This post was featured in the following carnivals:
Carnival of Retirement at Money Q & A
Yakezie Carnival at 20 and Engaged
Carnival of MoneyPros at Sweating The Big Stuff
Canadian Finance Carnival at Canadian Finance Blog
Totally Money Blog Carnival at Skint In The City
Carnival of Financial Planning at Frugal Zeitgeist
Financial Carnival for Young Adults at 20′s Finances
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at Money Crashers
Festival of Frugality at Budgeting with the Bushmans
If you think that shopaholics want to go shopping all the time, you are wrong.
The urges to run to the blissful place that I call The Mall come and go in waves. Usually it happens on days when I am stressed and feel vulnerable. Sometimes it happens when I feel self-content and want to extend that feeling of happiness by browsing through an endless supply of clothes and shoes.
I am not one of those people who can window shop. If I go to the mall, my goal is to spend money. I don’t set a budget for a shopping trip because it never works. There is always something – a pair of jeans, a raincoat, a scarf – that will throw my shopping budget out the window.
Last Saturday the oh-so-familiar longing washed over me, and I almost ran out to the car to drive to the mall. But I was able to stop myself. Then the question came to my mind: what lies beneath my spending compulsions?
Advertising might affect some people, but it has no effect on me. I read magazines, and I watch TV. I see advertising everywhere. When I do see something that I like, I cannot help but analyze. I wonder how much Photoshop was used on Julia Roberts’ face to advertise an insanely expensive moisturizer?
Do I want to have flawless skin? Of course, I do! Am I going to pay hundreds of dollars for that cream. Hell no!
I don’t believe in Photoshop, and I strongly believe in genetics, serious use of sunscreen and avoiding the sun. I take every single advertisement with a HUGE grain of salt.
Emotional appeal of advertising does not have any affect on my spending. Not because I am some narcissistic and ego-maniacal person. I suspect that every single ad represents an exaggeration and some distortion of truth.
I don’t care that the Joneses wear Louboutin shoes and drive a Lamborghini. I might look at those shoes, getting into some state of coma. I might even lose control over my mouth muscles and drool a little.
However, status symbols, especially the ones that denote association with wealth have no effect on me. I don’t give a rat’s patootie if you drink wine that sells for $350 a bottle, live in a mansion with golden door knobs and swim in a pool with dolphins. No one can define the way I look, the way I dress, and, most importantly, the way I live my life.
I do want to have nice things. But I don’t care what my rich neighbors or friends enjoy. I realize that there will always be people who have more that I do. It doesn’t bother me. Things do not define us, remember?
I don’t bargain hunt. Now, don’t you shake your head dismissively at me! I declared right from the bat that I am not a thrift store shopper, and I am not a frugal person. But if I go into my favorite store and see a jacket I have wanted forever on sale, I will buy it, and I will be insanely happy about it. Who doesn’t love a good sale after all?
However, most of the time I will not buy an item just because it is on sale. Somehow it always seems to me that the best looking clothes in my size never make it to a sale’s rack. Price is important to me, don’t misunderstand me. But I will not go out of my way to look for a sale.
Feeling depressed, stressed and vulnerable? Are you hurting or experiencing an emotional meltdown? Feeling angry and want to unwind? Why not go and get something nice then?
I am definitely in this category. The worst part of it is when I am feeling sad, I always spend more on myself than when I am shopping on any other given day. On my sad and stressed days my thinking is extra self-centered, and I go for extra self-indulgence.
Before I immersed myself into blogging what seems to be on a part-time job basis, I did not have a hobby that would absorb me too much. I did like writing, and I wrote quite a bit. But there were no deadlines, no “I have to” thinking. I had a pretty flexible and undemanding schedule.
From time to time I would get bored with writing and myself. I would get in the car and drive to the mall in order to fill in the time that I had on my hands. Lately, it is not an issue anymore because I simply don’t have time to even get bored. Between my work, blogging and my family life, I barely have time to a take shower.