A targeted goal

target sucker

I came up with my first resolution ever.

Don’t be an overspending sucker at Target!

I know a lot of people plan to save more, pay down debt and get their finances in order. Those are great goals. I haven’t set one of those in a few years, because it’s not an area I feel I really need to work on. I’ve been putting away money for retirement since my early 20s through work and on my own. I didn’t get a credit card until I was 24, much to my father’s chagrin. He would’ve preferred I never got one. If I carry a balance on a credit card, it’s almost always been low enough to pay off with money I actually have. I’m not debt free though thanks to my car and school.

Target is different. Almost every time I visit, I go in with a list and come out with items on the list along with several other things I didn’t “need” until I saw them on the shelf. I’m a sucker for Target’s shelf psychology, or how stores arrange items to maximize consumer spending. (If any retail psychologists or marketing researchers need a 30-something college-educated Latina to fit a quota for a survey or focus group, sign me up! I’ve participated in consumer research for cars, and it was a neat experience that paid well for the time involved.)

I went shopping at Target today. I didn’t go with a list, but stuck to the goal I made up after my trip. Sean and I spent $105. We bought groceries, necessary toiletries, and dumbbells. Sean picked up a space heater for his bedroom.

Strategies to stick to my sucker free goal:

  1. Always make a list. (I didn’t do that today.)
  2. Stick to the list.
  3. You can go off the list if the item is needed. Example: I realize I need dish soap while at the store, but forgot to include it on the list.
  4. If possible, shop with cash and leave credit and debit cards at home/in the car.

8 thoughts on “A targeted goal

  1. I went to Target yesterday, too. I did really well and came out at $67 and that included $25 for shelves. I’m pretty good at resisting Target and only go there about once every other month. My issue is groceries. I never make a list and just buy whatever. Due to that I go the store every couple of days because I always forgot something. It’s gotten out of hand.

  2. Liz Beck says:

    I agree you have to becareful how much you spend. However, I buy the majority of my groceries and household items at Target because the prices are better then the majority of places. Plus, when you use the Target Debit card you save an additional 5% and I can designate a school of choice to earn rewards from my purchases. So everyone one wins. And yes… I shop with a list and stick to it. I spend on average about $70 on groceries for a family of five and get the meat at a grocery store because that is cheaper on the norm, fruits and veggies from Henry’s. I can usually shop for my family on $85 to $100 a week. A list is diffenently the best way to go! Try the Target debit card though….every savings helps! Happy New Year!

  3. Oh man, Target gets me every time. I’m totally a sucker there! I’ve been able to avoid Target because it’s not anywhere near my home thank god, but when I drive by a Target, I can’t resist the urge to pull over. I’ve started planning my trips to target by making a list like you said and checking their website for coupons. I’ve actually been able to get some things for free by doing this. Try it out and good luck on your quest to not overspend at Target.

  4. I used to be worse with this, but since I got on a “saving money” kick a while back, I always try to think, “Do I NEED this?” whenever I pick something up at Target (or anywhere else for that matter).

    I’m kind of curious as to what were your downfalls in the past. For me, it was clothing, those trail mixes, granolas, and cheap makeup.

  5. I bought so much random crap at Target yesterday. Even considered buying a wrap dress from the clearance aisle (only $8!!!), until I realized I was attracted to the cheap price, not the dress itself.

    I’ve decided not to buy any new running clothes, with the exception of shoes (and maybe socks). I have more cute running outfits than actual outfits, and I figure I’ll get a new race shirt with most of the races I do this year anyway.

  6. I definitely have similar issues at Target. I have basically had to ban myself from going anywhere near the clothing clearance racks.

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