Going to the Mall (aka Budget Wrecker)- How Often Do You Do It?

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I know that as Canadians and Americans, we like to hang out at the mall.  We must, because otherwise there wouldn't be so many people in them every time I venture in.  (I think… “what recession??” when I venture into the mall).  I used to work in a mall when I was working at a department store in high school and university.  I know how dangerous they can be- I think I was spending a lot of what I was making!!  Shopping on my breaks.  Taking advantage of the sales in the shops.  So I would be perusing the shops at the mall at least twice a week.

Nowadays, I go maybe… a few times a year?  I don't go unless I absolutely need something (or when I need to Christmas present shop).  I really can't window shop. I can't (especially when there are end of season sales tempting me).

That's why, when today, Mr. youngandthrifty wanted to get a haircut at the mall, and asked me to come with him, I thought “ughhh!! I will have to test my will power again!”   Initially, I thought I would do some more grocery shopping for an hour (but I did some earlier that day already and got everything I needed for the week.. basically I was lying to myself- giving myself an excuse to go to the mall) so I ended up checking out some of the clothing shops.

Okay, whoever said buying things during Boxing Week (our After Christmas sale) hasn't really seen the sales that they have during the last week or two of January.  That's when everything is marked down 50-70% off.  I couldn't resist.

I caved and parted with some of my hard-earned cash for a skirt and top at Aritzia (total $80).  And I blamed it on Mr. youngandthrifty.  Lol…Real mature of me, huh?

I wonder how often people go to the mall (aka Budget Wrecker)?

Obviously there are several factors to consider in the phenomenon of Mall Visiting and Material Purchasing:

  • Accessibility: How close is the mall to you? Do you work at a mall?  Is your hairdresser at the mall?
  • Bait: Is there a sale going on?  (I had an email earlier from one of my favourite stores that said they marked things down 30-70% off)
  • Are you able to Window Shop:  If you're not, then you're like me.  Better off staying away from the mall.
  • Weather: Maybe the weather has something to do with mall visiting patterns- if it's cold or rainy, perhaps there is more inclination to go to the mall because there isn't “anything else” better to do.
  • Service: I'm sure many studies have been done about whether “good service” from customer service personnel leads to more impulse buying.  Another factor is whether one “tries on” things or not and the amount of help one receives from the sales people.  (More friendly help likely equates to ka-ching-ness from the store)

I'm curious to know how often you go to the mall?  Once a year? Once a month? Once a week?

Are you able to “just window shop” or do you usually end up buying something?  Do you feel guilty about your purchases like I do? =)

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Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

4 Comments

  1. MD @ Studenomics on January 25, 2010 at 8:34 am

    I went to the mall on Friday evening. I parked right beside the store I wanted to go to. Walked right in. Bought my shit. Walked right out the door. I love it.



  2. Lauren on January 25, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    ah! the dreaded mall! i’ve begun a new project where i’m only allowed to spend $100 a week for everything i need, so i’m guessing my days of cruising the stores for overpriced headbands are over. i’ll be sure to read more for some tips on frugality!



  3. young on January 25, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Lol, studenomics, you’re super efficient- get in get out. no dawdling, AND you don’t clutter your life with stuff. Usually I’m like that too, if there’s something I’m shopping for. But if not, then the dawdling/time wastage begins!



  4. young on January 25, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Cool project, Lauren! Are you allowed to “bank” your leftovers? (e.g. if you only spent $90 this week, are you allowed to have $110 next week to spend?). I went over to your blog to check out your project and my first thought is: ack, $8 a day for parking at work! That’s like 40% of your allowance on parking! (koodos to you for doing that!). Lol, overpriced headbands =) At least those are in a relatively good price range (better than overpriced shoes, or jeans, or $45 T-shirts!).



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