In my little “About Me” page, I mention how I’m not exactly the traditional spender. I don’t really shop for clothes… or so I used to claim! As I’ve recently noted in my analysis of last year’s spending, I’ve spent nearly $300 at my guilty pleasure retail outlet: Express.
I used to only go to Express when I’d have gift cards after the holidays or my birthday, buy new slacks for work or some new sweaters, and call it a successful trip. I wouldn’t go buy clothes anywhere else, usually, except for Express and would only go once or twice a year. Period.
But, in the past couple of years, I started getting tons of e-mails and coupons in the mail. I signed up for their rewards program (which is free, at least!). Next thing I knew, I was clicking on every e-mail. “Take 40-60% off fall sweaters until midnight tonight!” Sign me up! Suddenly my small collection of 2 pairs of work pants, 2 shirts, and a sweater turned into a collection of at least 3 dresses, a skirt or two, at least 3 work pants, probably close to 10 shirts, and a sweater or two. Ugh. What happened to me??!!
Answer: their marketing worked. Hook. Line. Sinker.
I don’t blame Express for this at all. It’s just how things are. Now that I’ve been employed by a consumer goods company for over a year, my eyes are wide open to the tricks that marketers play in their adverts – be it e-mail, snail mail, or other media. It sucked me in. I fell for it. Shame on me.
Again, it’s not Express. I get, in the average week, over 30 e-mails from…
- clothing stores (Express, Old Navy, Victoria’s Secret, H&M)
- electronics stores (Best Buy, primarily)
- media (Netflix, Redbox)
- online stores (Tradesy, Etsy, TouchOfModern, NFL Shop, Sports Illustrated’s online store)
- restaurants (Starbucks, Panera, Godiva, Coldstone)
I’d say 80% of the time, I’d immediately delete them… but the other 20% of the time, the idea of getting sweaters for cheap from Express became enticing. “I only have until midnight! I must go now!” One sweater turns into two, which turns into a dress, which turns into leggings… you know how it goes.
So, I did something about it. I did something that was always an option, but was never taken.
I unsubscribed. I scrolled down to the teeny tiny text at the bottom of the email and clicked “unsusbscribe”. So far I’ve unsubscribed from every single one, and the time it takes to complete my morning routine of sorting through my two dozen or so e-mails has been drastically reduced, becoming more efficient.
Will this help curb my craving of buying those kick-ass looking running pants from Express? Time will tell. (But I really, really hope it does!)
As of writing this post on Monday night, I have miraculously not tapped into my budget for the week. However, I my first real hurdle is going to happen on Friday: I’m hosting a movie night and need to cook dinner for my guests; thus, a shopping trip may be in order. Eep! Anyway, for now…
Weekly Allowance: $60.00
Weekly Allowance Remaining: $60.00