There is a history of shopping addiction in my family.
There are people in my family’s past who were “Shopaholics.” They never had money to pay the bills, needed help from other family members to cover costs, and never said “no” to buying the finer things, even when their income did not reflect that lifestyle.
I had to take a look at myself and be honest: History does repeat itself because I was just like them.
Here are the 5 lies that got me every time:
1.) Sales are CRITICAL!
“You CANNOT pass up this deal! It would be financially UN-wise of you to walk away!” I fell hard for this one! I can sniff out a deal anywhere. Unfortunately, those things cost much more in the long run because I put many of them on my credit card. Don’t negotiate with this truth: NO SALE IS WORTH ADDING TO YOUR CREDIT CARD, PERIOD.
2.) Your kids (OR YOU) deserve the BEST, no matter the cost.
We all want to give our kids (or ourselves) the best that we can, but have differing ideas of what the “best” looks like. My mom saw the best as giving me and my brother an insane amount of gifts at Christmas, her own childhood lacking that. As an adult, I found myself going into debt trying to recreate that magic in my own home. My kids don’t need more– they need a mom who raises them to be responsible adults who can balance a checkbook. I learned a hard truth: The best we can give our kids is a debt-free home, modeling a healthy financial plan.
3.) You are short on time.
For someone who rents their home, this is especially hard! You know you will only live in that particular location for a short amount of time, depending upon your lease. This time crunch creates a sense of urgency to purchase decor at an alarming rate! Here is a little secret- that cute table may not fit anywhere in your next place and you will have to get rid of it anyway. I have done this over and over. Remember that time should never dictate your spending habits.
Speaking of time…
4.) The enjoyment we get out of the “Now” will always be worth the struggle of “Later.”
I learned this the hard way. As a society, we have face this struggle with overeating and spoiling our kids- we choose the satisfaction of getting or giving NOW over the responsibility of what our actions will ultimately cause. Overeating at each meal causes obesity, giving kids everything they want will train them to be selfish adults, and spending money you don’t have now will lead to financial hardships. Bottom line: The debt doesn’t magically disappear- there is always a “later.”
5.) You NEED it.
To be completely honest, I get an adrenaline rush when I find that something I want is on sale. I NEED it. The reaction always overshadows the item. To put the item down and walk away almost hurts. If you have this reaction, don’t fall for the lie that you need something, when you really don’t. Want does not equal need.
Debt ruled my life for long enough. I fell for the lies for long enough.
When you visit my home, I make no apologizes for my lack of furniture or artwork. Do I wish it were different? Yes. Would I love to go on a shopping spree and have those things immediately rather than saving and waiting? Intensely. But I have made a vow to myself and my family:
My ‘house’ will not be made a ‘home’ with things.
When you walk through the front door and notice the walls are bare and the wood floors lack area rugs, know that there is a reason. I will fill my home with used boardgames rather than new toys, leftovers for dinner rather than evenings out, and cheerful giving to those that need it rather than new paintings on the walls.
My kids deserve it.
My husband deserves it.
I deserve it.
This is our last post for our finance series. Make sure to check the blog for all the ways to take control of your finances!