Monday

Note #103 // Money: Why I shop

Image credit: Jo Ratcliffe, illustrator for #girlboss at nastygal.com
I've often heard that in order to know where you're going, you need to know where you've come from. If I'm going to make changes, I need to know how I got here. So, why do I shop? Well...

I like it
A simple but honest answer. I like shopping and experimenting with style, colours and patterns. What I wear is a key way that I express myself. I like to continually update and rework and refine my style. Call me big-headed, but who doesn't like being told they look nice? 

Boredom
In the last 18 months, I've changed careers and I'm a lot happier than I was before. I've changed roles recently, so this one doesn't ring true so much any more, but being able to do my old job with my eyes closed had a damaging impact on my bank balance. Idle hands will wander to ASOS. And when I saw something I liked, I had to have it. My ability to outfit build when I see a potential wardrobe candidate rivals Usain Bolt in a 100m race. I am an Olympic champion on that front.

Work
Talking of work, that's another factor. I used to work in fashion and still work in the creative sector. I have a customer-facing role, so need to be well turned out as a representative of the company (Hello Zara, you enabler you). Then there's the whole, 'fake it til you make it' thing. While I try and convince my new company that I am a level-headed, mature adult worthy of my manager status, I feel like a small child in way over her head sometimes. And what do all career books tell you to do when embracing a new challenge? Pretend you feel like a bawse, until you really do feel like Beyonce in the Diva video. And how best does a 5'2 woman do this? She buys heels and tailored pieces and struts her way round the office while feeling like a complete fraud. That's what she does. 

Because it's so easy
Click. Click. Click. Oh look, I just bought something on ASOS. Fashion is everywhere. And retailers are working relentlessly to make it even for us to spend. Click & Collect, Instagram, Twitter, emails, newspapers, even when doing the food shop. And the amount of times I I fall for it hook, line and sinker. No matter where I look, my interest is peaked. I find it difficult to just leave it as interest, a 'like' or utter 'that's nice' and move on. I'm like the Liam Neeson of shopping when hunting an item of clothing down. 'I will find you. And I will kill...' Oh wait. Just the first bit. 

Blogging
I've always wanted to write. I used to write short stories aged nine. My mum always thought I was going to be a journalist, and so did I, until I got the fear and copped out. But I love blogging. I love seeing so many people expressing other facets of their character through the form. It's great being inspired by and learning from powerful, interesting women. But I read a lotta blogs. And that's a lot of like-minded people blogging about things that invariably, I'm gonna like too. It's not just clothes, I have a penchant for home decor (you know, for the home I don't own), and if someone mentions a new foodie spot, I'm there. 

Beating the habit
Money management isn't something that's really talked about, people just assume you do it. But it's one of my biggest demons. Just because I pay my bills on time and aren't bankrupt with CCJs, doesn't mean I'm not worried and don't need a bit of help. Because of the things forming the culture of our generation, I think there may be a fair few of you out there that will nod along with me. It may not be debt, it might be learning to budget, being more conscious of where money goes and goal-setting. So I hope that me sharing my experience, helps someone else too.

It's not realistic for me to say I'm not going to buy anything. At all. Ever. That's just not going to happen. But I don't currently, and am unlikely to ever have Kim Kardashian's bank balance, so let's get this in check shall we? Until next week, here's to mindful spending.