Every once in awhile, I splurge on a high end product. My salary does not afford me these opportunities often. Recently I celebrated my birthday with a lovely shopping trip with one of my childhood bestfriends. Living in the Midwest requires long hours of driving to find suitable retail choices. Getting up at 7:30 a.m. on my birthday was not an ideal situation, but if I wanted to make it to the closest metropolis to make some satisfying purchases, it was necessary.
Although my fabulous new Coach purse made me giggle like a school-girl, the universe apparently wanted throw the fact that I should not have made the purchase in my face. Let’s get the facts straight. Part of me always feels supremely guilty when I buy something so luxurious and expensive. How many hungry children could have eaten a well-balanced meal with that money? Will I get into a car accident and not be able to afford the repairs because I spent all of my money foolishly? How many perfectly acceptable purses could I have bought for the same amount and donated to Dress for Success? The list is never-ending. I should be using that money for something more beneficial to my community. If I have that kind of cash to throw around on superficial things like a purse, then it should be doing something to help others. But, truth be told, part of me always feels spectacular after I buy something pricy that makes me happy.
Sign number one that I should not have bought the purse: My fortune after eating Chinese the very night I bought the purse read “Be careful not to overspend.” Now, don’t even get me started on the fact that fortune cookies are no longer actual fortunes, simply statements. This cookie was getting personal. We were driving home from the shopping trip and stopped at an Oasis. Messages were bombarding me immediately.
The next morning, I started teaching a lesson on wants versus needs to my students. I could not get the feeling that I was a hypocrite out of my system. I had just spent $298 on a purse and I was preaching to others about reflecting on the importance of what we truly needed in life compared to what is superfluous. It didn’t seem right.
And then, the very next day, my debit card would not work because it had been flagged due to the amount of purchases I had made on my shopping trip. There was plenty of money in the bank account, but a measly $5 purchase at a gas station on the way home cause the system to believe it was a fraud. I still don’t understand why, but it cost me my lunch break to get things straightened out (believe me, I’m grateful that’s all it took and my account was not compromised in anyway, like I originally believed!) The irony of it all was astounding.
I had plenty of ways that I justified the purchase to myself, though. If I used the purse every day for the next year, it would end up costing me less than a dollar a day. If I had a boyfriend at the moment, I would be spending a decent chunk of change on him for the upcoming holiday season. Since I don’t, I might as well spend that money on something he might have given me (if he existed.) I don’t have kids, therefore I have less expenses on a regular basis. This is like my fancy diaper bag (that I am thankful I don’t need!) I had just received a sizeable check for coaching one of the school’s teams. This is simply part of what I earned for coaching. The list could be endless. My mind works in mysterious ways.
In any case, I am already plotting what to get myself next year. I am officially a bad person. Have you ever splurged on something you felt guilty for later? Or were you lucky enough to not feel guilty?