Spending Money and how it makes us feel

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spending money

Spending Money and how it makes us feel

How do you feel about spending money? How does it make you feel when you go out on a shopping trip and come back home laden down with bags from your favourite shops?

For me as a man I don’t like going any where near shops unless it’s to buy food and even then, I am in, grab food, pay and high tail it out of there.

The whole trip could be over in a matter of seconds, i would make a hummingbird proud.

A few years ago, I really needed a new jacket, well at least my wife said that I did. I had not had one in years, or at least I had not had a decent one in years and I used to freeze in the winters so I decided to try and find myself a jacket that I liked and one which would prevent me from getting hypothermia.

So off to the shops I went. Now remember I am someone that gets vertigo in shops that I dislike them so much.

Soon after squirreling through all the men’s wear shops and departments stores  in my local shopping centre I managed to find a jacket which I liked, it was on sale, not by much but it was on sale. Even though it was on sale the price tag was well beyond what I had intended to spend but I looked like a jacket that would last me a few years.

So, home I went to think about it, and think about it, and….well you get the idea. I did a lot of thinking, trying to justify why I should buy it, it seemed to me like a lot of money and anyway it’ll be spring soon, so it’d be a waste of money I reasoned.

This went on for a few weeks and I thought, why should I have to freeze every winter, just get the damn jacket.

Off to the shops I went to purchase the jacket. I think I bought it while it was still on sale and the shop assistant assured me that if I changed my mind, I could return it no questions asked provided it was in the same condition even though it was on sale.

That was over 9 years ago and guess what, I still have the jacket and still wear it each winter, I look after it like it was my first born.

What is it about some of us that love to shop and other like myself that the mere mention of shopping makes us physically ill and drains us of all energy?

My wife and daughters on the other hand will think nothing of spending the entire day browsing endless displays of identikit clothes all 0.00001% different shade of some primary colour. (Sorry, as a man, I only see primary colours, any thing else is a smudge)

They come back from the shops claiming to have secured a bargain, 20% off, 35% off, even 50% off if you can believe such a deal could even exist. I glaze over as they show me their latest spoils.

Why do bargains mean so much to some people, look at Black Friday. The one day in the year when people will lose their sanity for the chance to bag another 60 inch T.V or some other useless gadget that’s just going to end up in the back of the cupboard or the bottom of the wheelie bin? Why does the allure of a discount drive some people to the point of insanity?

Personally, if I don’t need it then regardless of the price I don’t really want it. It has to fulfil a need not a want, if it is not functional then I would not look twice at it.

I think when people see that something has been discounted a switch flips in their brains which makes them loose the ability to process information in a logical manner.

I have always thought that if someone stuck a “50% off” sticker on some cat poop someone would probably buy it.

You might at this point be thinking, hold on a moment, you bought that jacket while it was on sale, you are being hypocritical. Well, not really, I liked the jacket before I saw the price, the price did not convince me to buy it, the need to keep warm in the winter was what convinced me to purchase the jacket, it just happened to be on sale, I would probably have paid the full price it was (is) a nice jacket.

I must add that the jacket was met with my wife’s’ approval and more so when she discovered that it had been on sale.

Buyer’s Remorse

How many times have you bought something taken it home and felt some form of regret that you bought it?

This phenomenon is called “Buyer Remorse” and is more likely to manifest when we have bought something quite expensive, the larger the purchase price the greater the buyer’s remorse.

You start thinking if you have done the right thing, if you should have gone with the red and not the blue. Is it too late to take it back now?

Here are some thoughts that people with buyer’s remorse have:

  1. I have spent too much money
  2. I could have gotten a better deal elsewhere
  3. There is a new model coming out next month
  4. I really did not need it
  5. I Spent too much money on the credit card

Like many other people I too have felt this and it is one of the most common reasons why many people end up returning the purchase.

I discovered when questioning my friends that they too had the same issues when buying anything that they would like me research whatever it was they were interested in buying to the point of distraction.

The effort of the research would then paralyses their thought processes in being able to make the right decision and this too has a name it’s called “Paralysis through Analysis”. We spend so much time looking it that we manage to talk ourselves out of buying the item.

There is only one expense which I have no issue on spending money on and that is flying, it has been my love and my life since my childhood and was my dream to become an airline pilot, but it would have cost too much and I did not want to take out a loan to finance the lessons (Around £40k over 25 years ago). I did eventually learn to fly but only as a hobby. Flying costs money but I have not one shred of buyer’s remorse even if I spend a few hundred pounds in one go on flying.

Treat on Yourself

While I have no problem in spending £100 on one hour of flying, I will think twice about buying a new pair of shoes. I would not be lying to say that I have had the same pair of shoes for the last 3 years. I don’t spend any money on myself (Other than maybe £100 every other month on flying) since it makes me anxious to do so.

Why is it that some people will spend like it is going out of fashion and others like myself who will get the cold sweats just thinking about parting with money.

Now I know that I am the exception to the rule to most people and even my friends will tell me that I need to loosen up and enjoy it while I am still alive.

So, I got thinking, what happened to make me this way? Well, I have been breaking before, not once, not twice but three time in my life that I have not had a penny to my name and no idea where the next meal was coming from.

I think that scarred me for life and I get really anxious when I see anything which is more than £20 and I get a sense of excitement when I open my wallet and find a tenner sitting there.

People are shaped by their experiences, if they grew up with parents who were hoarders they may react in the complete opposite way and live like monks with two sticks of furniture in their homes.

Or kids growing up with parents who spent liberally might think that is a normal mode of behaviour and do the same without a care in the world when they are older.

There needs to be a balance between spending to the last penny and hoarding it all for fear of having nothing.

The answer is moderation. Buy what you need and manage your finances, enjoy yourself without putting your home, family or livelihood at risk.

Spend on what you enjoy

If you are into cars, then it only makes sense to spend your money on cars. If you are into computer games, then it makes sense to spend your money on building the best and most powerful gaming machine you can. This will in turn improve your game play.

The point here is to spend your money on what you enjoy. If I win the lottery tomorrow, I would build a hanger and fill it with WW2 fighter planes. Until then I will have to stick with the Airfix sort.

Don’t be afraid to spend

This is what I have been telling myself. Don’t fear the spending. One day I’ll be gone and any money which I left behind will go to my kids. Which is a good thing in part.

Spend sensibly, look after your money and spend it wisely. Avoid going into debt unnecessarily. Always remember that there are two kinds of debt.

Good ones which enable you to start something new, like a business, buying property buying an investment, and bad debts where the money is used for buying unnecessary items like a night out, a holiday, tickets to the theater.

Credit card companies are also regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority

Many people in the U.K struggle with debts and many do not know how to start to repay them speaking to a debt advisor is one of the best things you will do along with taking action yourself by speaking directly with your creditors.

https://www.nationaldebtline.org/ and https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

You should always seek professional advice when handling debt problems. Cashute are not licensed debt advisers and any information contained in this article should not be taken as legal advice. It is your Responsibility to seek out correct legal advice

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Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk