A younger version of myself loved to shop – shoes, clothing, or anything on sale that I thought would brighten my life, at that moment. “At that moment” we all know to be the key to impulsive buying and what retailers count on. Credit card companies also love the retail therapy phenomena.
Six years as a single mom, living on a minimal budget and barely paying my bills woke me up to that rude reality and taught me: if I can’t pay for it now, I don’t buy it. Ever calculate what you actually pay for an item bought on credit with only minimal monthly payments? It is mind-boggling. My children and I came to appreciate hand-me-downs, and none of us regret the lesson, by the way.
Since I’ve married Ric – an extreme retail enthusiast – my thrifty ways have loosened somewhat, but I am still a practical shopper, always looking for a bargain, and thinking things through before purchasing. Which is why I love online shopping.
I can browse sites, compare prices, wait a day for that inevitable mark down, and put things in my shopping cart until I am sure of a purchase. It is amazing how with time and distance, a “gotta-have-it” dress becomes a “what-was-I-thinking?”. I buy most everything online now, as most stores have easy returns, low-cost shipping, and more selection than I’d ever find should I be able to get out to the actual mall. Even with the low Canadian dollar, it is worthwhile to price shop, as U.S. prices tend to be better (duty and taxes taken into consideration).
A favourite site of mine is well.ca. I shop here weekly for personal care items, cosmetics, household cleaners, gluten-free products, baby needs, gifts, and so on. The site features weekly sales, and often offers free product samples. What I like most is their emphasis on organic and environmentally friendly products.
Online shopping may not have the same therapeutic impact as hands-on, and maybe that’s not a bad thing. Just make sure you keep track of what you are spending, all ways!