Sunday, December 14, 2008

Stay Out of the Stores

Tip #40 - Stay Out of the Stores - If you want to save money, stay at home. There is less of a chance of using your money if you go to places where you can't buy things. Stay at home and you are away from the glittery lights of the stores, away from the subtle background music that entices you to buy, away from others who are gleefully turning over their hard-earned dollars to spend. Or to put it another way, the more you shop, the more you will buy.

How many times have you gone to a store just to look at what they have? You don't have a purpose in mind. You are not looking for a pair of pajamas, or a new wallet, or a specific book. You go just to look. And then when you are there you see a pretty pair of earrings or a neat electronic gadget or a pretty sweater. It is so easy to buy when you see that others are buying. It's also fun to be part of the action. It may even give you a little high every time you buy something new.

But if you are trying to save money, shopping for 'fun' is not allowed. It will tempt you and start you on a buying cycle that won't give up. Once you go shopping and buy something, you may see another item that you pass up. That item, however, will stay on your mind and may cause you to go back a second time to buy it. And then when you go back, there is a great sale on yet something else that entices it.

Take my advice and stay out of the stores. And you will spend less. Of course, there are ways to spend money at home, too. There are shopping networks on t.v., catalogs to order from, and internet shopping. And if any of those types of shopping tempt you, then stay away from those, too. If you don't need anything, there is no reason to go shopping. So just stay out of the stores.

In Real Life (IRL) - I am not a shopper. I do not find joy in going to malls. I don't have fun in crowds. And I generally don't like to part with my money. So, for the most part, I don't go shopping just to look. And I don't spend a lot of money on unnecessary things at stores. I do find, however, when I do go to mall I tend to get caught up in some of the excitement and it almost makes me want to purchase something.

I rarely go shopping, especially at the mall. But I went the other week to return a gift my daughter received for her birthday. And I will admit, that I was enticed. I received a gift card back for the return and I felt like I needed to buy something. I wanted to buy something with the card. So I looked around for something to buy even though I didn't really need anything at that store at this time. But I looked for something anyway - just to buy. And while I was at the mall, I felt the need to look at another store. After all, I don't go to the mall too often. And at the other store, I started looking at all of the merchandise that I don't ever see. And I began to feel how behind the times I am because I don't have so many of these latest things. And then I walked by the food court and I was tempted to buy a drink or a snack because everyone else looked like they were having fun eating there. I didn't give in, but I was tempted. And I don't even enjoy the mall.

For people who do enjoy shopping, going to the mall and not buying anything is a real challenge. I know because my mother loves to shop. She loves to be at the mall and in the stores. She is always looking for bargains. She doesn't buy expensive brands, but she does buy things she doesn't need. She will go with a friend and come home with a top that she couldn't resist because it was such a good deal. Or she'll come home with a necklace that will match her sweater even though she has a different necklace that matches it. And while my mom can afford her hobby since she and my dad saved so well, she does have a closet full of things she has only worn once or twice. And her shopping habits aren't even extreme. She has a friend who is ten times worse than she is. It can become an addiction, not unlike gambling or drinking. So don't even start, just stay out of the stores.

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