I remember the circumstances right before I first started college. I had worked a summer job and just got paid. My parents helped me set up a bank account that came with a debit card, and I had just been granted access to Amazon Prime…It all went downhill from there. I think I blew through more than $500 the first night and the other $400 or so over the next two weeks.
One thing I learned about myself is that when I have no money, I am not really lacking in anything. I am content in life. I can go on, unbothered. However, the moment I have some money on hand, there are suddenly so many things I find myself "needing." I have all these flashlights, watches, supplements, sneakers, and rings to pick from.
Sometimes, I stop to imagine how much money I would have to my name if I knew how to save any of it…maybe I would be able to pay my college fees, or at least a decent portion of them. I probably could. However, then, I think about all the things that would be missing in my room if I had not bought them. My room would be much emptier, barer shelves and emptier drawers. It is honestly a toss up on what is the better option, money to spare or little knick-knacks to enjoy.
I have a problem. I admit it. I can control it slightly by creating many extensive and specific Amazon wish lists so that I can siphon off some of the itching urges to buy by stocking different items on "maybe later" categories, things I would buy if I won the lottery, had a steady income, or just had the money I could spend without handicapping myself. This listing system only backfires when I decide I could afford to buy one of the listed items then decide that since I am getting that one thing, I could afford to buy that other thing. Boom! Next thing I know, five minutes later, there are 10 items in my cart, and my wallet is three figures lighter.
I know I do not actually need some (many) of the things I bought, but I do enjoy having them. Some are helpful. Some are fun or make things slightly easier or surprising. I do need to (and plan to) work on my impulse control because, often, something pops into my head that I suddenly would really like to have. In seconds, I have Amazon open, and it will arrive in two days. My bank account is taking hits left and right.
Is there a point to this article? Not really. I just have this problem and I am sure I am not the only one. Just being relatable here. It's hard. Some much to buy. So little cash to dish out. All of this stems from my general lack of self-discipline. I procrastinate. I speak before thinking. I take on more than I can handle, and I often forget to or neglect to take care of my basic needs. If it was just up to me with no other obligations, I would spend my life either hibernating and reading in bed for hours. That sounds nice.
I could just try winning the lottery.
It took me too long and too much energy just to write this article.
I figure that trying to address my compulsive buying would be like treating a symptom of a much more expansive and underlying problem of self-indulgence and the lack of control over many aspects of my life. I should focus my attention on the root of all my issues…but that is so much work…