It started when I was 18. I had a friend who was madly into Victoria’s Secret lingerie and clothing. Here, my fascination began.
For the next eight years, my shopping addiction with Victoria’s Secret increased. I went from purchasing items only during their semi-annual sale to purchasing new bras, lingerie, undies, and clothing every month. At the height of my spending, I opened an Angel card account to “save” money on my orders.
I was a slave to their advertising as well as their products—sparkly bras, lacy panties, and stretchy, comfortable yoga pants that somehow promoted sexiness. How was all this possible? With lots of Photoshop, marketing geniuses and a deep unhappiness with my own body.
My break with Victoria’s Secret finally happened when I realized bras were doing my two beloved girls more harm than good. I quit wearing them cold turkey last November.
So, with all this money spent and a new credit card to my name, how was I able to recover from my addiction and get some of that money back? It seemed hopeless. But I overcame my Victoria’s Secret shopping addiction. And you can quit yours, too! You might not be a Victoria’s Secret hound like I was, but I guarantee you’re buying something you don’t need every month.
Here’s how you can quit your addiction and refund yourself!
How I Recovered from a Victoria’s Secret Shopping Addiction (and made money) …
Uncover Hidden Motivations for Your Purchases
People tend to associate money with happiness. When we’re in debt, we’re miserable. When we’re spending, we’re happy. What motivates your purchases?
Although Millennials are more likely than other segments of the population to give their money to companies that care, we’re also more susceptible to marketing. This marketing takes what we hate about ourselves and gives us a way to love it. For me, I hated my DD-sized breasts. Sparkling jewels and G-strings made me feel more like a woman and less like a big-busted freak.
What’s your monthly budget going toward? Realize why you’re spending this money because it’s never for the reason you think—stop before you shop!
Question Every Purchase You Make
That yellow, cheeky-cut, ruffled bikini bottom seemed like such a steal at $16! That butterfly-print bra—well, of course, I needed that. With two pairs of matching panties. I truly felt like I needed these items.
When you begin questioning your purchases, you cultivate your thinking for uncovering the hidden motivations we’ve already identified about your purchases. The one question that should haunt you is: ‘Do I really need this?’ Ask yourself this question before every purchase—yes, even food!
Inventory Time—Get Rid of It
When your break happens—as it will when you begin cultivating self-awareness about your purchases–see where your finances are going. Begin feeling more like a person and less like a consumer—it’s time to go through your stuff.
Find everything you bought from that company. Chances are, you have way too many items. I found ridiculous amounts of panties, yoga pants, bras, lingerie, and swimsuits—they all were from Victoria’s Secret.
Discover what you really need. Do I love their yoga pants? Of course I do. Do I need 15 pairs? Of course I don’t. Make a pile of the things you do not really need or do not genuinely love and let them go.
Make Friends with eBay
By letting them go, of course, I mean sell them on eBay. Those brand-name items sell for great prices! After sentimentally hanging on to my bras for months, I finally was able to sell them. Might as well make money off of this stuff, right?
What I Learned
Of course, I didn’t make back what I spent at Victoria’s Secret by selling my unused items on eBay. But here’s what I did get back:
- My consciousness. I became aware of my purchases as well as my motivations for making such purchases.
- Some space and happiness. Getting rid of stuff feels great. You feel much less weighted down and much more free. My life—and mind—feels less cluttered now.
- Future money. Being aware of how much of my money I was giving to a billion-dollar company for items I didn’t really need seems ludicrous to me now. But I did save myself future money by breaking this habit and initiating a process that will allow me to save much more money for my future.
Spending money isn’t nearly as glamorous as saving it, and my breasts are not any more attractive with butterflies and sequins. Question your purchases. Uncover your inner motivations. Sell your unneeded stuff and start fresh!
What about you? Do you have a shopping addiction when it comes to certain things or stores? What steps are you planning to take to break the addiction?
Jenn Ryan is a freelance writer and recovering Victoria’s Secret addict who happens to be passionate about natural health. Yet, she finds her curiosity about life leads her to learn about and love many other things! Find out more about Jenn and her work at The Green Writing Desk.
P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp! SpendingFastBootcamp.com
My addiction with Victoria’s Secret started in the late 90s with a friend giving me coupons. Back then, VS had a full clothing and swimsuit line in addition to lingerie. I would buy all three throughout the year. I would say, I got the most value out of their clothes since I did buy a lot of career and casual items that got good use.
When it comes to bras and underwear , I bought way more than I ever needed. I started selling clothes on eBay consistently about five years ago, and I counted 50 pairs of underwear that I had NEVER worn, still new with tags that I would want to sell (don’t know how many I had in total). I probably had about half that in new and gently used bras. I started putting it all on eBay including some clothing items from VS I never really wore.
I am down to 10 pairs of underwear and 5 bras that are still listed on eBay. I have some other pairs that I didn’t want to part with when I first started selling, but as I go through my clothes several times a year, I keep adding to the pile of things I want to sell.
Nowadays, when I buy new items (all categories), I am really conscious of what I buy and if I really need it because being addicted to VS was just a component of an overall shopping addiction that I have come to realize in the last 5 years I suffer from. One thing I have learned though, is if you can afford the items you aren’t considered to have an addiction. I was always able to afford what I bought, but I still considered myself addicted to shopping.
Thank you for your article! It is always nice to know you aren’t alone. Your comments about being happier, having more space, and being more aware are all things I have experienced as well. I am still purging unnecessary things from my life as it is a continual process. It’s funny how something that takes a few seconds to buy takes up space in your life for a lot longer than it should.
Vonnie, I appreciate and thank you for sharing not only your experience but also your thoughts and reflections looking back.
I agree it doesn’t stop being a problem only because you can afford it. I’m glad you’ve been able to sell so many on eBay.
Are you in our Spending Fasters Facebook group?! We would love to have you there!! Here’s the link: SpendingFastersGroup.com
And more power to you!