To Buy or Not To Buy Read Along – Post 2 - Chapter 1:

GlitterLover's picture
[1790]

To Buy or Not To Buy Read Along – Post 2 - Chapter 1:

First of all, if you are just seeing these posts for the first time and would like to join us, please do so. Get a hold of the book whenever you are able and start sharing with us. We have a post for the introduction and initial thoughts, and then we are creating posts for each chapter. New posts will come out around the 1st and 15th of each month, but please feel free to go back and add thoughts at any point. You do not have to be going at the same pace to benefit from this.

So, this is the post to come to after reading chapter one. Just like before I will ask a few questions to get everyone thinking and help get a dialogue going. If a particular question makes you uncomfortable feel free to skip it, but please do try and share what you can. Participation makes this a more supportive and helpful environment for everyone! Also, feel free to add thoughts that came up during this chapter that were important to you, even if they aren't directly related to the questions I ask. The questions are just a jumping off point. Feel free to share insight with us.

Here's the questions for chapter one.

1) Do you now have some insight into why you are over shopping? If you feel comfortable please consider sharing a little bit about the reason or reasons why you think you're shopping.

2) Have you started your shopping journal yet? How do you feel about the idea of using one?

3) Of the Pro-shopping messages and the Anti-shopping messages listed on pages 28 and 29, which ones have you heard the most? Have you found yourself saying them and/or believing them to be true? How has thinking these things affected you?

4) Going through the process of examining your childhood history with money, how was that for you? Was it hard, scary, confusing, did it give you valuable insight, did it make you feel less guilty, etc. If you care to share a specific revelation here feel free, but don't feel like you need to.

5) How are you feeling right now in regards to your compulsive spending? Are you feeling totally overwhelmed, so excited, like you've got clarity, confused, etc?

I'll go first.

1) I shop for so many reasons. I think that's part of why I've had such a hard time stopping. I shop to avoid dealing with unpleasant feelings, to procrastinate on tasks I don't feel like doing, I shop to boost my self-esteem, I shop for things that I think will make my life easier, and sometimes I even shop for gifts trying to gain approval from someone.

2) I have started it, but I haven't really used it much yet. I love the idea of it and have been using other forms of journaling lately that I find very helpful.

3) I think some of the messages that I have internalized have been “You get what you pay for,” which has often led me to buying more expensive things that were not really any better than more affordable things. Of the negative shopping messages I have internalized a lot of them such as “Money doesn't grow on trees,” “Only buy things on sale,” and “Don't talk about money.” These negative messages have left me with a lot of feelings of lack and negativity surrounding money. The feeling that it doesn't grow on trees has actually made me feel more driven to shop. Like, if I don't enjoy the money today there might not be more coming and I'll never have any fun. Thinking that sales are so important has caused me to impulsively purchase so many things simply because they were on sale now. What if they weren't later? In reality I have found when I stop and wait to think about a purchase I so often don't feel the need to go back for an item. It's better for me to occasionally pay full price for something I actually have a real use for than to keep buying random things on a whim because they seem like a good deal at the time. The message to not talk about money has left me so confused and at sea all the time. I've known I had a problem. I wanted to reach out, but without really knowing how someone handles a budget or how they prioritize their financial life I didn't figure general advice would help. After all I know that I should spend less than I make, save, etc, but I don't know how to actually make that work. I always figured I couldn't ask others questions like this so I have suffered alone.

4) Examining my childhood history was interesting. I don't have the best memory so I couldn't piece everything together perfectly. I have noticed that so many women that influenced my life love shopping. I have often seen gifts used as a way to show or earn love. Even my grandmother, who was VERY frugal would always take me shopping when I went to visit her. I didn't know until years later how frugal she really was because when I was there we would go out to eat, shop, etc. I had no idea that was such a rare thing for her. I also got the message that men handled the money, that they were better at it. My father would never discuss money with me, even when I wanted to apply for college scholarships and such he would never tell me his income. It was very much a secret. He told me to save and that kind of thing, but never once did I see a budget or really understand how to make one or use one. I have only very recently started learning this skill, in my 30s.

5) For the most part I am feeling really good in regards to my compulsive spending right now. I've been making huge progress. I am starting to feel like I see things with more clarity. Just yesterday I was at Hallmark with my daughter. I've been avoiding stores a lot, but she wanted to go make a purchase with her own money. I saw a little stuffed animal that looked very much like my favorite pet that died in October of last year. I have so many things to memorialize him all over the house and take great comfort in them. I picked up this stuffed animal and stroked the fur on it's back, closing my eyes and really feeling like it was him for a second. Then I opened my eyes and marveled at all the little details that reminded me of him. I even looked at the price. Then, I took a deep breath and realized that this thing was not my dog. It was not a cure, and it was not going to make anything better. Right now I am broke and in a mess because of moments just like that when I made the choice to buy. I put him back and felt very good about it. Those little victories lately are making me feel empowered, capable, and worthy of healing and happiness. I can see the path now. I've got plenty of work ahead, but at least I can actually see what the heck it is I need to be doing. Things were so bad for awhile that I was really delusional and in denial about the reality of a lot of things. Clarity is hard in some ways, but it's also very, very good.

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@GlitterLover Did you post chapter two questions and discussion for To Buy Or Not To Buy and I missed it somehow? I can't find a post about Chapter Two. Thanks!

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GlitterLover's picture
[1790]
Mar 16

@iris_flower_artist I never posted it because you were the only one to finish this one, and as you said you hadn't read it recently. It seems people have not had the time to finish this one, so I didn't want to spend the time crafting the questions and all that if people are not able to follow along and contribute. If people catch up and finish this one I will start working on the next set of questions.

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I hadn't read chapter one recently, but I re-read the chapter to answer your questions. :-) I agree that you ought to not spend your time creating material for us to use if nobody else is ready for it. I'm sure they'll all get back in the swing of things soon. Or sometime.

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