Emotional shoppers, have I got a trick for YOU. I’ve had an $80 store credit to TJ Maxx in my wallet for months. I might have returned something, but I think it’s more likely my mom returned something and then gave me the store credit (thanks, Mom).
So I’ve had this thing for months, and I’ve probably gone into the store maybe five times without using it. I’m sure you’re thinking: “Oh, no! Shopping and not finding something is the worst!” But you are wrong. This is the best. This is a big deal. Because I’ve found stuff, I’ve just decided all that stuff isn’t worth giving up the promise of the perfect thing. (Am I becoming a consumer genius?)
Anyway, I am going to carefully reproduce my thought process for you here so that you, too, can be as good at having fun while shopping and not spending money as I am. The only equipment you need for this exercise is a store credit or gift card. (Cash might work, but I don’t think so, as then you’ll be stressed about the other things you should buy with that cash—groceries, insurance, medication—and will wonder why your broke little butt is even in a store. And that adds a layer of complexity to the situation that we neither need or want.)
1. Today sucks.
2. I know, I’ll buy a new thing!
3. Here I am at the store. Look at all these things I can buy.
4. I can buy these $80 jeans!
5. Or I can buy this $80 shirt!
6. Or I can buy four of these $20 shirts.
7. Or I can buy this $30 dress and this $30 shirt and also this $20 shirt.
8. I LOVE EVERYTHING. HOW TO CHOOSE?
9. But: If I spend my store credit then I won’t have it anymore.
10. Do I really actually like any of this stuff enough to never be able to shop again?
11. Nope. It’s all a bore. These things are boring. They won’t make me happy.
12. Let’s just ignore the fact that I’m choosing the promise of future shopping over the completion of current shopping.
12. AND THEN I LEAVE WITHOUT BUYING ANYTHING, BUT FEELING GREAT, AND MY STORE CREDIT LIVES TO SEE ANOTHER DAY.
P.S. Did everyone already know this?