Do you ever find yourself destroying the evidence after a shopping spree? Even when it is your own money? Too often we women will feel guilty for ‘spending unnecessarily.’
This got me wondering why it is we act this way. For some women, it may be that we are simply conditioned to believe that over-indulgence in shopping is wrong and selfish and that being more prudent is a more respectable way to behave.
But are these feelings merely fuelled by stereotype? Are we so often confronted with the idea of a woman as a frivolous spender in the media that we begin to believe this is what we are even if it’s not the case?
For example, last week I shopped with a friend and she bought herself a new pair of winter boots. This, in our opinions, was a necessary purchase – the weather will change in the coming months and in turn she will need to wear warmer footwear, plus last year’s boots are too worn to survive another winter. Yet, she later told me that she hurried to take the boots out of their box and throw them in the back of her closet to pretend that they were not a new purchase. Thus avoiding any confession of spending money on herself.
I’m trying to understand why it is my friend acted this way. She works hard and contributes to her family’s income and is undoubtedly entitled to treat herself. What is more, I find it hard to believe that purchasing something for herself would have upset her husband.
So why do we tend to be secretive even when spending money on necessary purchases for ourselves? Is it our maternal instinct that tells us we should put others first and only take for ourselves what is absolutely necessary? Or do we feel we have to dispel the stereotype of women as the uncontrollable shopaholic? Either way, many of us come away from a purchase with a distinct sense of guilt.
In my opinion we need to let this feeling go. As long as we are being sensible and keeping track of our finances, treating ourselves is not only acceptable but should be encouraged, in order to maintain a happy and balanced disposition.
It is only when the occasional self-indulgent spend becomes more of a daily routine that we need to worry. The pressure of keeping constant spending a secret from those closest to us can jeopardize a relationship and can arise from a more deep-seeded emotional issue which needs to be addressed. This is where we have to stop and take notice of over-spending and living in denial before it becomes dangerous.
Some things to ask yourself when you get that guilty feeling: Do I really need the item? Would I spend the same on a similar purchase for a family member? Of course if you never get that guilty feeling you might have perfectly normal spending habits or be a compulsive shopaholic – which only your closet full of unworn items will indicate.
However, the tendency for us is often to worry too much about purchases and really this is defeating the purpose and joy of buying new things for yourself. So get things in perspective and develop a happy shopping attitude both whilst shopping and in wearing the goods afterwards.
Share your spending stories with me in the comments section below!
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2 Responses to “Secretive Spending or Frivolous Fun?”
October 11th, 2012 at 11:12 am
I agree totally, Mary!
October 12th, 2012 at 1:34 pm
Excellent article, really felt I could relate to it!