Confession: I’m a serial returner.
I do it at department stores, cosmetic stores, Costco, and Target. Here’s how the psychology works for me: Instead of hemming and hawing about whether I can afford/need/want something, I just buy it. Or rather, I buy it all.
Then I tell myself, “Hey, I can return it later.” And I usually do.
While I don’t stare down heaping credit card bills each month, my constant returning costs me other ways—namely, my time. I spend way too much time returning crap. And I’m always double checking receipts and credit card statements to make sure I’m credited properly.
I’ve tried to stop. Really. But I can’t help myself. Walking out of a store with a huge bag of merchandise makes me feel good.
When a giant box from my favorite online store is delivered to me, I revert to a 7-year-old on Christmas morning, tearing through the paper and tape.
But unlike true shopping addicts, I don’t have any financial guilt—because I’m not really overspending. And I’m not playing dirty pool, by switching price tags or using items and then returning them.
Still, I feel like I’m doing something wrong.
My shopping bulimia has gotten worse over the past few years. Maybe it’s my antidote to frugal fatigue.