Can we keep spending all of our pay checks each month? Is this permanently damaging our finances?
Does it really make us happy or are we chasing a false dream?
The pay day cycle
It is so easy to become reliant on monthly payments. Spending all you earn in a month but its fine because they’ll be more in a few weeks. People act as though they are part of the Kardashians the first 2 weeks of the month, spending without a care, only to be snapped back into reality when the money inevitably runs out and bills come to spoil the fun. People become obsessed with the cycle of earning and spending and earning and spending. Hooked on that small feeling of dopamine when you open your bank app and see a larger number than what was there before, and you’ve got your next fix. The cycle starts over again. Its as if we as consumers are conditioned to think that’s what we have to do when we have money. We are constantly drawn in by marketing and promotions that how could we say no. If it makes us happy why should we stop and start saving?
Does spending really make us happy?
We’re constantly exposed to those in the media that are wealthy; living their best lives; flaunting all their assets; convincing us they are happy. We know better than to think their happiness is because of their belongings but still, we aspire to be the same, to have the same, as these celebrities and influencers. Now we obviously can’t afford the huge luxury purchases, so we settle for makeup or clothes, something slightly more attainable than a mansion. Celebrity brands flourish from this desire and persuade us that we too can look and feel like they do if we purchase their products. It makes you question whether these products will actually bring you the happiness you hope to gain from them or if it’s all a ruse.
Happiness is subjective – something that makes one person happy might completely disgust another. Could it be argued that money, which can buy anything, brings someone happiness or is it the item/experience that does this. It may be that money buys time together such as holidays or experiences and that it what makes someone happy. But could this be done without money or is the world completely infatuated with cost and profit, that happiness is now an expense. Which brings to attention the trouble that money causes and the affects it has on people just trying to chase even a small dose of happiness.
Dark side of money
Money is such a profound weapon that hides behind luxury and success. Greed is immense in todays society to the point where there will never be enough for some for them to be satisfied. Even after a pay day they are obsessing over the next. We try to glorify these issues, calling a shopping addiction retail therapy and seeing those with more money to have higher value.
Shopping addictions have become almost trendy at this stage. We constantly see on social media the masses of hauls and purchases influencers have done, commonly stating that they...
Only went in for one thing!
I've done it again
You can read more on influencer’s and their contribution to purchases here "Social Media Made me Buy it" - Mindless Mag
Studies have shown that 62% of shoppers bought something to cheer themselves up .So perhaps retail therapy isn’t as destructive as it seems. Sometimes it is possible to receive that dopamine boost just from browsing whether that’s online or just window shopping. It can make a consumer feel in control even if they are not. For those that have compulsive behaviour, shopping can quickly turn into an addiction, which if left unmonitored, can leave you not only broke but struggling.
Managing shopping addictions
Like any other addiction it can feel almost impossible to get out of. When something is making you feel good why should you stop? Whilst spending can be dangerous its not encouraged for you to never buy anything ever again or to never treat yourself every once in a while. However, there are things you could do to manage it such as
Shopping wisely – only buying what you need
Budget – see if you can afford a luxury purchase before you do
Look for alternatives – there’s lots of things that can boost your dopamine levels check out this article for help Best Ways to Increase Dopamine Naturally - Healthline
Confide in others if necessary.
Many people may be struggling with money, you never know who can help by sharing.