From the BlogSubscribe Now

I Survived the Mall!

A few days ago, I posted about triggers for overspending. I mentioned an upcoming shopping trip and my fear that I would slip back into frantic shopaholism – yesterday was my first trip to a mall in 9 months. I’m proud to report that I made it through the experience without kicking anyone in the shins, AND I spent less than I expected. My safeguards (texting a friend before checking out, taking only my debit card, etc.) proved to be great ways to keep from going overboard.

On a personal note, I got along with my ex-husband just fine for a change. He paid for all of Jay’s stuff (except his shoes, which I bought) and even bought dinner, meaning I don’t have to subtract it from my restaurant points for the month. I don’t know what got into him but I’ll definitely take it after 20 months of paying for everything myself!

Here’s what I bought:

  • $101.21 at Shoe Carnival – got Jay a pair of shoes and a pair for me at 1/2 off
  • $150.52 at Old Navy – got 3 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of flip flops, and 6 shirts for me (everything I got was on sale)
  • $52.33 at Toys R Us – Jay’s birthday gifts
  • $9.50 at Pier 1 – I bought 2 reed diffusers that are being discontinued (originally $18 each)

So I spent $313.56, and I already had $175 of that saved from my tax return to go toward back-to-school. Since Jay’s dad bought all his clothes and supplies, I’m paying myself back. Total out of pocket: $138.56. Wooohooo! (I had actually given myself $300 on top of the $175 “just in case,” and I’m so proud of myself for not spending all of it.)

I can’t believe how hard it was to spend money – I truly thought I was going to go wild and spend every dime in my checking account. Several times I picked up things I didn’t need, like a really cute purse in Old Navy and some stuff at Pier 1, but I was able to put it back without even texting my friend for help. After 9 months of detox (borrowing a phrase from my friend at The Year of Shopping Detox), it seems my spending addiction is finally in remission.

About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web developer and mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!


  1. THat's awesome! For me, it's harder to spend money because I feel guilty about it. Even buying a pair of jeans to replace my old ones, I wasn't thrilled. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Congrats, did you go into it with a plan?  Shopping should be just like food shopping, create a list and stick to it.

  3. Congratulations!  It's so hard not to spend, I used to be addicted to spending too.  I find that if you just stay away from the mall (though it's hard I think with a child when you need to buy them clothes all the time) it helps.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yay you!! I had a similar experience today (on a much smaller scale) when I wandered around the grocery store and didn't make any impulse buys. I think that detox has actually reprogrammed my brain!

  5. Good job!  I bet those clothes make you so much happier than they would have if you had spent twice the amount or bought things you wanted but didn't need.  That's what I'm finding about my shopping "detox" (great word).  The things I buy now I REALLY want and/or need and thus I truly appreciate the item – rather than spending a ton on random stuff I end up shoving to the back of my closet and not caring about.  

    • It's definitely a change to buy clothes because I need them. I waited until I was down to 1 pair of jeans that fit (two if you count the ones with holes in the thighs), and now I have 4 pairs and I'm SO excited about them! I probably gave away 50 pairs of jeans right before I got divorced – I used to just buy them on a whim without even trying them on. I feel good knowing I can walk out of a store without 15 bags.
      Now the big challenge – I got a coupon yesterday worth 50% off a $100 purchase. It seems silly not to get $100 worth of clothes for $50, but I'm scared it will be a slippery slope. Still debating how to handle this one!

  6. Have you considered shopping Old Navy online…you might be less tempted to buy than when you are in the store.

  7. That's awesome!  Good for you!!

Join the Discussion!