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Ask Sherry: Is clothes shopping an addiction or a hobby for you?

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Is clothes shopping an addiction or a hobby for you?

This question gave me pause because then I thought:

OMG. Am I shopping so much that people think I’m addicted just by reading a few things online?!?!?

Then I calmed down and re-evaluated what addiction versus hobby means.

Addiction to me means you cannot stop. You go into debt for it, you sell your blood, your eggs and you try and get your hands on money to buy more and more and moaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!

It also means you go into a store and cannot leave without buying anything, you don’t think twice about what you purchase and you don’t ever say “No” even if it isn’t quite right, it is a size too small and you just want to feel that rush of getting STUFF.

I fit into none of those categories for addiction.

No debt, blood or eggs being sold here:

I have saved about $50,000 a year on average since I started working, my $600,000 half paid by me was paid with a $300,000 cheque written out in one single go, and my 6-figure car is paid.

I’m at $750,000 in personal net worth having only started working 10 years ago, having worked a little over 50% of the time (the rest was time off), also having started with $60,000 in debt out of school which I cleared in 18 months. I am aiming for $1M by the end of next year assuming I keep this contract going.

Sure, I spend a lot of money shopping:

It brings me joy.

I love wearing a perfectly tailored coat (expensive AF because I cannot bring myself to waste any more money on cheap but cute items) over some jeans and a tank top, a pair of flats and running out to drop my kid at preschool so I can work at home. It physically makes me feel GOOD to dress nicely, to make up outfits and have a lot of variety on hand.

Could I just wear one pair of pants and a sweatshirt to do the same errand? Sure. I could. But I’d feel like a slob and feel even worse if I run into someone I know. Even if I don’t have any makeup on, I want to at least have a cute outfit on that makes me feel self-confident and good.

Could I wear the same 10 or 30 or whatever trendy number of pieces in a capsule wardrobe each season and be fine? Yes but I wouldn’t be happy. I like style, a lot. I like trying some trends, I like a great perfectly ensembled outfit and it feels good.

I’m a lot more discerning these days:

I was thisclose to buying this perfect styled coat but I slapped my hand down because the fabric and quality was just subpar for the $100 price tag. It was literally perfect — slim lapels on an open wrap coat that had no buttons so that you can tie it with a fabric or other belt — but it wasn’t PERFECT for me for other reasons.

The grey wasn’t light enough, the fabric draped horribly — I could see it already wrinkled and unable to fall and look chic without constant fussing, it wasn’t lined (but not itchy, it was polyester) and though the style was perfect the rest was not.

I said no, kept my $100 plus taxes and decided I could keep looking until I found THE COAT. I’d rather pay $400 for a secondhand coat that fits the bill (designer, preferably) than to buy something that didn’t quite cut it.

A few years ago I would not have done this. I would have said: what’s a hundred? It is cute, it is just what I want and the price is right, but these days I’m far more picky about what I keep and buy even if I am spending more money but on fewer items.

So, addiction or hobby?

Hobby. 100%.

I can afford it, I still have my money goals (hello millionaire status!) and I’m not saying yes to everything all the time without a stop. I would have said addicted maybe when I was in school and had no sense of money responsibility but these days, it is now a controlled hobby.

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