Falling off the wagon

Posted September 14th, 2005 by Penny Wise

Have been a bit quiet on the blog front this week - probably because I'm too embarrassed to admit that I had a rubbish week saving-wise! After last week's new fish tank expense I already knew that I was going to have to tighten my belt, but then it all went a bit pear-shaped. One of my vices that I had thought had been long buried and forgotten reared its ugly head - The Warehouse. I love The Warehouse and when my addiction was at its worst, I was spending anything up to $400 a month there - though I couldn't tell you what on! Just stuff really, and that's the whole problem; The Warehouse is full of so much stuff, that blissful hours pass by in what seems like minutes and before I know it, my trolley is full of 'must have' bargain items that I never knew I needed before, my bank account is significantly worse off as a result and all dockets must be meticulously destroyed before Noel gets home.

Since I began writing my blog, I had been so frugal that I had totally forgotten that The Warehouse had ever been a financial millstone around my neck. Don't get me wrong - I know as well as anyone else that it's also one of the first places a smart shopper should visit in order to get a bargain. For months I had been really proud of myself - I had survived my visits by writing a list beforehand and only heading for, and buying what was on that list. Some months I hadn't even set foot in there at all! So what went wrong? Call it retail therapy. Some people turn to chocolate when things go wrong; I turn to The Warehouse.

On visiting my GP last week, a suspicious lump was found and I was referred immediately for a mammogram. An appointment was made at the radiography clinic for the following day and I drove an hour to the city. On arriving at the clinic, I sat and waited for 45 minutes past my appointment time before someone appeared and advised me that they wouldn't be performing my mammogram after all, as they considered I was too young at 32. Never mind the fact that my mother has had breast cancer, with her first lump at age 27 and two aunts of mine have also passed away from it. I wonder if Kylie Minogue was given the same fob-off, was she considered too young as well? However, all was not lost, as I was cheerfully told that thanks to my appalling family history, I would qualify for regular mammograms in three years, when I hit 35. How reassuring. I was hacked off to say the least, but not being the most assertive person as I have mentioned, my lump and I left the clinic without a word, before heading straight for the nearest Warehouse and spending up large.

I struggled with it, I really did! I trailed around the store for ages before putting the steam cleaner and the cordless vacuum cleaner back on the shelf (a sterling decision I felt, seeing as they both had over $25 off). I felt much better for exerting at least a little willpower but still managed to grab a dozen other items, including three music CD's and a kids' electronic game before heading off to the checkout and shelling out $178. Considering I was in such a miserable state of mind to begin with, my needless splurge did absolutely nothing to help the situation, of course it only made it worse. The sleepness night which followed was due more to me being racked with guilt about my silly spending than my dodgy lump. In my haste to put the horrible clinic scenario behind me and feel better, I had forgotten all about Fiona's Six Steps to Paradise. If you have never read this, go to 'Newsletter Archives' on the left of the Home Page and scroll down until you get to the October 2004 newsletter - there you will find the Six Steps to Paradise. Those steps alone changed the way I shop forever. I printed them out and drive my friends and my mother mad reeling them off. Maybe I should have kept a copy of them in my bag, as if I had had them handy in The Warehouse, I would have remembered Step 4 - 'Is it worth the bother?' - because as soon as I paid for my purchases, I could see that it really wasn't worth the bother at all.

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