I have come a long way to be able to say this. Adios shopping! Who I am now is a complete turnaround from how I was ten years ago. Back then, I was in my banker job. I was paid well with no financial responsibilities. All the money went to my own expenses. I shopped, I dined, I partied. Whenever I was stressed or unhappy, I would go shopping to make myself feel better. The relief lasted only for a short while, and the misery set in again.
I used retail therapy to comfort myself. I was stressed at work and it felt like I was mad at the money I was getting paid with so I spent a lot of it. I still saved a substantial amount, mind you. But I bought a lot of crap. Clothes, shoes, accessories, electronics, bags and jewelry. You name it, I bought it. Looking back now, the thrill of the hunt of what to buy was what made me happy. After I bought the item, the elated feeling goes away. And you’re left with that empty feeling of what to buy next.
At work, we dressed up well and bought designer shoes and bags. I graduated to expensive watches. It felt like we were trying to keep up with the Joneses, the clients. Who were kidding? They were the clients, they had millions of dollars in their savings account. We were the bankers, it will never be the same.
I kept on buying until I stopped myself around five years ago. I was on a trip and bought five designer handbags. My tax refund alone was enough to buy another handbag. I realized that this wasn’t me. What was I doing? I was ashamed of how I had become. In the last five years I made a conscious effort to curb my inner consumer and buy only what I needed to. I became more discriminating with where I spent my money on. There was a time when I felt ashamed to be seen wearing designer items. I tried to be as low-key as possible. It was a far cry from how I was before. But that was an extreme reaction too.
Would my life be better if I used a Chanel bag compared to a no-name bag? Would I walk better and look better wearing a Christian Louboutin heels compared to heels I bought at Payless Shoe Source. I have to admit, I do have both which I don’t use as much now. They’re reminders for me of how I was in the past. It also helps that I don’t buy as much now since I am dropping sizes in clothes so I didn’t want to buy something that will be too big for me in a month’s time.
I still shop but only for essentials and gifts. I’m more discerning now of what I buy. Do I want it or do I need it? And I don’t do impulse purchases as much. Maybe it’s age. I find that I’d rather keep my money rather then buy something that I know I will lose interest in a few days later.
Adios retail therapy! You’ve helped me through my twenties and thirties. It’s been good knowing you. We’ve had some fun times together but it’s time to move on. I am a mature, responsible adult now and I choose to make myself happy in other ways.