The 7 Deadly Shopping Sins Gabi Conti

I blame my debt on Mall Madness.

Thanks to the shopping themed board game, I grew up thinking, “clearance” or “sale” meant “spend all your money or else you’ll lose!” Which is the only way I can explain my growing collection of skinny jeans (they were ALL on sale!).

As I scroll through my bank statements, I see a pattern: I blow a lot of money on really silly things. Silly things that can best be categorized as the Seven Deadly Shopping Sins.

Here’s what I “sinfully” waste money on and solutions on how I (and maybe you, if you can relate) can save and be saved (which I know I will fail to follow).

1. Lust – Lattes

LUST

Problem: Nothing says “I have my life together” like a tasteful Instragram of a heart-shaped latte. Or for extra points – latte art (pictured). But then you become addicted. You long for it. You HAVE to have the frothy milk, bitter espresso and the Instagram-worthy design. Black coffee is so blah in comparison. Only problem: heart shaped lattes are pretty expensive and can run about $6 a pop. If you have an addictive personality, like myself, soon you will find yourself spending upwards of $38.43 on lattes a week. Thanks a latte, latte.

Solution: Um. Get a coffeemaker for $20 and spend about $5 on coffee a week, Princess.

2. Gluttony – Whole Foods

GLUTTONY

Problem: I cannot walk into a Whole Foods without dropping at least $37.65. I over indulge, I binge. If this were for a week’s worth of groceries, then yes, this would be normal. But nope, it’s usually just for dinner… for one. And this happens maybe three to four times a week. Granted, my dinner is typically assorted sushi, coconut water, edamame and a mini bottle of wine (because I feel less bad about drinking a mini bottle than a full one) and maybe a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, which is now $5.34 a pint. #SingleAndLovingIt

Solution: Learn self control in the grocery store. Or, I dunno… cook at home!

3. Greed – Juice

GREED

Problem: Pressed Juicery is my kryptonite. There was a point when I was commuting from Santa Monica (okay, West LA, but I say Santa Monica because it sounds classier) to Hollywood for work, and the only thing that saved my sanity was stopping by a Pressed Juicery on the way. I needed it. I had to have it! All of it!!! If a juice is $7, it must be life changing (and it is). But I was spending about $35.17 on juice a week, which is a little cray?

Solution: Get a big thing of juice at the grocery store (not Whole Foods) and take it to go.

4. Sloth – Valet

SLOTH

Problem: Parking in LA sucks. But most of the time, if you look (or put in some effort), you can park for free. Due to my laziness and terrible parking skills, I usually valet, because “Who needs to learn to parallel park when everywhere you go has valet??” (SO true, Cher, so true). If you valet almost everywhere you go, this adds up, as valet can cost anywhere from $5 – $10.

Solution: Only valet when street parking is definitely not an option.

5. Wrath – Drinks

Wrath

Problem: I’m Italian. So sometimes I get angry. Rather than taking out my aggression Jersey Shore style, I’ll go to my local watering hole and have a (few) drink(s). Only problem: most drinks in West Hollywood are anywhere between $10-20 a glass. And this can add up.

Solution: Drink at home? Or maybe find a healthy way to take out my anger, like boxing or just running it out at the gym.

6. Envy – Manicures

ENVY

Problem: I have nail envy. I see a pretty manicure and I wish it was mine. I get jealous. Only issue: manicures are pretty expensive and can add up. There was a point in my life where I was really lonely, and I would fill my empty Saturdays at the nail salon. I’d go every weekend because I had nothing better to do, and also because I hate the smell of nail polish remover. My manicurist, Kevin, would always ask me if I had a boyfriend, to which I’d respond. “Kevin, pretty sure if I had a boyfriend I’d be at brunch with him right now” (not sure how relationships work). Anyway, this weekly manicure/pedicure would put me out about $42.34 a week. Thank God this was before nail art, or I would really be broke.

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  1. My sin is buying things on sale that I would never, ever buy full price. Because, you know, it’s such a deal! Until it sits in my closet forever. Oh, and I don’t try stuff on, so that combined with my sales-sin means a lot of clothes I never even wear once.

  2. Barnes & Noble is my drug of choice. Though I am an avid reader, I do currently have at least 50 books that I haven’t read. Yet, that doesn’t stop me from heading into that big inviting beautiful store and starting in the Biography section and not calling it quits until I’ve found (another) cookbook in the Culinary section. BUT BOOKS ARE DECORATIVE! Yeah, keep telling yourself that…

    • I as well have no business in book stores. None. I will go for a specific book, and come out spending $100. Luckily, I read like a maniac so don’t have much I haven’t read. But I also dont get rid of them. I need to just make the largest wall in the house a book shelf :)

    • Lettie I am the same! I have so many unread books — and not only are books decorative they’re also a great way of showing people you know how to read.

  3. Ummm…can you say, Tar-jay? I MUST go in with a list, or I end up spending over $100 on…wait, where’s my hello kitty humidifier?

  4. Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Forever 21. There is something about a Razzmatazz in the afternoon and an iced coffee in the morning that make life so much easier! And why does Forever 21 constantly have new cute styles? I could go in there on the daily and still find something new and exciting that I will wear once and never touch again.

  5. One Word: Sephora. :/ When I earned VIB status this year, I cringed a bit. Then put on some lipstick.

    I don’t think you should feel guilty about Karaoke. That sounds like your entertainment and really all things considered it’s cheap.

    Whole Foods – I hear you girl! I cannot walk into that place without putting together a gourmet dinner for myself. After I pay $30-$40 I think, geez, I should have just went out to a nice sit-down dinner and it would have been the same or cheaper.

    Valet parking – I don’t have that problem in NorCal. Not as many opportunities for valet. Plus I tend to enjoy the excitement of driving around looking for a parking space when none exist. Maybe I’m just strange? (Ok, clearly I’m strange.)

    • Adena — you’re not strange! You’re right there’s nothing like the rush you get from finding free parking!

  6. I’m temporarily in a long distance relationship and we drive back and forth on alternate weekends. Taking the interstate costs me $20 in toll for the round trip. I could take back roads to avoid the toll, but it adds at least half an hour to the three hour trip and I usually just want to get there before 10 pm on Friday night.

  7. Drugstore nail polish!

    • YESSS!!!
      We have this really cool nail polish brand that only costs like 2€ and I can never go to the drug store without getting a bottle. I now started painting things with all the polishes that look good in a bottle but make my fingers look as if they’re attached to a a corpse. that has been floating in a river. for weeks.

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