The ecstasy of the purchase

Shopping quote

So I shared with you back in January that my two best friends were embarking on a “Buy nothing for a year campaign.” They’re kindly sharing their thoughts on the process with me as I have an insatiable interest in what makes people shop to excess and the effects of that excess on the home. So far so good they’re both sticking to it. Well done, girls. Let me tell you it’s nothing short of a miracle with these two!

So in 13 weeks, a very admirable absence of banned purchases, but there are a few notable developments. Katie is doing a textbook move by replacing clothes and shoes with things for the house. In the strict rules of the game that’s permitted, but it begs the question, is it a clothes fetish that’s the problem or actually the desire to buy ? Is it all about retail therapy regardless of the category? I’m not saying retail therapy doesn’t have its place – I fall for its charms on an all too regular basis. But does retail therapy actually make us feel better and how permanent is the high that accompanies it? What gives us that boost is an individual thing – it can be makeup, shoes, craft items, magazines, DVDs, underwear, candles and the list goes on. But does the purchase of things really lead us to sustainable happiness?

Mary has done some self diagnosis on what might have driven her desire to buy. She was born on Christmas Day and as well as the obvious factor of her birthday potentially being swallowed up by the merriment of Christmas, it has also meant that all her acquiring as a child was focused on one day. Could this contribute to an excessive desire to acquire? It’s an interesting thought. People often express pity for those with a birthday around Christmas time but why?

The rules of the game are providing laughs and debate

– can you accept a clothing gift from someone?

– when you need a uniform item is that allowed?

– if you get a gift voucher can you spend that on clothes?

This blog is designed to get you to think. I’m not a psychologist but work daily alongside people with psychological issues leading to excessive acquisition. I find people’s emotional drivers fascinating. I’d love to hear your thoughts.


5 thoughts on “The ecstasy of the purchase

  1. For Mary, a complete reevaluation of how she will buy clothes (when she can again), a desire to buy smarter – generally positive for Mary. For Katie it is more of a personal challenge – can she actually get to the end of the challenge? Both are enjoying wearing different clothes, delving into that 80% of the wardrobe we rarely get around to. Both are panicking about their pre girls’ holiday shop! Thanks for your comment. Lesley

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, I personally stopped from purchasing things over a period of now about 3-4 months. With few failures in between, of course. Overall, I noticed that it is mostly about connecting security and emotions to the things and then buy it. But since it is a material in the end, the high or the so-called happiness dies quickly. And, then we look for better clothes or more expensive clothes. That’s what functions when after a big house, we want bigger house and so on and so forth.

    Brilliant post, though!

    Glad to have stumbled upon your blog!

    Would love a feedback from you on my blog about Minimalism and Simplicity!

    Keep minimizing and cheers!



    Liked by 1 person

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