there is a certain amount of satisfaction with "looking good", you have to step back and ask yourself WHY YOU NEED A NEW OUTFIT EVERY MONTH.  Do you "wear out" an outfit every month?  No.

Like Fabletics, for example, because I like fitness wear.  When I'm not hacking up a lung, I like to work out.  I swim 2x a week, walk with my friend on the weekend, and workout at home the other days (yoga, weights, cardio, whatever).  If I sweat (and I do), then at a minimum I need 4 sets of workout gear a week - two days are swimming, I usually take a rest day, so that leaves 4 days.  That's 3 leggings/ one shorts, and 4 shirts.  In a year, why would I need 12 new sets?

I understand that you "need" dressy clothing, and workout clothing, and work clothing, but...
You need 5 outfits for work if you have a regular job
You need 5-7 sets of workout gear if you only do laundry 1x a week
You could probably be fine with 2-3 "nice" items to go out with friends, and 1-2 "fancy" for other things.
(I have one dress for parties and one pair of heels.  I have one dress that works for weddings.  I have one pair of nice slacks for interviews or nights out with friends.  And I have three pretty blouses that go with those slacks.)

"I get bored" with wearing the same thing is a LAME ASS excuse, and the faster you get over this, the better.  How incredibly wasteful for the world's resources to replace things because you are "bored".  You know most discarded clothing becomes trash, right?  We all talk about "recycling" and giving it to other countries who need it, but the amount that gets thrown away FAR exceeds the amount that the "underprivileged" need.