Nothing I'm about to say is profound, and I know it has all been said at least 50129 times (wild guess) before in some similar bout of realization (whether online or in real life). But these are my thoughts and that is all. Anyway, epiphanies are a good thing. Let's not go knocking them.
Desire, after awhile, begins to fade in all facets of life. Certainly in the need to be all things to all people. Definitely in the bedroom. And, for me, buried under thousands in debt, the desire to spend money and acquire new things has all but disappeared.
For illustration, here is the wish list I created mid-December. I actually intended on purchasing everything on it this year (before I took a whiff of the smelling salts and came to my senses):
- Kate Spade Gold Coast Tote: $450
- New Winter Coat: "budgeted" $200
- Additional David Yurman bracelet: $575
- A certain Temperley London dress I'd been eying: approximately $400
- Louis Vuitton Neverful: $750
- Tory Burch Jaden Tote: $500
- Several Rachel Pally Dresses: combined cost of approximately $450
It all adds up to about $3400. If I weren't in debt I could afford it, but even then, let's be serious. Do I really need three new bags? Is any of it essential? Would life suddenly become more interesting/bearable/exciting/stable by owning any of this stuff? More importantly, would owning any of this make me happy? Actually, it's on the contrary.
I won't delve into my story right now which, by the way, sounds so self-important. My story is less "compelling blogger tale that warrants attention" and more "Think Before You Spend - Life Skills 101: How Not to Make Bad Money Decisions (like I did)." Anyway, all these years of charging and acquiring didn't make my life happier or better. They made it worse.
I literally just got back from the post office--had to send off a Marc by Marc Jacobs bag that I sold on Bonanza. I paid for it using credit, carried it for only a week and then let it sit in my closet for almost three years. I don't want to think about the interest I paid on that bag that warranted purchase in the first place. The purse is just one of many items over the past five years that has fared a similar fate. This is at least the fiftieth time I've bought something, let it sit and then sold it for much less than I paid. Dumb, isn't it?
Anyway, I've discovered that not shopping is a lot like cutting sugar out of your diet. The less you consume, the more absent your cravings become. Furthermore, I'm approaching all future purchases the same way I approach eating: is that purse/cupcake really worth the money/calories?
When the day comes that I do pay down my debt and begin consuming again, I know it's going to be different. I want to think before purchasing anything. Stop and think about what I really want. Try things on. Look online for months before deciding what kind of bag I want (I'd gladly take the Mulberry I pictured!) Make sure I'm going to keep whatever it is for years to come and actually use it. Turn selling on eBay/Bonanza into a thing of the past. Be in control.
Don't get me wrong, I still get urges to buy, but they're not nearly as strong or frequent as they used to be. My new desire/obsession? To retire my debt and build savings. Only then will I reward myself with ANYTHING listed above.
So it looks like I'll be living vicariously through other people's fabulous purchases for some time being. Or perhaps I'll just live.