Do You Ever Just Miss Shopping?

Shopping cart graffiti
I walked into the mall for the first time in 6 months and I loved it!!! Unfortunately I was there due to my iPhone getting the white screen of death (and have to go back tonight to get the screen replaced – for FREE thank goodness!  It luckily fell under the 1 year warranty) but as I pass all the shiny lights and smiling faces, a touch of sadness passed me by. I miss shopping!

As girly as it sounds, the mall was my home away from home just a few years back.  Whenever I was sad, happy, bored, it was the first place I went.  I didn’t necessarily spend a lot while there (my “on sale-only” rule was still in effect), but it was always refreshing looking around and seeing all the stuff I *could* buy if I really wanted to. So I guess what I really miss is window shopping ;)

So what happened? Why don’t I join my fellow hipsters and high school’ers every weekend anymore? Well, at first I was challenged to NOT buy anything for 40 days a few Lents ago.  The first 10 days SUCKED as I kept teasing myself by walking into my favorite stores still (Target, Best Buy, World Market, the mall…), but when I realized all I had to do was to STOP going into them to rid the temptation, it became much easier. And ever since I just haven’t had the urge to visit them as much.  Great for the wallet, but not for the excitement of it all.

Then I got busy w/ this blog and some other fun-related stuff.  It turns out that the more you work, the less TIME you have to go leisure shopping ;)  Kinda cool if you’re heavily in debt and/or saving up for something big – all you have to do is not go into any stores or to the online amazons and the like!  It basically wipes away 80% of your temptations. You should try it for a week.

And lastly, I got into this whole minimalism kick. I’m nowhere close to the hardcore fanatics I secretly admire, but I do think about it on a daily basis now.  Every time I see a new shiny bauble I ask myself if it truly adds value to my life – then what object I’d have to get rid of at home in order to stay with the one-in, one-out mentality.  It’s pretty hard to get used to! But the more times I practice it the easier it gets ;)  I’m not sure if my wife agrees with it all the way, but she humors me.  Of course, I haven’t tried touching any of HER stuff yet! Haha…I don’t think I ever will either.

So what now?  In all honesty, I’ll probably continue bitching about how much I miss it but continue on with my new lifestyle ;)  The truth is I could easily get up from this computer and go shopping at any point  – I just don’t. I guess I hope blogging about it will hold me over for now…it’s not like we just didn’t spend $5,000 on a vacation!!!  Man, what is wrong with me?

(photo by Daveness_98)

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  1. Kevin June 3, 2010 at 7:48 AM

    Yea, I think if some people had less time on their hands they wouldn’t shop as much. I pretty sure it’s that way with my girlfriend so I’m glad she got a new job with less time for shopping :)

  2. Jeff @DeliverAwayDebt June 3, 2010 at 8:10 AM

    I personally don’t miss shopping, but my wife sure does. I was like you and shopped all the time, but I have this strange feeling every time I walk into the mall. It’s like I freeze, and can’t even imagine spending money.

  3. Brandi June 3, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    Oh J. I miss it now. I never used to be a shopper. Honestly I hated it because I was always chubby and I had no idea how to put outfits together.

    But in the last year instead of rewarding myself for pounds lost (yay!!) I have been allowing myself to slowly update my wardrobe. And I’ve gotten MUCH better at putting outfits together.

    Combine that with being happier with my body and well…I’ve created a MONSTER!!! I still only buy things on sale. And I try not to ever go to the mall. Online shopping is much easier for me to cut myself off cause I can see the running total and freak out on myself.

    But still. Now I just miss it!

    Ugh…I got rid of one problem and traded in for another. Darn the luck :)

  4. jolie June 3, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    I never was a huge shopper. I think you need the body and the money (or delusion of it) to be that kind of person. But the rare times I’m in the mall in a city, I do secretly envy those folks bustling about, arms bursting with bags of treasures, and wish, just once, I could be like that.

  5. Impulse Magazine June 3, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    I don’t miss shopping because I always seem to spend too much money when I do

  6. Khaleef @ KNS Financial June 3, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    I must admit, I miss shopping on and other deal/electronics sites! But I never did much store shopping. Either way, I am not disciplined enough yet to go to those sites everyday and “window shop”!

  7. Kira June 3, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    I still shop (it’s my cardio and my creativity streak), but I’ve switched my shopping addiction from clothes, electronics, and baubles to household goods, groceries, and organizing gear. Aquafresh toothpaste is $.99 this week at Walgreens and there’s a Manufacturer’s coupon for $1 off. My boyfriend gives me crap that we’ll never ever run out of toothpaste as long as we both shall live. Ditto for my morning healthy cereal. Last week we stocked up on soda @ 4 12 packs for $10 at the grocery store. Last summer it was ground beef @ $.99 per pound and $.88 per pound pork chops ($40 of each frozen in our freezer and lasted us 9 months).
    These are things you use everyday, and you don’t have to feel guilty about your shopping habit.

  8. Ciawy @ June 3, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    I definitely miss it. But whenever I think of my savings account not being “there” yet, I feel fine since I’m working towards my goal by not shopping.

  9. Ace @ June 3, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    I’ve never been much of a shopper. My biggest problem has always been the one off big purchases, the ones that leave a dent in your budget for months to come. =/ I’ve gotten much better at consulting my girlfriend (and budget) before making these large purchases and it’s become much easier to turn them down, as one of the two will always convince me it’s not necessary.

  10. StackingCash June 3, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    You have more willpower than I, J. Now that I have quite a bit of discretionary $$$ and too much credit available, the temptation is just too great. Lifestyle inflation is hitting me hard. I’m about to purchase our first smartphone, the HTC EVO, and upgrade our monthly plan for data. We’ve resisted ever since that damn iPhone came out and it helped that we are hooked on Sprint, which never had a compelling phone until now. Ugh! I’ll just have to rationalize it, if J. Money can splurge on an iPhone, so can StackingCash!

  11. Young Mogul June 3, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    No, I don’t miss shopping, but I guess it’s because I really never really liked it in the first place. What do I hate about shopping…well, lets see: In the summertime, leaving my car in a hot parking lot for hours to come back to it at 101 degrees; fighting the crowds and teenagers; standing in lines; trying on clothes; carrying around bags from each store that I’ve shopped. Are those enough?

  12. Early Retirement Extreme June 3, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    I used to enjoy window shopping. I’m not sure I ever actually enjoyed shopping per se as much as reading consumer reports. These days, about once every six months, I develop an urge to go to the mall. This usually devolved into a 10 minute walkthrough: “What am I doing here?”, “Look at all this junk”, “I can’t buy anything I want here”. Apparently, it takes me about half a year to forget that reaction. Then I repeat it.

  13. Donna June 3, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    I have never been a leisure shopper. To me a thrill is like Kira does, groceries, etc. I love getting something for free. The only clothes shopping I do is yard sales and thrift stores. I have wonderful outfits from doing this kind of shopping. It just takes an eye for quality. I buy ll bean, etc and lia sophia jewelry at second hand stores, Goodwill and yard sales. Some of the items are new! Yes, it does take some time but for me it is fun and a thrill. My husband is a flea market person and often comes with me to yard sales. What a guy!

  14. Megan June 3, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    I miss window shopping, too! I don’t think I’ve done it in a while. I try to avoid stores. Even in the past I would usually only buy what I needed and leave, but I barely even do that now!

    Minimalism is definitely appealing. I have so much JUNK! I certainly might give that a try :)

  15. June 3, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    I gave up shopping about 2 years ago when i got really serious about paying off my bills and getting rid of all the clutter around me. Quite honestly once i got it out of my system i don’t miss it, and i don’t care. When i have to go to the stores now (any store, groceries included) i am filled with dread and just want to get in and out as much as possible. Having this mindset has also helped in keeping our expenses down because i am finding ways to make other things ‘do’ to keep from having to hit the stores.

  16. Donna Freedman June 3, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    One kind of shopping never gets old for me, though: Grocery shopping. I remember being a broke single mom who sometimes had to raid the baby’s piggy bank to buy milk before payday. Being able to walk into a store filled with food and knowing I could choose WHATEVER I WANT makes me happy.
    Mind you, I’m a pretty careful shopper and yes, I do use coupons. But knowing that I *could* buy first-of-the-season grapes or cherries is very satisfying.
    I also like doing Walgreens and Rite Aid deals for toiletries, because with coupons and rebates (some of them instant) I wind up getting all these items for free. It’s like a game. The extras get donated to emergency pantries and shelters.
    Clothes or shoes, though? Not so much.

  17. MyFinancialObjectives June 3, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    I guess I miss shopping…. EXCEPT for clothes… I CANNOT SHOP FOR CLOTHES!!! I get frustrated in literally 10 min and leave. I have to do it with my gf there, otherwise I end up with nothing….

    I don’t really have a problem with shopping really. I usually only buy stuff when I need something. Other than that, I’m not in a mall/target/Best Buy too often!

  18. WolfBridge Financial June 4, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    I’ve always been addicted to shopping. My friends always had the best clothes and I felt that in High School I was always keeping up with the Jones’. However, after getting a job, and realizing that several hours of my hard earned money were going to waste, I started rethinking my decision. When you’re in high school and it takes you a week just to buy that new handbag or pair of shoes, it makes you seem a little uneasy.

    Then when I entered college, I was so busy all the time, I didn’t have time to shop. Now when I go to the mall or other stores, I find it completely annoying. I want to get in and get out as fast as possible.

    Now I just wish more people felt that way!

    I enjoyed reading your post. :)

  19. J. Money June 6, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    Kevin – Haha…is that the only reason?
    Jeff @DeliverAwayDebt – I tried AGAIN to go into stores this weekend and really after 30 mins my excitedness was gone. Everywhere I looked I saw “stuff” “stuff” and more “stuff”…maybe I’m just getting old? Like you? ;)
    Brandi – I like this problem better for you ;) And actually, I always think money spent on clothes is well worth it because we USE them so much, ya know? Especially if you are updating and getting rid of the old stuff as to not increase clutter. And also if the old stuff is really old and not like just last year’s style ;)
    jolie – Exactly! Ignorance is bliss sometimes.
    Impulse Magazine – Well that def. sucks :)
    Khaleef @ KNS Financial – Woot! Been months, if not years, since I last bought something there too. Woot is still exciting to me though since you never know what’ll be up that day :)
    Kira – Oooooh, well said! And excellent work on that tootpaste too, I suck at finding deals there (I always go for the shiny looking boxes – a marketer’s dream!)
    Ciawy @ – Goals are really important to have! I sometimes forget that, but if you can keep that in your mind the whole way through it makes the journey much easier. Keep it up!
    Ace @ – Haha, indeed my good sir.
    StackingCash – Yes you can my dear! It’s a splurge that gives back ten fold ;) And makes you happy on a daily basis. It’s not the same as blowing money on something you’ll use once or just for show. Do it! Do it! DO IT!
    Young Mogul – Nope, not convinced yet ;)
    Donna Freedman – Frugal materialism huh? I will def. check out your post on that one…not like I don’t read your blog anyways ;) If you could stop being so smart and witty I’d gain a lot of my hours back, thx.
    Early Retirement Extreme – Haha, I like that. I will admit that they’re food courts are getting better though. So that’s a nice treat.
    Donna – Def. impressive! I’m a guy and I can’t get my wife to flea markets ;)
    Megan – Yes, try it and thet let me know the secrets you find out :) I need some more tricks. – Good for you! I started 2 years ago too but I can’t seem to hush the urge like you do. Keep it up!
    Donna Freedman – Did you just comment twice? haha…you are too much. It seems you’re not alone in the grocery side of things either! I actually can’t stand grocery shopping – I always go hungry and want to buy EVERYTHING!
    MyFinancialObjectives – Haha…so, basically you’re a typical guy? :)
    WolfBridge Financial – Hey, thanks for stopping by :) Glad you enjoyed it. And glad you figured out the whole shopping thing early on too!

  20. Aury (Thunderdrake) June 7, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    Hah. I can’t say that I really miss shopping. Amazon tends to solve that for me. Or my visits downtown. I’m too caught up in the concept of acquiring assets.

  21. J. Money June 7, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    Oooooh what kind of assets?

  22. vaalea June 16, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    Selling our stuff that we still value for bargain prices as we are set to live lightly overseas is teaching me a lot about future purchasing… with many things, if you buy it in mint condition for half the original price at a moving sale, take good care of it, you can probably sell it for the same price you paid. Not so with buying new. (though sometimes it feels like one has more money to spend than time to hunt, and I do believe in investing in something you love rather than something that is “ok” depending on the circumstance).
    I’m also starting to think like the eco-tip I recently read which said to ask yourself what you will do with the item you are buying once you are “done” with it.
    I’m also realizing that I am not using the cool things I ALREADY own to their full potential, so I need to re-enjoy my previous purchases.

  23. J. Money June 16, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    Exactly! Which is why for the most part I never buy anything brand new (with the exception of electronics). I can look around the room I’m in right now and point to at least a dozen of items here that haven’t been touched since picking them up – it’s crazy :) Just like you, I’m glad I’m starting to realize all of this..getting into more minimalism ideas have been helping me out.