“They said I was a valued customer, now they send me hate mail.”
– Sophie Kinsella, Confessions of a Shopaholic (2003)
NOTE: I wrote this when I was first starting my blog – I wanted to post this again because I wanted to insert comments on what I wrote, so as to reflect how much has changed, three years later. X ENC
Among everyone that I know, I would consider myself a sensible shopper because quite frankly, I don’t shop often (as seen in my sparse and half-empty closet). However, during the times that I do go shopping, I feel as though I go overboard on my purchases.
Three years later, I still agree with this opener. I still don’t shop often, and when I do, I do stretch my boundaries. My closet is smaller than it was three years ago, and I’m constantly re-wearing things.
My Shopping Philosophy: Quality Over Quantity
I believe that if I physically do not have the money to buy the one expensive item that I really want, then I need to make a smart choice. I can either save until I have the means to purchase it, or give up the dream completely. With the former, when I do have the sufficient funds to purchase said item, if I still want that item, then I would positively consider buying it. If not, that’s one more item that got away.
I would say that I still treat my potential purchases this way. One change is that I now obsessively look at my Chase app, constantly checking my checking account and credit card balances. The downside of being an adult is that if you want something, you have to buy it yourself (crying emoji).
The Dangers of Credit Cards
When I turned 18, my dad helped me set up a credit card solely under my name, without his cosign. This means that I have a typical credit card that 25+-year old adults have, where every credit earned is completely under my name. I would say that I am one of the rare cases that get approved for this credit card, as many of my friends who have credit cards are just extensions of their parents’.
Reading this, I’m cringing at how embarrassing I was. Though it is pretty remarkable for a high school graduate’s first credit card to be a “normal” one sans cosign, the way I wrote this comes off as pretty condescending. I apologize for my younger self 😅.
I haven’t been a Rebecca Bloomwood, scraping my credit card at every possible reader that I see. However, there’s a power that you have with a credit card and “virtual money.” It’s frightening to think if I went crazy and spent all of my credit limit. Or if someone somehow stole my identity and spent thousands under my name. Worst of all, I’m scared about accidentally spending so much that I can’t chase down my debt.
Despite the age of technology and advancements in security, I’m still scared of identity theft, and I probably will be until the day I die. Oh well.
When a Budding Shopaholic Meets Fashion
The best and worst thing about being a girl is our eye for fashion.
DISCLAIMER: I know there are girls who don’t agree with this bold statement, but for the most part, I believe that we girls all have a soft spot for anything fashion related. It can be a small or huge hole in the corner of your heart.
Loving fashion isn’t necessarily a bad thing because who doesn’t enjoy a herringbone patterned jacket? The issue that arises for a girl like me is that NYC can act like a “pusher” for bad spending decisions.
Normally, I wear black clothes, as black is easy to style, pull off, and repeat. In a city like the one I was born in raised in, wearing black is an obvious and safe choice. NYC loves anyone who wears a severe black turtleneck, skintight leather pants, and thigh-high boots, as well as the bold fashionistas who drape themselves in seemingly mismatching patterns. The latter can be unique and harmonious, but also loud and crazy – NYC will love you no less.
There will always be critics who judge you, but I think we’re afforded a lot of creative freedom in NYC.
What I’m Saving For
Back when I originally wrote this post, I made a list of things I needed/ truthfully wanted. These things included shoes, clothes, makeup, though I highlighted the need for eyeshadow primer and new shoes. I really needed shoes because most of my shoes were worn down and/ or had significant holes in them. It didn’t help that I was short strapped on funds at the time. This blog was a wonderful outlet to moan about my lack of funds, as well as my jealousy at people who don’t have to worry about money.
For a while now, I have been broke, though probably more so than before. I’ve also begun to abstain from buying things, unless they’re for a quick lunch and a monthly MetroCard. I’m currently saving up for a few big things in my life:
Short term: a domestic trip, somewhere in the U.S., by the end of the year and a trip to Korea within the next year.
Long term: launching my fashion house, saving up for my future wedding, and paying off my college loans.
Prioritizing my goals and organizing how I should be spending my money made me realize how much I’ve changed. Though appearances are extremely important, experiencing things and working to make your dream a reality are things I value more. This may seem to compromise my love for fashion, but I’ve changed the way I think about things.
Instead of getting things too early and not really appreciating it’s worth, I’ve decided to wait for my time to drape myself in designer brands. In focusing on making my future, I know that it’s the only surefire way to be able to afford all the things I wanted to buy without being worried about my balance. It’s like that psychology experiment – you just have to wait those 10 minutes before you can enjoy five more cookies.
the girl who likes to think that she’ll be successful in the future