6 things I've learnt since reaching my 50s

Shopaholic? I just have to have it!

It’s no use I have to have it I said exasperated as I looked longingly at the new iPad Pro over the Christmas holidays.shopaholic

As luck would have it Mr M, my dearly beloved husband treated me to it for my birthday which was a big surprise.

What was the hesitancy in buying it myself?

I could have made the purchase through the business as a legitimate business expense after all I’m always taking notes at meetings and tend to use the iPad and stylus more than paper and pen.

iStock_000072924745_SmallI hesitated because I need time to justify, fester, think about it, dissect how and where I will use it, after all, it isn’t cheap.


Do I need it?

Do I want it?

Do I desire it?

Like most women we can justify a yes to all those questions.

I met a woman recently who, from last November has put herself on a spending ban.

That means spending no money on anything from takeaway coffee to holidays for one year.

This made me think long and hard and I had to face up to the fact that my spending habits are out of control and I am ashamed to admit I might just be a shopaholic.

If I stay away from the shops and I rarely go out “shopping” I’m okay.

But last Wednesday I took a day off and along with my husband met with friends who were over from Spain, I succumbed to the temptations that were in my path.

I’m going through a fitness update stage what I mean is I’ve thrown a load of old fitness wear out that has turned grey and decided to update it. 

Online shopping website on laptop screen with female hands typing
Online shopping website on laptop screen with female hands typing

I happened to fall into Sweaty Betty in Cambridge and ended up having to deduct two of the items of clothing I’d chosen because the bill would have been £355.00.

Are you kidding I said to the young woman who served me, that much for these few items?

Immediately I felt guilty, buyers remorse we call it in sales.

That point when the customer says yes to what it is you are selling and then immediately panics internally, wrestling with feelings of have I made the right decision, is it the right thing to do.

Whilst I felt justified in buying these items of clothing, did I really need to spend so much when I can buy fitness clothing for less than half of what I paid.

As we walked along the streets of Cambridge I analysed my purchases.

Why did I buy them?

I needed cheering up I thought to myself I’ve been unwell lately and unhappy.

Why am I feeling guilty?

Because in all honesty I could have bought similar items cheaper. I am definitely running out of storage space for all my stuff which implies I have and own too much stuff.

I invariably pay for things with my credit card and therefore always have a balance left to pay, again, I am buying stuff I really don’t need.

Does that make me a compulsive shopper?

Shopping, Shopping Bag, Women.

Although I rarely go out “shopping” I have to fess up to the fact that yes I must be. I like shopping online because it is so easy to hit that ‘order now’ button.

Compulsive shopping is a genuine addiction some might even say it is a direct consequence of the consumer driven capitalist society we live in.

I have to admit opening up a bag and examining the items gives me a buzz and it doesn’t matter whether I’ve ordered new sketch pads, drawing pencils, clothes or anything the thrill is not so much what is in the package or box, I know because I’ve ordered it.

It is the feeling you get when you actually go through the process of opening it, the contents are very much secondary, opening a box, package or plastic bag makes me feel excited and tense all at the same time.

A bit like having a sugar or adrenaline rush you get from exercising in other words ‘ a high’.

This is immediately followed by a feeling of ok, that’s it, it’s done, then disappointment almost like you were expecting it to be something remarkably different from what you ordered.

According to Ruth Engs at the University of Indiana some people get addicted to shopping because as they shop their brain releases endorphins and dopamine and this becomes addictive.

Chatting to the same woman who is on the spending ban, we admitted that when we see something we really want those thoughts take over your thinking you decide you want it and you simply cannot get that thought out of your head until you’ve bought it.

And then when you have it, there is a ‘let down’ phase, ok I now own XYZ what’s next?

Lurking in the mix is anxiety and insecurity both issues most of us subscribe to and shopping momentarily makes us feel better but it isn’t long lasting.

I am definitely going to start my shopping ban after pay day, wait a minute I’m being offered 10{1d74e91790c4d065853aa1e61f19fbe549b48cdbdef5356588c1984bdc5a1a2f} discount if I buy online today at M & S I’m off byeeee…


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