12 September 2011

She's so Fine, There's No Telling Where the Money Went


This is no shocker - I am an admitted shopaholic. I like spending free time cruising the Internet aisles, perusing my favorite shops for new arrivals and looking for the long-awaited "Big Sale NOW" messages on my e-mail account. I love it when a trip for "just lunch" with a gal ends up being an excuse to go the mall or meander through some cute little shops full of this or that. I do probably end up with something new every week.

How do I keep this up? Well, I split "life" expenses with my honey, my car is paid off and I make enough money that I can comfortably save and spend ... and intrinsically I'm cheap. Which in my world means that I would rather buy shoes than some tech-y gadget or decorate my living room - and it's just my luck that typically shoes are way cheaper than a new rug or a big piece of art for the mantel. And it also means I am all about the deal and steal when it does come to shopping time.

IMG_8177  IMG_8207

So I should have nothing to feel bad about because technically I am not over-stretching myself to shop, right? But then why is it that I am embarassed about seeing the UPS guy so often - or that I'll feel the need to dispose of shopping packaging before the BF comes home - or if some asks if an item of clothing is new, I often say no or tell them that I bought it for even less than I did? Why do I feel ashamed about spending my own money on myself?

I think amongst this group of style bloggers and readers, we all obviously love fashion and mostly have no qualms spending some money on ourselves. However, do you feel guilty about doing it? And does some of this shame make you hide your true shopping habits from your significant other or family?


Cardigan: Talbots (worn here - sim here)
Skirt: F21 pleated leopard chiffon (check stores - sim ombre here, reg here, luxe here)
Belt: J. Crew metallic skinny (sim here)
Necklace: Crewcuts ribbon pearl (sim here)
Shoes: Nine West temani (worn here - sim peep here)


  1. I used to feel that way, but now I have a set allowance for shopping, and it is even in a separate acct, so I have to set limits for myself. I don't feel bad spending it all on one expensive thing, I just know it is going to take a while to build it back up. My kids tease me about all the UPS packages, but there are not any great stores here, so ordering is the best way...
    Great post!

  2. I think that there was a period when I was buying too much, but I never lied about it or tried to hide it, but I've since gotten a lot better about managing money. I stay within my comfort range, and I'll splurge every once in a while, but I have no debt other than my student loans. Steve and I live way under our means, and we save as much money as we can. The older I get the more I appreciate all the things my mother has done for me, so this year, I'm sending on her a trip home to see her family. I may go without a new lens or a pretty pair of shoes for while, but to see her so happy and excited and planning her trip home really overwhelms me.

    Do I feel guilty sometimes that I have a lot of clothes and material things? Sure. I won't lie or hide it, though. I love beautiful things, and I feel that so as long as I am balanced in my life with other things, it's okay to think about that cashmere sweater or that silk dress every once in a while.

  3. I totally hide my shopping from my bf. I guess he just doesn't need to know and I don't want him judging me for my shopping. He doesn't understand! I am also really cheap and while I may get many packages, I do not spend a ton of money. I only buy stuff on super sale which gives me a long time to think about whether I really want the item. I am just thankful for your blog and all the other wonderful fashion blogs, because they help me realize that loving clothing and shopping is totally normal!

  4. Oh my gosh I LOVE this topic! It is "good" to know I'm not the only one who lies about my shopping habits!!
    I do feel embarrassed with my shopping habits. Especially because my husband and I are still in school. We are very blessed to have better paying jobs than most college students have but I feel guilty our savings account could have a little more money if I had more self-control.

    My husband knows every single piece of clothing I own so I can't lie to him saying I've had something for a while.
    Last semester he had classes right when the mail guy comes around so I was able to get few things in the mail without his knowledge. I usually wear them when he isn't around. Isn't this Awful?? This semester is different and I actually had a little issue last Friday when the UPS guy dropped off this pair of shoes and my husband received the package. I had to come up with a lie. Needless to say I won't be sneaky shopping online for the remainder of the semester which I'm actually relived.
    The main reason I feel so guilty is because we did set a small budget monthly and I failed on keeping up with it.
    I also think my husband is not used to see me shopping much. I would only buy things I really needed not wanted. That's how I was raised. I finally broke down last year when I realized the small amount of things I had in my closet. Mr. husband still has the biggest closet.

    Some people might lie because they don't want to be seen as shallow in this hard world...
    That is actually not my concern because I don't think I shop too much, maybe for a college student I do. All I can say is that I want stop lying and buying stuff behind my husband's back. This isn't nice and I feel I'm a horrible human being :(

  5. Hello!!!!!!!!!!

    Every week you hit the nail on the head Lisa. I love this about your blog. I have the feeling of guilt all. the. time. Here's the thing, I am a lot like you wherein clothes are the only "spoiling" I allow myself. We don't have a nice TV or a well decorated house. I drive a used gold Saturn, but it's paid off. I don't get manis or pedis or expensive hair dyes or cuts (though I probably should). And, like you, I am cheap and thrifty. I often still find myself, as you said, telling people that something is old or cheaper than it was or hiding my inner joy for finally pulling off the unthinkable and ordering something online that I have been lusting over forever. I try to get home before BF to hid FedEx and UPS boxes.

    Why we feel this way is because we are women. We are inherently supposed to give our all to others before ourselves. So when we splurge on ourselves, it just feels so wrong. But, in actuality, it is SO RIGHT!!!!!!!

    Love the leopard skirt. Is that new? ;-)

  6. I used to be like that! But then I realized I had so many items without tags on them and when I would clean my closets out I would feel so guilty, but it still didn't stop me from shopping. I think when we bought our first house and I had to move all myself (and get rid of a lot) is when it really hit me. I don't put myself on a budget but I'm a frugal shopper and I usually only buy if there is a good return policy too! For some reason I don't feel the NEED to shop anymore, I think blogging has actually made me more picky about what I want to purchase and also getting as close to a perfect fit as I can whereas in the past I would just buy something if it didn't look bad LOL!

  7. I love the skirt on you!! You look so pretty and professional!!

  8. I've put myself on a ban right now... hopefully I can make it though! For me it's not really about the money... it's about owning SO MUCH STUFF that i'm trying to reduce my consumptions.

    You look great by the way, this skirt is so pretty!

  9. I am always so drawn to those shoes! I need to spend a little money on myself (and my shoe collection).

  10. That's a slippery slope.
    First, to answer your question, no, I never ever feel the need to hide my shopping habits from my significant other (my husband) Probably (first and foremost) because *I know* I'm living well within my means. In my experience (and very humble opinion), women who feel the need to hide their purchases from others on a regular basis (I'm not talking once or twice in their lifetime) generally are at a point in their lives where they really need to honestly examine their shopping behavior. If you regularly feel so much guilt over your shopping habits that you actually need to hide or misrepresent your habits to friends and family, then there's something not quite right, just as would be the case with any other regular habit that one would feel the need to hide from one's loved ones.

    I shared my past battles with shopaholism and alerted readers to clear signs that there may be a real problem with their shopping addictions in this post several months ago: http://www.littlegirlbigcloset.com/2011/01/shopaholics-anonymous.html

  11. Great post. I wrestle with this topic myself on a daily basis. I do find that sometimes just online "window shopping" is enough the satiate me so I don't feel the need to actually buy. I also find that participating in remix challenges allows me to stretch my creativity with what I already have in my closet then buying something new. For me it's not so much whether I can afford any item, it's the consumerism that gives me guilt.

    That said, I am going to be knocking on Target's door tomorrow at 8 AM to check out Missoni!

  12. I love this skirt! I don't think my shopping habits have changed too much..and we don't have any kids, so I don't really feel too guilty!

  13. I know exactly what you mean. I felt so embarrassed that I fill up our recycle bin with packaging material every week. I don't think my husband knows how much I buy because I kept returning. I feel ashamed when my daughter ask my if something is new. How can you teach children about thrifty if you are spending all the time, right? It is even more embarrassing when my daughter tell my mom " I like to go to the store to buy things, only mommy like to go to store to return things" >_< Fortunately my mom and my husband both are very understanding. They understand that I was under a lot of pressure with my job and raising two demanding kids so they felt if that is the thing that give me a little thrill, so be it.

  14. Sometimes I feel guilt about buying too much but I tend to get over it pretty quick :) My bills are paid, I have a retirement account that gets funded every pay period and I have a savings. My car is paid off and I don't have kids. I'm like you, I can be so cheap about things like TVs or electronics and I'm not someone who needs a new car every few years. I'd rather keep my wardrobe growing :-) Sometimes I do have put myself in check though because I can go on a few sprees every now and then!!!

  15. Even if I get a great deal and spend money wisely I still feel guilty for getting what I want!

    Love your tucked-in cardi!

    - Lauren

  16. I always keep my purchases hidden away!
    The trunk of the car, the corners of the closet, I'll carry a bag the long way through the house so he doesn't see it....
    But that's all about to change now I'm afraid!

  17. I can relate so well to feeling guilty about all my UPS deliveries. A former boss of mine once said (about his wife) that women are genetically programmed to feel guilty. It's so true I think. ;)

  18. I always feel guilty about buying something new when I already have so many great things in my closet. I'll often look to my husband for support because he understands that clothing is just what I'm into, like the way he's in to video games. It's a hobby-like thing that I enjoy, the pairing of clothes together. And really, his opinion is the only one I care for anyway.

    BTW, I love the leopard with the pink. It's very elegant.

  19. I love your outfit! The pale pink is so pretty with that skirt and the belt is perfect.

    I think that balance is key here, just like with most things in life. On one hand, I look at shopping/fashion as a hobby. A lot of hobbies cost money and that's just the way it is (and it's not *just* a hobby, it's about feeling good about yourself, looking your best, having appropriate work clothes, etc. Those things are all important). On the other hand, if that hobby starts taking away from other important things, it becomes a problem. For me, it's not just about making sure the bills are paid and money is set aside for savings and then the rest goes for shopping - I consider other things too. For example, vacation. If we decide to go on a vacation, saving for that vacation becomes part of the equation. I would never want shopping to get in the way of a good vacation/travel opportunity! So, while shopping/developing my style is an important thing in my life right now, there are also lots of other things that are equally or more important that have to be considered as well. Some months I have quite a bit of shopping money, other months not so much because the focus is on something else.

    I guess I'm saying that sometimes shopping is a priority for me and other times there are 10 things ahead of shopping on my list of priorities. Learning to recognize that and being able to put shopping at the end of the list for a while is difficult and the only time I feel guilty about shopping is when I'm unable to do that.

  20. Great shoes!

    I don't actively lie, but I don't typically volunteer the information, either. I suppose that's lying by omission.

  21. I'm the queen of ordering stuff, getting it delivered to work and sneaking home in one of my "carry to work" bags. Totally do it all the time!

  22. Firstly, I love this outfit. Fin, fresh and I'm loving the wedges!

    Secondly I can totally relate to the feeling of guilt when talking about a new purchase or when I get another box delivered to my desk by the hunky UPS guy (I swear I'm not online shopping just to see him!) I worked two jobs until very recently so money was never an issue but I started to feel like my consumption was becoming out of control. I decided to scale back my online shopping and started prioritizing my shopping lists. That way when the shopping bug hits I buy only what I really want and need and avoid the impulse buys.

  23. I am a shopaholic, too! But I do try to hit the sales and get fab deals. I rarely pay full price at the high end stores. But yeah, last Friday I had 4 boxes arrive and I thought to myself "do I need an intervention??". However, I do have 3 girls to buy for also :)
    Super cute skirt -- love the whole outfit!

  24. Love, love these wedges!!
    I definitely feel guilty sometimes. We don't live with debt so spending is only when the $ is literally there, but I just try to explain that clothes (shoes, purses and other accessories) are my thing while gadgets and manly things like hunting are what he spends his money on! :) Compromise is how I see it and what works for us.

  25. LOVE this leopard skirt!
    I wish I could do without more tech stuff... I mean, the though of spending $400 on some shoes seems crazy to me, but I'd spend that on an iPhone without a second though. I guess it's because there will always be knockoff shoes, that I'd be just as happy with, but I'd never want a knockoff iphone.

    Chic on the Cheap

  26. Hmmmmm, basically everything that Tien said: I shop, have no debt, and pay a percentage of expenses. Coming from NYC, everywhere else is CHEAP, so our income didn't take a hit when I left my job in Manhattan to come to school. I save. I shop. I save some more...and I feel so, so blessed.

  27. Oh and my goodness-- I LOVE this look on you!

  28. As long as you don't go beyond your limits with spending it's okay. With me I don't buy everything I fall in love with and I try to shop for good deals. Since I still have school bills most of my money gets sent that way. I never make shopping a priority!

    You look wonderful in this outfit, it's very ladylike and classic!

  29. YES YES YES. I know exactly how you feel. I dont know if I'll ever be able to shake that little nagging feeling of shame/guilt, but I have definitely gotten better about it.

    LOVE the skirt, btw.


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