When I finished my three weeks of paid work experience, my world smelled of sweet, sweet paper tens and twenties. To top it off, because the boss thought I did such a good job he even paid me more than he intended- a beautiful, magical £630. Tax free. Being a teenager, I was absolutely loaded.
First thing: hit the shops- all the shops. I want clothes, makeup, beauty products, that new book (“I don’t need the library anymore-hah!”), maybe even the new Lana Del Rey album on vinyl. Forever 21 is having a sale? Get me there!
I even bought a cup from Urban Outfitters for reasons that are still unknown to me.
Since I had to open my most recent bank statement with zero confidence, I have had to set myself some rules for shopping when I actually have some money. I only ever keep £60 in cash in my purse and use that instead of a debit card. That, I think, is my problem and probably many other people’s problem, too.
With a shiny piece of plastic, you can’t see the money being emptied out of your bank account. You can’t see the numbers dropping down. All that happens is you press a few buttons and then you have a bag bursting with gorgeous clothes to take home. It’s only when you go to your cashpoint or get that dreaded letter in the post that you realise what you’ve gone and done.
Hilariously, my mum suggested I watched ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ with her the other day and, even though I sort of hate the way the book has been adapted, I relearned a valuable lesson from Rebecca Bloomwood that I knew about myself but didn’t care to admit. I don’t need everything I buy.
Like that stupid cup! I only buy it because all of a sudden I feel carefree when I head into a shop. No longer to I have to do mental maths and check I can afford all of the things I’m buying. It’s a good feeling, but not as good as knowing I’m financially secure.
The moral at the end of my tale is that I should use small amounts of cash a lot more. That rectangular plastic is certainly creating an unwanted illusion in my life.