Compulsive Shopping Tips & Resources “Cheat Sheet”

Before I dive into today’s post, I want to give you a heads up about my recent appearance on “I Can’t Stop Spending,” a podcast about recovery from compulsive spending, shopping, and debting.  This podcast is run by Susan B, who wrote a guest post here earlier this year titled, “Debtors Anonymous is Not Just for Debtors.”

Susan and I talked about my compulsive shopping history, when and how I created this blog, some of the rules I follow to manage my shopping, and how I went from out of control spending to being able to stick to a budget for four years now.  To listen to this podcast (it’s 42 minutes long), click here. I also recommend that you listen to Susan’s earlier episodes, as she offers a lot of practical tips and inspiration to help those of us who struggle with overshopping.

Compulsive Buying Disorder

Many people struggle with shopping around the holidays – and all the time…

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Where to Find Quality T-Shirts

In my recent post about the “30 wears initiative,” I lamented the lack of quality in many of the t-shirts own and asked for readers’ suggestions on where to find tees that will last for 30 or more wears.  Thankfully, I received many helpful replies! Since I know I’m not alone in my frustration regarding garment quality, I decided to consolidate this advice into a smart shopping resource that can easily be accessed on the blog.

Quality t-shirts

Do you have trouble finding t-shirts that wash and wear well?

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Do You Wear Your Clothes 30 or More Times?

Most people don’t understand the damage the garment industry is doing to the environment and to the people in developing countries who make our clothes.  The world now consumes 80 billion pieces of clothing each year, which is up 400% from two decades ago, and the average American throws away more than 65 pounds of clothes each year!   Over 60 million people are employed in the global clothing and footwear sector and most of them make less than half of what’s considered a “living wage” in their countries.  These are just a few of the staggering – and sobering – statistics I recently read about in an article that was posted on Facebook.

clothing sustainability

The current fashion industry model is not sustainable and urgent changes are needed, as explained in the 2015 documentary film, “The True Cost.”  I recently learned of a sustainable fashion initiative called #30wears that was started by sustainable fashion advocate, Livia Firth (wife of Oscar-winning actor, Colin Firth).  This movement strives to counter the wastefulness of “fast fashion” by focusing on buying quality pieces that we will wear at least thirty times before we discard them.  Simply asking ourselves, “Will I wear this a minimum of thirty times?” while we’re shopping can help us to make choices that are better for the world at large as well as our closets.

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Why Tracking Purchases is Important & How to Do It

Last weekend, I spent several hours updating my purchase list for the year. This task took such a long time because I hadn’t done it in over four months and had to hunt around a lot for the pertinent information.  Since I had put off the update for so long, it ended up being a much more surprising – and depressing – experience than it should have been.  This has highlighted the importance of updating the list regularly, at least once a month, in order to increase awareness and hopefully prevent myself from getting out of control with my purchases.

purchase tracking

Tracking your purchases can help you control your shopping. 

Even though I update QuickBooks (what my husband and I use for our accounting) every one to two weeks, I still have a tendency to keep myself “in the dark” in terms of what’s going on with my shopping. I may know the financial numbers and even be able to stick to a budget, as I’ve done for three plus years now, but I often lose sight of how many items I’m buying and how they are or aren’t working for my wardrobe and life.

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How I Shopped the 2016 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

For many years, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (NAS) has been my absolute favorite sale.  I’d look forward to the sale all year and go online to check out the offerings shortly after midnight on the first day of “pre-selections” for Nordstrom cardholders.  I would usually make multiple purchases before the sale was over, both online and in the store. Over the years, I’ve spent far too much money at this sale and have often bought things that I later regretted purchasing.

2016 nordstrom anniversary sale

Do you shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale every year?

NAS Blog Posts Over the Years…

Every year since starting this blog, I’ve done a post about NAS.  The first year (2013), I opted to skip the sale entirely, which was empowering for me at the time and proved to myself that I could successfully resist shopping temptation.  The following year, I went back to the sale with good intentions, but encountered some of the same difficulties I had in the past, spending too much time, energy, and money on the process.

My NAS post last year was about FOMO and the marketing messages that Nordstrom used to trigger our fear of missing out and get us to shop more.  I shopped the sale last year, too, but ended up returning the lion’s share of what I bought.  Fortunately, however, I spent a lot less time on the experience and didn’t feel that I overdid it, even in the face of the intense marketing messages directed toward Nordstrom shoppers.

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How to Dress for Weight Fluctuations

In my last post, I wrote about body image and how it affects both shopping and style.  I shared my thoughts on that topic, as well as some insights from members of my private Facebook group.   I’ve already received some very wise and thought-provoking comments from readers – and you’re welcome to share more, but today I’d like to move on to a related topic.

Sometimes our body image challenges arise as a result of actual weight gain, which leads us to feel less than fab about the way we look.  In other instances, we may fluctuate in weight due to health issues, changing metabolism, seasonal shifts, or other reasons.  When our weight goes up and down by a few pounds or more, or if we experience bloating from digestive distress, crazy hormones, or whatever, figuring out what to wear can become difficult.  This has been the case for me as of late for many of the reasons I mentioned above.  Again, I turned to the collective wisdom of the Facebook group for answers.  In today’s post, I share what group members had to say about how to best dress for weight fluctuations.

dressing for weight fluctuations

Bloating & weight shifts can make it challenging to get dressed. 

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Top Tips and Tools for Cultivating a Workable Wardrobe

In my last post, I gave an update on the purchases I made in 2014 and shared a lot of statistics regarding the success and failure rate of what I bought.  At the end of my update, I asked readers to offer insights on their own purchases from two years ago, along with their advice for others on how to increase buying success percentages. I received some great feedback as usual, but one reader named Jane also asked a very thought-provoking question of her fellow readers:

If you have pared down your wardrobe to a point that you’re happy with, what were your top three tools that helped you to do so?”

Since these types of questions can sometimes get lost in the comments section of my posts, I thought I’d pose Jane’s query to my private Facebook group.   I knew the group would have many wonderful tips to offer, as there is a wealth of knowledge there.  This post represents a consolidation of the group’s top tips for cultivating a workable wardrobe (also check out this two-part series on the blog from back in 2014:  Part OnePart Two).

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