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Retail Therapy for Couples

Retail Therapy for Couples

August 26, 2020

In this time of Corona virus where people are shuttered in their houses, sometimes the only fun thing people have to look forward to is what they bought online. I completely understand that. I’ve done it myself and stores like Amazon keep your credit card on file to make it easy to fuel bad purchasing habits. What’s a shopper to do?

It can be a rush swiping that credit card or adding something to your online cart. But if you don’t keep track of what you are spending, you can find yourself racking up credit card debt which isn’t a rush at all. Even more frustrating to some is when your partner is the one doing all the spending.

First, don’t beat yourself (or your partner) up. It can be fun to shop and easy to do it online. What you need to do is set limits. Maybe you can only afford $50 per month for new clothes so you can still have fun with the shopping and make your choices wisely.

What if you don’t like shopping but your partner does? We have found that most relationships have a saver and a spender. Don’t hammer the spender with constant arguments about spending. AGREE on the limits you each get to spend monthly. Each person can spend that agreed upon amount on what they want – that is their “play money”.  Also, don’t dismiss the saver’s concerns. AGREE on a budget for shopping that make sense for your situation. Savers often believe that the spenders are being frivolous or irresponsible by spending the money that could be used for other “useful” things. What savers don’t often see is that shopping can be an emotional outlet. It can be freeing for that person to walk the isles of a store and try things on. Or escape work troubles and buy things on Amazon.

It can also be helpful to look at the root of your shopping habits before you set your budget. Are you bored? Exhausted? Need an escape? Sometimes putting things in your cart is enough to stake the “shopping” craving and you can save them for later if you aren’t 100% sure that you want to buy it.

The bottom line is regardless of who is the spender and who is the saver, you should not completely disregard the other person’s feelings. Agree on how much money you want to spend (or save) on the things that will help you the most. That way, each person can feel comfortable and less anxious about retail therapy.