Because I’ve been reading a lot of developmental theory lately (i.e. I’m a huge nerd!), I decided it would be fun to break down my spending into three psychosocial stages to better psychoanalyze my previous spending habits and the impact that they’ve had on my life. If Erikson were a personal finance blogger I think he’d do the same ;-).
Adolescence-My teenage years were the first time in my life that I had my own money. Thanks to a bunch of summer jobs, I was finally able to buy things that other kids had. I started with Gap jeans, and Body Shop lotion, and quickly turned into a brand name addict.
Young Adulthood-When I was in college I was on a mission to accumulate, “things”. Clothing, shoes, jewelry, expensive purses. You name it, I wanted to “collect” it. I rationalized these decisions with thoughts like, “But I’ll have this watch forever” and “This is a classic purse that I’ll have and use until I die”. I was a full blown label whore.
Adulthood-(not an actual psychosocial stage, but fits my situation, as I’m not at the Middle Adulthood stage yet). My desire to buy expensive handbags and clothing quickly turned to a passion for buying household goods. When I got my first apartment I suddenly needed gourmet pots and pans, designer chef’s knives and fancy pants kitchen gadgets. Everyone needs a $400 Kitchen Aid mixer, no? This coming from the woman whose bf lovingly taunts, “That button turns the oven on”
My Response-Because I didn’t have a lot of money growing up, I often looked at what other people had and judged myself by those “standards”. Because, “everyone” had Gap jeans, it was only right and natural that I be entitled to the same thing. What I didn’t realize until years later, was that many of my peers who owned the, “things” I adored, purchased them with credit and are now in a boatload of debt. At the time, they appeared to have it all together. Fancy clothing, expensive cars, funky condos, but sadly it was all smoke and mirrors.
Did you, “buy” into the hype during your younger years? Tell me about your psychosocial spending stages!