Shopping With Desire In The Driver Seat

October 16, 2014

A favorite store that often forces shopping.

Does the gift card or store credit change how you shop?

One of my favorite stores for the past few years has been Banana Republic.  I’ve had a store credit sitting in my wallet for almost a full year now and I’m tired of looking at it. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve popped into the store to see if anything caught my eye, just so I can use up that blasted store credit.  And while I can always easily find something that catches my eye, I’ve had to put them back again and again.  Because I’m still doing The DH Closet Challenge, so I’ve had to wait until I really found a wardrobe hole and had a genuine need for something new.  A need that was bigger than just to shop to use up a store credit.

And after months of waiting, I was finally ready to spend my store credit.  And even better, the store was having a sale, 40% your purchase.  At first this sounded like a great time to shop!  I can get more for my money, because the savings is off of my total purchase.  And as I wandered the store, determined to finally spend every last cent of my store credit, I ran into a problem.  I only wanted one knit top.  Every time I picked up another top, it just didn’t “sing” to me and I would place it back.  So I scampered off to the sale rack, surely I would find something there to use up the last of my store credit right?  Nope, nothing spoke to me there either.  So then I tried to change my focus, instead of considering the top I really wanted, I started looking at other tops.  Tops that were cheaper and would let me get ‘two tops for the price of one’ by shopping the 40% off sale.

Then the light bulb went off!

You see, I’ve been trying to reduce the overall number of items in my wardrobe, for quite some time.  And after many months of deliberation and rounds of purging it’s finally clicked in my head that every single time I purchase something that doesn’t sing to me, I end up with an item that ultimately gets donated, while it is still in prime condition.  So this time, I was determined not to continue making the same mistake.  So I selected only the top I really wanted and a bottle of travel spray instead.  Maybe I didn’t walk away with ‘two tops for the price of one,’  but at least I walked away with what I really wanted.

I only wanted the top.

I only really wanted this top.

Do you let your desire or the store credit/gift card drive how you shop?

This post is not sponsored.


  1. Hi Lisa WOW you really hit the nail on the head with your lightbulb moment: “every single time I purchase something that doesn’t sing to me, I end up with an item that ultimately gets donated, while it is still in prime condition”. It feels good to see my problem put into words. I have an horrific amount of clothes (over 350 items) so I am working at not shopping (always sales/gripping Loft addiction) and reducing my numbers. I am reading Debbie Roes and Jill Chivers but your statement today really grabbed me. This is just my second month of really getting to grips with changing my behavior. I feel ridiculous (it seems so dumb to just keep accumulating/easy to say when I am not in the throes of the furor) and ashamed at the waste etc. Thank you for taking the time to blog, I really admire your tenacity, I would love to get down to under 150 items and feel like I am truly ‘wearing’ my clothes. They are mostly lovely so its hard to know where to begin with purging. I have consigned/donated around 40 items this month alone. I guess I didn’t get here overnight so I have to be patient with the process plus I am scared of relapse.

    1. I have been and am still in your shoes! I also had over 300 items a few years back when I first realized I probably have a shopping problem. I would shop for any and all reasons (boredom, frustration, happiness, etc) and the only thing I managed to do, was overload my closet. And although I have purged many items over the years, it’s only been the past year that I have been able to purge items and NOT add more. It is not easy fighting against the pull to ‘buy, buy, buy’ especially when my budget can accommodate my desires. But just because I can afford it, doesn’t mean I should always purchase it. It has been a slow process and at almost a year in The DH Closet Challenge, I am finally able to say that I actually notice progress. The hardest part about changing has been being patient enough to let myself change my shopping habits. Just know that you are not alone, blogs such as mine, Debbie’s and Jill’s are proof of that. Thanks for stopping by!

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