Day 23,706: Finding My Chi with a Chi

I ‘m good for the economy.  I know so, but today, in case there was any doubt, my daughter told me so.  According to Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and The Four Tendencies, I’m considered an over buyer. That’s not one of the actual tendencies, but is a proclivity regardless of tendency. That means if I see something on sale, I buy in multiples.

I currently have enough Spry toothpaste in my house to likely last me the next few years.  On Amazon, it currently sells for an exorbitant $7 per tube. When it was available in Acme, I paid less, but some upcharge to avoid all the chemicals in Crest and other better known brands. It was not a popular item and was quickly reduced to maybe $4 to free up the shelf space. I bought all available tubes at the lower price.  Then, at a more distant Acme, unsold tubes were put in shopping cart in the front of the store and labeled $1!  Yes, I took them all.

You may say I’m a clever, frugal shopper. Not really. Perhaps Spry doesn’t have enough preservatives to last as long as it will take me to get through all the tubes. Then I’ve wasted money. Perhaps, in a year or less I become allured with a new brand?  Then, I’ve again wasted money.

Or not – as seven of my sale tubes are equal in price to one overpriced Amazon tube!  An economist might argue that even if I waste half the tubes, I’m still ahead of the game.

Anyway, that’s not what my daughter meant when she said I was good for the economy. It was not a compliment, nor a criticism. Just a fact. If I see something of interest, I tend to buy it.

Based on my limited grad school economic training, I attribute my spending to  a time/opportunity cost. With limited time as a full-time working woman, I’ve been willing to incur cost.  I also have a fear that at the risk of not buying on sight, I’ll regret the non-purchase when I can’t find the item again. Like a recently released movie, if I wait too long, it’s out of theatres forever. And although I can see it cheaper on demand at home, I’ve missed the movie-going experience.

In reverse, a purchased item can always be returned — with of course,  an additional investment of time. And I have to admit, although I’m good at returns, relatively few items end up going back to the store.

I know:

  • If I don’t buy it immediately, I might not at all.
  • I can generally afford the purchase.
  • I feel like I deserve it.

The last one is the most dangerous of all. The truth is that I’m in the stage of life where I don’t really need much at all. My closet of work clothes and play clothes is over stuffed. My pantry is full. My house is fully furnished.  Any purchase is a luxury, even if it’s from the Dollar Store, where I recently purchased five solar lights that look like fake flowers. They may be tacky.

And yet I buy. It gives me joy. I tend toward smaller purchases, which have the possible effect of chipping away at my ability to indulge in larger purchases. Others save for years to go to China. I save for a week to get cheap but pretty colored wine glasses at TJ Maxx.

This is all to say that I went shopping with my daughter to  Marshalls to ostensibly keep her company while she shopped for jeans and some spring things, guess who left the store spending the most?  Easy question.

I left the store with bars of soap, preservative free hand soap for the kitchen, and a new chisummer hoodie that I can’t wear yet for a few weeks. Then, today, I went back again without her to get a Chi which is a hair straightener.  It was $40 less than at Ulta, where we priced it out yesterday.  I would not have paid the price at Ulta ever. But the Chi brand was highly recommended by both daughters for improved hair care routines.

Related Posts: Percolating Perks on avoiding free & When All Else Fails Change the Hair on the need for more attention to hair care. 

The common theme around my purchases is preservative free while trying to preserve a natural, youthful appearance – both in terms of an up-to-date wardrobe and more timely hair style. Fashion and staying current is the constant challenge. Deciding whether to invest in the latest hoo hah is not. I’m a hoo haher from way back. It comes from being in marketing too long. I admire a great marketing pitch. I’m the soft sell.

Staying Focused on Gun Sanity:  Here’s a purchase that costs more than perhaps it should but goes to a good cause. If you want to get swag to be part of the movement at upcoming Gun Safety rallies, or other community events, consider buying shirts and hats directly from Every Town For Gun Safety. Here’s a link to the web shopping site. Wearing team colors matters. Just think of all the red MAGA hats at Trump rallies and all the pink pussy hats at each of the past two Januaries. If you buy official team tribute rather than investing in an Etsy store, your money goes directly to the cause.