My husband is not alone when he is hunting stuff to buy on his day off. The idea of retail therapy is intriguing. How does the process of buying help people? How does it give them ‘therapy’. Whenever I buy something for myself, an item of clothing for example, I don’t feel very good about it at all. In fact quite the opposite, I feel guilty about spending money on myself. Whenever I do shop for myself, I spend so much time thinking what other things could be bought with the amount the shop expects you to spend on one measly pair of jeans, that it sends me into a state of purchase paralysis. I don’t buy anything – but that doesn’t feel good either. On the other hand, if I buy something for a loved one or a friend I get a really good feeling because I am hoping that they will like it and that they will be pleased with me for purchasing it. If you buy something for yourself, the only thing you notice is your diminishing bank account. But that can be forgiven when buying for friends (well at least it does in my world).
Going back to my husband, he isn’t hooked on shopping he is hooked on the idea of shopping. He likes gadgets and cars, so he will happily browse the internet and shops for hours but will very rarely make a purchase, because he also feels and fears the guilt after making a purchase. Particularly as cars and gadgets don’t come cheap.
Does this approach change when money is limitless? Imagine you had millions in the bank, would this make you more or less spend thrift? Yes I think I would indulge a little more in the big things (house, car, holiday) but I think I still couldn’t bring myself to spend £100 plus on a pair of jeans or a bag – that seems obscene to me. Even when it comes to the house, I still wouldn’t want anything so big that it would be a nightmare to keep clean (even if I could afford to pay a cleaner too).
Retail therapy is a luxury of the western world. People don’t have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from so much, so on their days off they think about what other ‘stuff’ they can fill their loves with: sofas, TVs….. even designer dogs.
On the flipside, it feels really good to ignore the pull of the high-street and go out for an all-day bike ride and picnic (or some similar outing instead). Time enjoying the world around us, family and friends is so much better spent – and it costs nothing.
I am blogging evey day to raise money for Unicef. If you are able to support the campaign, please visit my page on Unicef’s website.
Thanks for reading.