I am no different. Yet, we have to stop the senseless guilt and put to practice some ideas to offset the remorse:
* keep the receipts so you can return the items? That is not always practical because that would mean a hassle or getting around to it before the return policy expires.
* give it as a gift to someone else?
Well, sure that means you are passing your guilt on to someone else (who doesn't suspect the reason behind it.)
* donate it to charity?
Not a bad idea. Give to someone in need who may like it as much as you do
* juggle the bills to hide the evidence?
Postponing or setting aside financial commitments is not the right way to deal with it.
* tear the tags off and hide the receipts?
That was a trick that my former mother-in-law showed me when I was engaged and we went shopping. Her imparted advice was: when your husband asks if you're wearing something new, you say: "No, not at all" (because you make the heck sure you have worn it to work before)
True story to demonstrate the lengths we go to hide the evidence of our shopping excursion:
A few years ago, my husband and I were relaxing in the family room when my stepdaughter came home and, like she usually did, came in to say a few words before she would scurry into the basement. This time was a bit different because she was holding a shopping bag. She held it up and asked: "did someone put this in the recycling bin?"
Well, yes I was. Guilty that is. I had gone shopping and with intention of hiding the evidence when I got home, placed the bag in the blue recycling bin. Later on, when hubby fell asleep on the couch, I would begin my covert operation of sneaking out to the recycling bin and bringing it in to the under the guise of darkness.
I would say I have relaxed the covert operations for the most part. Recognizing that it was a form of nondisclosure and dishonesty. It broke the rules of "practicing the Golden Rule" (treat others as you wish to be treated yourself).
Now, I will consciously put aside a small budget every month to allow myself to succumb to shopping fever minus the guilt. It is a whole heck-of-alot easier.