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Friday, August 3, 2007

Step 2: Find a cure to my ESS.

*deep breath*

I have ESS...........emotional shopper syndrome.

I go on a shopping/spending binge anytime I am in a funk. The spending beast comes out, I spend money like it grew on trees, and afterwards I feel better. I get a sense of comfort when I do this. I used to do the same thing with food. Then I realized I needed another avenue to get that comfort. I don't know what compelled me to think shopping was the best choice. LOL.

Well I am tired of the spending beast. That heffa needs to get beat down and eliminated. Poor thing doesn't know that D-day is near.

So how am I going to cure my ESS? I have started to use exercise and/or reading a book in place of the shopping. I have also made a reminder of what saving my money and decreasing my debt will get me. I took an index card and glued a picture I took of a beautiful house I pass by everyday on the drive to and from work. I also wrote little sayings around the house about being debt free, and purchasing my first home all on my own. I took it to Office Depot and had it laminated. I put the card in my purse inside my wallet where my debit cards are kept and also where my credit cards go if I had them in there. That way, anytime I go to spend money, I will have to look at the card with the beautiful house and the inspirational words. I think that this will help me stay on track and realize that the $50 I am about to spend at Target on frivolous things is not worth my future home.

Not having my credit cards easily at my disposable has been helping with control my ESS. I haven't done any emotional shopping in 3 weeks. I almost backslid on Wednesday when a project I am coordinating at work exceeded the budget by a significant amount. I had to put an emergency hold on the project until I could fix the $$ problem. I was stressed out the whole day. I don't remember my drive home but the next thing I know I am in Target with a basket full of ish. I went to the check out counter and the total came up to $76.41. I open my purse to get a cc to pay and guess what?! A sista ain't got no credit card. Only thing in my purse is my debit card for my spending account. An account that only has $35. And the money I have made form my Ebay and Craig's List sales are home in an envelope awaiting deposit. As embarrassing as it was to tell the cashier I had no money on me and walk out the store empty handed, I was a little relieved that I hadn't spent all that money. Instead I went home, popped some low fat popcorn, and read a book (Girl, Get Your Money Straight).

It's going to be a long road filled with many bumps and road blocks but I will make it.

And for my fellow ESS folks, looks like Money Central has an article on
7 Ways to Control Your Emotional Spending. Do whatever works for you. As long as you find your cure.


D.C. 2 said...

It may be a hard road but, oh is it worth it. You can do it Dimples.

Single Ma said...

I used to suffer from ESS. Still a slight case, but not as bad. I was able to get it under control when I decided to become a home owner. This could help you too.

Get up one Saturday morning and drive through various neighborhoods where you'd like to live. Pick out the type of home you prefer. Check out the color combination. The shudders, the doors, the siding, the brick, the stone, etc. Imagine how the inside is decorated. Admire the manicured lawns. Notice how very few cars are parked in the driveway because they are INSIDE the garage. Watch the little kids ride their bikes, skate, and play basketball in the cul de sac. This will help solidify your dream of homeownership.

Then when you have the urge to emotional shop, get in your car and drive through that neighborhood again. Better yet, take a picture of the home and keep it taped to your bathroom mirror. Do whatever you have to do to stay focused on your goal.

You can overcome this. It's not easy, but you can do it.

Dimples said...

@ d.c

Thanks girl.

@ single ma

Thanks for the advice. I will definitely try that approach out.

Shopaholic No More said...

I'm definitely a fellow ESS sufferer. But single ma gave a great idea....I'm going to do that.

SavingDiva said...

Congrats on taking steps to curb your spending. I can be an emotional shopper as well, but I haven't been able to part with my credit cards....

Sistah Ant said...

girl get your money straight! is a good read.

sometimes you may also want to think about how abundantly you're already living, to keep you from buying more than you need...