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Why I Returned It All

A few weeks ago, I went cray cray banaynay on the online shopping. I’m not sure where the impulse came from, but I suddenly felt I needed a new wardrobe and there were so many deals and then all of a sudden…!

But as I sat amid boxes this weekend, I made a decision. It was all going back, and I wasn’t going to buy any more.

Enough was enough. I was tired coming home to an apartment that literally always had stuff laying around. I was tired of feeling financially out of control even though I’m not, and I was tired trying stuff on, sending it back, and keeping track of returns.

I’ve mentioned before how The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up had a big impact on me. As I discovered this weekend, clearly it was long lasting. Suddenly, I was craving clean lines and an empty table. Friday, after a report went out at work, I cleaned my entire desk, threw away all unnecessary papers (let’s be real, I was never going to look at them again anyway), and got rid of all superfluous office supplies. Immediately, my productivity improved. Like, immediately. I sent out multiple emails I had had on my to-do list, finished homework in record time, entered all of my expenses, and was out of the office by 4:30 pm.

In today’s day and age, where more women have more disposable income and at a younger age, it is so, so easy to get caught in the trap. As early as 2009, the Harvard Business Review noted that women were driving the world economy. Women, particularly young women, are the most targeted consumer group due to their spending power. As a result, we are constantly having ads pushed in our faces, constantly feeling we need the newest this and newest that and pressured to update our look constantly in order to be successful. It’s easy to get caught in a whirlwind of constantly spending.

And, of course, there is a pleasure that comes with shopping. Researchers in the UK, for example, found that over 50% of women got a “high” when shopping. Sure, I get a “high” from eating Magnolia Bakery’s chocolate banana pudding. And, if it was shoved in my face daily, I’d probably eat a whole heck of a lot more banana pudding than I ever, ever wanted to with dire consequences to my waistline and arteries. We are constantly pelted with advertisements, like those emails alerting us of seemingly constant sales and new products. Instagram and Pinterest constantly show us new things and where to get them.

So how can you “protect” yourself? Remove the bait.

Unsubscribe from every retailer email list that currently emails you. I promise you’ll still save the money even if you aren’t directly alerted of sales. In fact, stop going cray during sales and stop trying to get your cart to $150 in order to get free shipping! Those are traps! Instead, download the Honey extension for your web browser. Shop only when you need to and buy only what you love. As a result, you’ll save money and end up donating far fewer barely (or not at all) used items. ∎

What other things have you done to remove money-grabbing distractions, save money, or gain piece of mind amid the clutter? Share below!

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