From Shopaholic to Saver

Many of us spend too much money on things we don’t need, but we don’t always know why. It’s easy to get a quick fix from retail therapy, but before we know it, our hard-earned money is gone. Oftentimes, when we engage in a “shopaholic” lifestyle or sporadic shopping sprees, we still experience feelings of emptiness, but to make it worse, we now have debt, too.

Khanmany was a shopaholic who turned everything around. She is active duty Navy and shares, “I was spending too much on things I didn't need. I was going shopping for no reason and was trying to fill a void. I was running up every credit card I owned to include Victoria's Secret, Military Star, Navy Federal, TJ Maxx, JCPenney, Macy's, USAA, and was only paying the minimum payments.”

Khanmany wasn’t purchasing items just for herself—she bought gifts for others in hopes of receiving love in return. Unfortunately, she realized that there was no reciprocity in her relationships, and began to feel used. This experience caused Khanmany to evaluate why she felt that spending money would lead to happiness because it rarely did.

In essence, learning to save helped save Khanmany.

Spending to Fill a Void

Khanmany was spending excessively out of a desire to feel happy. She explains, “I was splurging on relationships when I didn’t even love myself. I thought making others happy would make me happy. I began fighting with the people I was in a relationship with, my friends, and everyone I thought that loved me, until I realized I was enabling them to use me because I didn't love myself.”

To add insult to injury, Khanmany was a victim of catfishing. This is a scam where someone is lured into a relationship by someone with a fictious online persona, who is looking for personal financial gain. This was a difficult and expensive lesson to learn. Before she knew it, Khanmany owed at least $30,000 in credit card debt and had a few personal loans as well.

It was time for Khanmany to take a long, hard look at herself and her habits. She finally asked, “Do you love yourself? Do you want to live?” She realized that love didn’t equal money and that her worth was invaluable.

Realizing that those around her didn’t have her best interests at heart, she put an end to some relationships. Khanmany explains, “I stopped being around those people that were a burden in my life and that weight lifted off my shoulders. I knew that I would be better off and even though it still took years and years, I started to work out and work on myself.”

Khanmany’s Favorite Savings Tips

Fortunately, Khanmany’s mindset has shifted when it comes to earning, saving, spending, and self-worth.

At home, she recommends being thoughtful and unplugging electronics when you leave, turning off all lights when not in use, taking short showers, prepping meals for two and three weeks at a time, and using space heaters versus heating the entire house.

Khanmany recommends always comparing prices and using coupons when shopping. She shares, “Dollar Store is my Holy Grail, and I use the Ibotta and Receipt Hog app. I’ve gotten almost $400 back!” When she is done with items, Khanmany sells clothes to Poshmark and Mercari, and posts an online Facebook garage sale every quarter. “I invite all my friends so they can make money, too,” she adds. 

Loving Herself into Financial Stability

By changing her mindset, realizing her worth, and gaining a new social circle, Khanmany turned her life around. “I started to pay off my debt and now I own two houses. I have no other debt and almost a perfect credit score.” 

Khanmany advises to always be prepared so you don’t have to splurge, and always be selfless. She has now embraced a life free of unhealthy relationships, clutter, and debt. She shares, “I like to be minimal because it makes me feel free. I love myself so much, and I am so happy.”

Want to receive motivation and inspiration to save? Take the Military Saves Pledge today, and visit militarysaves.org for more tips and resources.

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