How's that for a snazzy title? I do this all the time and I guess I'm wondering if anyone else does. If it's new to you, it may constitute a helpful tip in the on-going wars against overspending.
What is prophylactic shopping? It is shopping to keep you from shopping. Let me explain. As we all know, frivolous people (like me) sometimes shop for sport and stress relief. I know, I know, we should be above this. Especially me, since I am a high-brow type. Truly though, there is nothing wrong with a little sport and personal adornment. The new hair shirt frugality that is au courant is, I think, dispiriting. I wrote about this a while ago in an essay that quoted the famous lines from King Lear: "Oh, reason not the need." That was one of my favorite posts and it received not a single comment.
Now that we have established my fundamentally frivolous nature, let us turn to my equally fundamental frugality. I really hate wasting money. I hate malls. For me, danger sometimes comes via the internet. Today, I received an email announcing even further reductions at Talbots and FREE SHIPPING. I took advantage of a similar offer a week or so ago, and all the stuff has been returned to the store.
I felt myself weakening. This Talbots sale was even better than the other one. And I've been sick. And, while all my students are lazing about, I've been slogging through their papers. Poor me.
So this morning, I indulged in some prophylactic shopping, at, you guessed it, my local thrift stores. This is not really a waste of gas, because I traveled no more than two miles. And, as for wasting time, well, I consider this therapy.
So what did I get? I'm assuming that the thrift store gods (or goddesses) felt how weak was my spirit. Therefore, with their usual sense of humor, they provided me with a pair of new linen ballet flats--from Talbots! Thanks!
They also provided me with a linen and leather Kate Spade handbag (I think it's real too, unlike most of the specimens that make their way to thrifts).
So far, I'm out $5.00. I also got some books, including one I gave away a long time ago and have been wanting to re-read. My spending of about $10.00 inoculated me against spending about $80.00. It would be funny-money to say that I "saved" $70.00, but I kind of did.
If any of the acquired item turns out to be unwanted, I will donate it back. So my money went to a good cause and any mistakes go back to be sold again.
Please don't think I am always rewarded in this way. But prophylactic shopping works even if you don't find anything. That is because you see so much stuff, so much nice stuff, even some new stuff, that you realize that the thrift store universe is a place of abundance. There's always something next time.
So, readers, do you engage in prophylactic shopping? Do tell?
And, are you as sick as I am of the new hair-shirt mentality?