A couple years’ back (what feels like 3 decades ago) I had my sweet sixteenth. I went from being a spot-prone teen to a slightly-less-spot-prone one plus bags of social drama! How exciting! Little did I know that that birthday would mark one of the most dramatic years in high school. Probably the most dramatic. Ugh. Who even has time for drama anymore?!
Anyway, moving on (I promise you I have!). I was at a designer outlet with my family and a close family friend of ours. They wanted to treat me for this special birthday (though honestly the whole thing is overrated) but me being a real fussy teen who could never make her mind up about what she wanted who hated makeup and all things girly, I was a pretty hard target.
So, they so generously gave me 200 bucks! When I was 16 I had nada to my name. Maybe some cash from grandparents or whatever but no substantial savings. A few hundred pounds at the very least. So you can imagine what 200 felt like.
She told me to spoil myself and buy something truly special. She was obsessed with prada shoes (practically owns an entire wardrobe solely devoted to the cause) so she brought me to their store and told me a pair of shoes was a good call. It will last for ages and give me a smile everytime I put them on.
So, I scouted out the ladies shoes and found these rather mature-looking shoes (in hindsight, of course). Aka they were perfect for a 50 year old. What made me compelled to choose them? You could say I always felt beyond my years or I had zero appreciation for a cute ‘n cool shoe. Or maybe they were in budget. And black. Or all of the above!
We hurried to checkout and that’s when I got indecisive. As I so often get. I had no clue if I really wanted them so we walked out. Went to a bunch (and by a bunch I mean 10) different shoe stores from jimmy choo to ferragamo to gucci.
None of them having what I “wanted”. So, minutes before the store closed, we rushed to prada and bought the shoes. In that moment, I handed over wads of 20£ notes in exchange for a shiny pair of designer shoes. I hated them.
But why did I buy them? I felt pressured to buy something there and then. Designer outlets (my pet peeve now) give you that rush of impulse. That scarcity mindset. That the great sale won’t be around forever and nor will your item so you give into your temptation. Telling yourself they’re a ‘bargain’ and that you can’t leave them.
I didn’t give myself time to think
So, years later, the shoes still sit in my cupboard having been hardly worn. But they serve as a reminder: to never give into pressure/impulses/sales. To always stop and think before each purchase (especially if it’s a pricey one).
Asking yourself whether you truly want it and more importantly if you’ll actually wear it!! I felt pressured by my family friend who handed me so much cash in my hand that I panicked and bought the first shoe I saw. Bad move. I’m still beating myself up for it years later!
Now, I’m aware of designer outlets and how they make me spend money I shouldn’t be spending on things I know I barely need. I try to avoid them as much as I possibly can since nearly every purchase from these kinds of places have ended in disaster!
I don’t care how good the sale is or how ‘cheap’ you can bag a pair of jimmy’s.
And as my dad always reminds me, never look at how much an item has been reduced by (a classic marketing trick to get you to buy since you think you got a great deal) always look at how much you’re paying. If you can afford it, and you need/want the item (yes, we should buy things we want just not all of them!) then you don’t need to focus on the % that’s disappeared.
Or the £££’s that you’re saving. Totally irrelevant. The shoes I bought were originally £595. Me paying £200 might look and sound like a shopping steal, when in reality the one one being stolen from is myself.
I could’ve spent that money on a gazillion other things that I’d have actually used – and loved! But then again I’d not have the lesson.
Crappy purchases, especially expensive ones, hold a special place in our regret basket. While you’ll rightfully want to discard that feeling of regret, don’t forget it.
While the purchase was expensive, the lesson learnt will be priceless.
Only if you grab it with both hands.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes with our money.
The trick is not to let those lessons of yours go to waste. Then you’d have seriously lost out.
Disclaimer: This blog is not investment or financial advice. It is my opinion only. This blog is not a personal recommendation to buy/sell any security, or to adopt any such investment strategy. Always do your own research before you commit to any investment