Do You Really Need That?

 

I work hard, very hard.And I NEED those ASOS gold heels with plastic fruit on them.

For reason unknown, this impulsive urge consumes my body. All I really know is that I want these shoes.

Said shoes, might I add they are on sale

I have been struggling with this compulsive need to have everything in my shopping cart for a while now.I have found myself in this constant cycle of wanting to simply “Treat yo Self”, as I am a hard-working intern that doesn’t get paid. How am I treat my self with limited funds? It was doomed from the start, so I embarked on a route of self-discovery.

It’s a simple question you have to ask yourself;

Do I really need this?

And the answer is “OF COURSE I NEED IT”

I need these ASOS gold glitter heels with plastic fruit on them. Side note, I can’t wear heels for prolonged periods of time, due to my bad knees, and I rarely go out, I am strictly 9 pm bedtime girl.

So, I don’t really need them?

This goes beyond the basic need to be clothed and covered, but possibly the need for self-identity and expression.

We as consumers have fallen fatally in love with consumption, we want it all and of course, we want it now. Capitalism thrives in the world of online shopping. Creating this need and desire to have things we never thought imaginative with money we don’t necessarily have. This pure principle of “treating yo self”, ties dipping into the capitalist ethos of the constant cycle of exchange.

“Treating yo self’ wasn’t just the brainchild of Parks and Rec but has been discussed many by philosophers. French philosopher Michel Foucault said “taking care of yourself eventually became absorbed into knowing yourself.”Essential, Foucault is referring to a notion we all know to well. We consume these things to build ourselves.

So, I am motivated by Capitalism.

My gravitational pull to Zara after a long we, is tied to the deep ties of the capitalist system. I must reward myself after work and I work to reward myself. Its this aspect of a treat and rewards that transform this humble desire into a full-blown life or death need.

“ But you can’t afford it, why do you still buy it ?

The trouble of disgusting a need vs a want brews deeply online. When the brick and mortar store is removed, so too is the value of the money we hand over. I am just a Pay Pal click away from purchasing $200 worth of irrelevant things I have no use or space for

The perception of money has gone out the window. With the rise in “after pay” and other like-mined schemes, we have simply lost sight of the value of money. We can literally get something for free and pay it back later( at a slighter higher cost). This just makes us hungry to consume more, because after pay doesn’t even feel like consumption, just a delivery service of free things I never pay back.

But, it goes deeper.

As  I was about to even pitch this idea,  a colleague of mine complimented me on my amazing floral wide leg pants. This made me ponder some more… Do I consume for compliments and notice?

We all search for a constant sense of self inflating ego. When someone says, “ Oh you look nice today”, 9 times outs of 10 you are on cloud nine all day. It all comes down to our actual desire and need to be accepted or even to stand out.  We purchase to not only cover our bodies but to create our identities. We use our consumption patterns to improve self-esteem .

When you are heading to a job interview you need that ego inflating power suit, giving you that much need confidence.

So how did the curve my ways? I went on a simple ‘detox’.

I developed a 6-month detox to save my bank account and draw the line between needs and wants.

It was very simple, no shopping. Every time I felt as though I ‘needed’ something I wrote it down. Next, to the said item, I had to write

  1. Why I felt like I needed it
  2. What will it replace
  3. What will I give up for it i.e how many coffees does it cost.

If I still felt the need for this item after 6 months, I was allowed to get it only if I followed the said rules. You could say to a small extent I was influenced by the minimalism trend and a dash of the capsule wardrobe trend.  Capsule wardrobes focus on decluttering your wardrobe of things that are never worn. While focusing on a solid wardrobe full of staples, many capsule wardrobes aim to hit the 40 item benchmark. The trend aims to reduce cost, relevant spend and help reduce the need for fast fashion.

So, why this method

The best ways to stop my impulsive ways was to remove myself from any situation that may tempt me.To help me along the way, I had accountability patterns and friends. I also block mailing listing and removed any Instagrammer with great shoe game.

So, the result?

Going cold turkey can be difficult to start, but my bank account and I have never felt better. Sure , I wanted new things, but I learnt the value of them in my own terms.

But, with the money I saved, I got a really nice pair of Baliey Nelson Sunglasses. As my Nana would say” All Good things in moderation”

 

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