Friday, February 02, 2007

Programmed To Spend

As a person and particularly a gay and lazy one, nothing really happens to me as I’ve planned them to be. I have forecasted my life to be ubber fabulous by the time I am in my mid 20s with an equally as fabulous boyfriend and perhaps live happily ever after in super fabulous apartment overlooking the city skylines and coast. Okay, so that’s too tall of a feat – the boyfriend thing I meant.

Instead, I am struggling with reality in between my penchant for fancy footwear, designer’s bags, never ending rows of dining and drinking and of course smoking. And that list doesn’t include my so-called career that I am trying hard to build. To run away from it all I found myself falling deeper and deeper in the abuse of my plastic card.

While it’s hardly serious (no illicit creditors or paying merely interest every month), I did notice a trend that is unnerving around me – everyone is numbing themselves with one material gratification after another. I would like to retract my statement on the hardly serious part because when a person needs to make a list on where not to go in order to re-arrange his finances, an intervention is in order. I can almost imagine myself going to a group therapy – decked in the best that money can buy of course. The hair will be abit greasy, the designer tee looked as if you slept in it and of course matched with those really skinny jeans – all torn and looked washed out and say – Hi, I am Daniel and I am a shopaholic. This is of course my list, the saving pledge with my girlfriend:

- No Dome, No whatever Alexis, No shitty Secret Recipe, Bodega, TGIF, Friday’s and the usual shit that would probably cost up to 40 bucks per meal or more
- Fast food allowance for a month – maximum at RM20
- Bye-bye to our staple and home – Starbucks
- Strictly ice cream at Baskin Robbins and only on 31st when it’s 31% off. I must say their Quarterback something flavour is amazing. I think Cookie claimed it tasted like jockstrap.

As I laid in my bed thinking about the conversations that I had with my girlfriend, Cookie over midnight supper, I couldn’t help but wondered how I have become this way. When I started my first job, the pay was shitty and yet I managed to save around 4K and as my salary and age escalates, I find myself saving lesser than ever. The past year alone, I managed no savings at all. Well, maybe a little if you count the insurance policy that I have forked out through my butt, the trip to Motherland aka UK, a new laptop (which btw on installment plan) and the ‘loans’ I give out to my friends. That’s another problem with me. Money mismanagement to the point whereby being kind to others means sacrificing myself in the process. I nearly needed a ‘loan’ from another friend because I give out too many ‘loans’.

We, Cookie and I was talking about the next big purchases and found ourselves contradicting every rule that we have just made, We seem to be making more and more excuse and justification on why we should be getting that oh so beautiful cufflinks to this and that purchases. Okay, just another one. Who will get hurt? And I have just told myself to stop buying things that are considered rubbish when I bid on a Paul Smith toy rabbit on ebay. There and then I realised that, KL…we have a problem.

One would think that my life is all the glitters but hey the shines need to eat. The places that we go to are more expensive, the cost of working in fabulous area is higher and the savings are skinnier because the pay is just not rising high enough to keep up with my spending. Could it be that because me or everywhere else around for that matter is equally unhappy in some way or another that we kind of compensate that with buying something when the going gets tough? Or we are just a generation of spoilt and ungrateful bitches who never have to work hard for a moment of their lives and had it easy? Perhaps we are just making up for the lost of childhood, lack of luxuries when we were a kid? I know some friend who indulges in expensive gadgets or some who extending his youth with the acquisition of grown up toys and games consoles. Then there is those who would buy more and more every time there is a sale and those who go out with those people only to be pressured into spending with them because they just can’t help it. How about those that I know who buys something not because they like it but they just need to buy something.

I really wished I have answers to all that. We all do. But till then we will continue to sign another receipt, attend another sale as programmed by departmental stores newsletters and wait for the next big collection, next big release of this and that new, latest stuff. But what is comforting to know is that they say that part of the process of recovery is actually acknowledging the problem itself. Of course that is not hard to do when your card statement like those annoying pesky acquaintances who never seem to get the picture that you don’t really want to talk to them pops up monthly to remind you how far behind you are to servicing the interests.

Perhaps making rules that I can stick to it will help? Something like no more major purchases till 2010? Or avoid going to KLCC for the rest of our lives, leave the credit card at home and etc?

Damn, I think it’s easier to just work like a dog and earn enough money for this hobby of mine which is what I will be doing after I finish this. Err, after when I check if anyone outbid me for that rabbit. It’s for Cookie!


Las montañas said...

Overspending can be a problem. But then again, one should not be trying to scrimp too much. If it pleases you and it is within your reasonable tolerance spending level (to earn the amount back), then just buy it!

drownedglass said...

Woah... just quit smoking now wanna control spending as well. Man, you an overachiever?

But I get you. I seriously need to stay away from malls myself :P

Anonymous said...

well avoiding shopping complexes is a good way i avoided chadstone when i was truly going to save $

Buaya said...

I am a shopaholic too... But I buy cheaper stuff, although loads of them!... My friends have to restrain me! :p