Here we go again,

I find it funny how often I get asked the same questions.  Today, it’s the shopping question again.   I was visiting with a friend who was telling me about her latest venture to the book store and how much she spent.  I mentioned that I had never been to that particular store as it is not accessible to me physically.   When out of the blue she asked me how I could stand NOT shopping for books any more.

First, I do shop for books.  I always have and always will, books are a passion I need in my life.  Reading allows me to relax, is a wonderful way to settle in the evening, can fill the time in a waiting room, and so much  more.   I just shop differently than how I used to.  I now shop for free.  Yep, I shop at the library where I can have my choice of any book, or books, available.  I can also order any book not currently in the library and will receive either a call or email when it comes in.  Again all free of charge and no limits to the number of books I can bring home with me.

I was wondering during my conversation with my friend at what age we begin to believe we need to own everything.   On Saturday, I had my grand-daughter with me when I was asked to go to the store to pick up more sandpaper for preparing boards for a raised garden plot.

I gladly took my grand-daughter with me, but while at the store she began to ask for toys.  This was unusual for her, but since she had been so good I figured it wouldn’t hurt anything to get her a toy she wanted that was only one dollar.  She was appreciative and happy to be getting something at the store, but once home forgot all about her new toy and wanted to play outside instead. When her mother picked her up I asked her if she wanted to take it home, she told me no.  She visited again today for a couple of hours with her mom and brother, again she couldn’t care less about this toy.

We can’t blame all our mindless shopping, and materialist behaviors on the media and advertising, although it would be nice, wouldn’t it?   In the case of my three-year old grand-daughter, she doesn’t watch television, so she’s not being bombarded with commercials.  At some point in her young life, she has come to the conclusion that going to the store should end with her receiving something all hers.

At Financially Free Now, I was surprised to read that not only doesn’t the actual acquisition of material goods bring us sustainable happiness, but neither does the ability to acquire them.  So having a large amount of money that is freely available to purchase anything we want, doesn’t bring us happiness either.

After thinking about it, that actually made sense to me.  With all of my material needs met, I have very little use for having a lot of money.  Before embracing a simpler life, I found that having money available to shop was actually frustrating.  If I headed to the bookstore, there were always more books available that caught my eye and created a desire in me to read them, which meant buy them.  My book store shopping became a disappointment when I would have to stop to count up the total of books I wanted versus how much money I had set aside to spend. I also suffered from buyers remorse after a book buying binge when I realized just what else my money could have been used for.

I would know exactly what books I planned to get, but then I couldn’t avoid the sale racks.  How could I walk away without checking out the deals available.  It wasn’t very long after leaving the store that I would become disappointed with my purchases, and even more so when I would pick up one of my purchases to find the book didn’t live up to its hype. I would try to tell myself that I rarely spent anything on me as I believed in putting my children first, but when I saw how few books I came home with for the money I spent, the argument never held up in my heart.

I no longer have buyers remorse, if a book I borrow doesn’t live up to its hype, I set it aside and pick up another.  When my money isn’t tied to a material item my emotions aren’t tied to the item either, so I no longer suffer from that monster called “buyers remorse”.

Tammy Strobel at Rowdy Kittens, has a wonderful article which goes right to the core of this issue, her article will help you find your passions, which once found will bring us much more happiness than a day of shopping ever will.   If you are stuck on finding your passion you might want to check it out.

My splurges have never been about shoes, or clothes, or even cars. I don’t want to think about the buyers remorse after setting down the money for a brand-new car if I had buyers remorse over purchases of less than $100.  What do you splurge on for your self?  Do you ever have buyers remorse like I did?

art and photography from pixabay.com, public domain images.

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2 comments

  1. I think I have stopped spending for long enough now that I no longer have buyer’s remorse. When I do buy something, more often than not I have been through the mental “do I need it, can I live without it, buy it used or make it myself” process and feel good with my decision to purchase it.

    We love to use the library, but my kids still want to buy books, which is fine to a point. I make the point of asking, “is this 3 hours of reading worth $10 of your money?”. Sometimes they still think it is, sometimes they wish they’d just signed something out of the library and kept their money.

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    • That’s great that you now longer have buyers remorse. I too am pretty much there, I have no desire to shop any more. My downfall has always been in buying things for my house. I used to do interior decorating and still love to change up my home, I still get odd jobs which keeps my creative side in check.

      As for kids and books. Sometimes they just need a favorite. My youngest by the age of two figured out he could only renew a book once. The day care I used was on a college campus and had it’s own library. On the days he had to return this one particular book he would return it in the morning and by the time I picked him up from daycare he would want to stop and see if it was still there. If it was he would borrow it yet again. I finally purchased the book just so other children could have access to the library copy.

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