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Monday, July 22, 2013

Shopping issues....


This used to be me.... 
No, I was not born minimalist.... 
and for those of you who have been following me since I started this blog in January 2011 you very well know that I use to shop like there was no tomorrow...  I've worked really hard to control my shopping....  and started in 2011 when I decided to not buy anything not essential for a year and blog about it...  It lasted 6 months then I gave in...  but in those 6 months I learned a few valuable lessons:  I do not NEED to shop, I do not NEED all that the stores lead you to believe you need and I COULD not shop if I wanted to.... if only I wanted to...

2 years after the week end I gave in... which you can read here ... I have come across a long way...  I have declutter my home and wardrobe a great deal... I have change my shopping habits... and for a few exceptions over the years I have been buying only when I have the money and absolutely love the items... 

I also came to realise a great deal over this battle against addiction that shopping is... and yes it is an addiction... just like is cigarette, alcohol and overeating....  you do it because you feel bad, because you feel good, because a friend invited you, because it's Christmas, a birthday, your birthday, a new season, sales,... you name it!  ALL perfectly good excuses...  I can now control it much better....  In the sense that I do not use my credit card anymore...  or line of credit.... or credit card number 2, 3 or husband's credit card...  because I have NONE of that (actually I have one credit card for emergency and the limit is 1000$ only)!!!  I need to pay for what I buy...  It's a huge step forward.....  however, I came to realise that as soon as I have a few extra dollars I need to spend them...  and this is what I need to work on now...

I have streamlined my finances a great deal over the years and my minimalism journey has helped a LOT!!! My cost of living is MUCH MUCH less... I am almost debt free... but I realised this week end that my relationship to money is still bad....  and it started years ago... I use to be great with money...  saving and planning for retirement as soon as I got out of university and started working... 

However, when I started feeling sick ( in late 1997), I started using shopping as a therapy... and honestly, before this morning meditation, I had no clue WHEN it all started (this is the thing with addiction - you don't realise them until it's too late).... but now I know so I can address it...  it started because I was stressed with my health...  and I had a little extra money... so I wen shopping and I bought something that looked good and it felt great!  The one thing I did not realise at that point is that feeling did not last very long.... so I had to redo it again...  in a few weeks.... and again... and again....  more and more often.... and then more and more money each time...  to feel good!!  But it did not work out... my health issues were in no way getting better because of my shopping and that short good feeling would go away... my life would not get better and I was just less and less happy!!! 

Then I started yoga, meditation... and started making changes in my life...  including trying to refrain from shopping... it has had it's up and down... and until now I did not know why... but now I do... and I will work on that... I want to be able to finish paying off my debt... and put money aside.... 

I know that when I get stressed or anxious... or uncertain.... I spend money... and sometimes faster than I would like to...  but once you realise a behavior, it is easier to correct.... therefore from now on, when I feel like spending money, I will tune it first... and see why?    I believe that by doing that over and over again, I will get to the root cause of it and finally put an end to that nonsense shopping... 

Now don't get me wrong... I am no way near where I was...  I did come a loooong way...  I pay cash...  and only buy what I love...  really love.... but realise that sometimes I do not really NEED what I bought...  and this is what makes me sad... even if you're talking 20$... it is 20$ less to put on my debt...  and if you keep adding, it shows... 

Now the challenge is realising this right before a 5 weeks vacation... WOW...  of course vacation are the BEST time to do some shopping and spend countless on numerous things...  so I will have to be on my best behavior... and stay focus....

I really want to change the relation to money I have....  I know where it is rooted...  using it to feel good... but there always a part of me that is afraid that there will be no more... so when I have I spend...  which is counter intuitive... because of course if I spend I will have no more! 

I understand that people rarely talk about money.... so openly...  and I avoided it for so long... not to look weak or as if I do not have all my act together.... truth is I know the theory... not the practice... not there 100% yet... and there is no shame to this... and I feel that I need to share this with you... because by reading this blog it may look easy.... and then if you have problems doing it may think that you're not good enough! Well it is NOT the case!  You are good enough....  You need time... and practice... like I do... and honesty... with yourself....

First time you jumped into the water, were you able to swim for a triathlon???  I bet not....

Well same here....  shopping seems like the easy way out.... and they make everything look so good and essential....  but it is not... and it's a short term benefit...

What are your shopping habit?  What relationship do you have with money?  Did it change over time or is more or less the same?  What triggered the change?

I am always happy to hear from you... do not hesitate to contact me!!!

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love and peace,
nath
xox
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