Author Topic: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!  (Read 3078 times)

penguintroopers

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Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« on: January 30, 2018, 07:52:14 PM »
Ad that I came across my Reddit feed. Sad? Buy something and you'll feel better!

Sayl

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Re: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2018, 12:36:39 AM »
Tis true!  Buying VTSAX and ETFs do make me feel better when i'm feeling blue.

carolinap

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Re: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2018, 03:11:34 AM »
I think i've saw a study (yeah, i'm not a reliable source) that during financial crisis the sales for small ticket items, specifically those associated with personal care like lipstick, bath bombs and nail polish, actually increase, because people are feeling down but still feel like they need to consume to cheer them up.

Maybe would be better to analyze and recognize our feelings before going to the option to numb them with consumerism...

Warlord1986

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Re: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2018, 07:19:11 AM »
I'll be honest, when I was working at Old Toxic Job I spent more on junk because I felt horrible and needed something to make me feel okay for a little bit. That was AFTER I discovered MMM. My job is much better now, and resisting my inner hedonist is much easier now.

It makes no sense, but I understand where people are coming from when they buy when they are sad.

jinga nation

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Re: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2018, 07:28:12 AM »
If you splurged every payday and bought VTSAX/low cost mutual/index funds in your retirement plan/brokerage account, you wouldn't be having the blues.

carolinap

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Re: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2018, 09:53:13 AM »
I'll be honest, when I was working at Old Toxic Job I spent more on junk because I felt horrible and needed something to make me feel okay for a little bit. That was AFTER I discovered MMM. My job is much better now, and resisting my inner hedonist is much easier now.

It makes no sense, but I understand where people are coming from when they buy when they are sad.

Yeah, actually me too, I have seen myself in this position sometimes. And when I'm down is the time I usually make exceptions excuses to buy takeout, take an uber instead of the bus, etc.

We should not just condemn impulsive buying, but understand why it happens, the triggers and all that.

(but this is still the Shame and Comedy forum tho)

Just Joe

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Re: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2018, 12:55:11 PM »
Absolutely. When we were poor - lots more impulse spending. Partly b/c we hadn't seen the light yet, partly because it felt "grownup" to spend money. As our careers became established, our budget developed - the spending tapered off.

I once believed it was because we had "all the stuff" we thought we needed but I've come to believe it is because we felt better about ourselves, had less to prove, and didn't need/want that little shot of dopamine as much.

The "rich" get richer for alot of reasons. 

Edit: fixed a wording problem.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 08:50:14 AM by Just Joe »

I'm a red panda

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Re: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2018, 12:56:15 PM »
I'm clearly wired wrong.  During the darkest time in my life, my impulse was to throw everything away,  not to buy things.

Capt j-rod

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Re: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2018, 01:50:43 PM »
I try to buy a new fixer upper rental property every year. I've been lucky to get them in December when everyone is out maxing out their charge cards on consumer stupid shit... I kinda get bummed in the January February months with the weather being cold. Now I remodel the houses, get them ready for April when the real estate market fires up and rent them out. I guess spending money does make me feel better LOL.

jinga nation

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Re: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2018, 03:44:58 PM »
I try to buy a new fixer upper rental property every year. I've been lucky to get them in December when everyone is out maxing out their charge cards on consumer stupid shit... I kinda get bummed in the January February months with the weather being cold. Now I remodel the houses, get them ready for April when the real estate market fires up and rent them out. I guess spending money does make me feel better LOL.
This was my cure from 2011-2015. All my purchases were between Jan and May.
Now the local RE market is too hot. Prices at pre-housing crash levels. Even worse, there's very low margins, can get better returns on an index fund.

partgypsy

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Re: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2018, 03:50:09 PM »
It's actually not funny, because it's true. There are many things that cause people to lose willpower over spending. Some of them are stress, or not feeling in control of other parts of your life, a kind of rebellion, also if it's simply is the easier choice. It's good to be aware of all the ways our buying behavior is affected.

For me, there was a period of time I sublimated my desire for trips with ex, into buying things like gemstones. Some trip would be planned, something would happen where it would be canceled or indefinitely postponed. The same thing with house improvements. he would agree, but then say he would do it, but then not do it. So I then treated myself with something, because I felt a lack of control in one part of my life, I could at least do this. And I didn't need anyone's permission. But at least now I'm aware of it. My MIL worked one job where she had the classic horrible boss. During the time she would on a weekly or monthly basis, buy herself a stuffed animal, because it made her feel good. My sister compulsively shopped for awhile. She is basically an artist, but no longer did art. She sublimated her creativity and need for novelty into first window shopping, and then real shopping. The internet makes it so easy! I think this kind of stuff is interesting.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 03:52:13 PM by partgypsy »

ptobeast

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Re: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2018, 04:23:48 PM »
I am definitely guilty of buying things when I feel stressed out or sad. I recognize the behavior at least, and have a small stack of gift cards (accumulated as gifts or work rewards) I'll use for this. Tends to not take much to trigger the feeling of release from purchasing an impulse item or two, so I'm OK blowing $5 of my gift card on a pair of socks & a snack from TJ Maxx every once in awhile when I'm down.

Capt j-rod

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Re: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2018, 06:19:00 PM »
I try to buy a new fixer upper rental property every year. I've been lucky to get them in December when everyone is out maxing out their charge cards on consumer stupid shit... I kinda get bummed in the January February months with the weather being cold. Now I remodel the houses, get them ready for April when the real estate market fires up and rent them out. I guess spending money does make me feel better LOL.
This was my cure from 2011-2015. All my purchases were between Jan and May.
Now the local RE market is too hot. Prices at pre-housing crash levels. Even worse, there's very low margins, can get better returns on an index fund.

The houses that I am buying now are VERY different from the ones in 2010-2013. Those houses were dirt cheap and needed paint and a furnace. The one I just got needs some serious work. Furnace, total bath remodel, Kitchen, plumbing, electrical, flooring... Yep everything but a roof damn near. These are what I can find for the right numbers. There is still money there, but the work is significant. This is why I have a mustache. Me and my little hammer go in and start to tap tap tap. Next thing you know it's all new. It's not for everyone. When I worked construction I hated doing it for others, but now that I do it for me and the retirement I have a new found passion and respect. I actually like the challenge and the before and after. It is very satisfying and profitable. If I wrote checks for what I do I'd lose my ass LOL.

Laura33

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Re: Sometimes the best cure for the blues... is buying stuff!
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2018, 06:38:34 AM »
We should not just condemn impulsive buying, but understand why it happens, the triggers and all that.

+1.  I think the poor are well-known for spending far too much on small unnecessary luxuries (and by "luxuries" I am including things like fast food instead of home cooking), because they don't see any way not to be poor, ever, and because resources tend to disappear quickly.  So if you don't think saving is going to get you anywhere, why delay gratification?  I suspect the same applies to people who for ex have lots of debt and just can't do the math on how $2 or $5 or $10, repeated every day/week/month, would really add up.

I actually had a weird version of this a few years ago.  I had always been frugal out of fear of being poor; even though I spent money on things, I always felt guilty and terrible about it.  And then one day I realized that I had enough money put away never to be poor again -- not FIRE on our current lifestyle, but there was no cat food or park bench in my future.  My response was to spend money -- gloriously, happily.  It wasn't about the "stuff"; it was about asserting my power over my own money, instead of the other way around.   

Of course that didn't last -- I didn't need it to.  Once I adjusted to the "new" feeling of being in charge of my money instead of driven by fear, I settled into a balance.  And that balance is basically back where I was before, because buying "stuff" for the sake of having more stuff just doesn't make me happy.  But I'm much happier in that place now, because I'm doing the same things, but for a positive reason ("I don't need that") instead of a negative one ("I can't afford it, I'll never be able to have nice things like that").  And I still don't feel bad about losing my mind temporarily, because as strange as it sounds, I needed to do it. 

But on the ad in the OP:  yeah.  I hate ads like that -- "give in, choose today over tomorrow, you know you want that momentary dopamine hit from buying something you don't need."

Hmmmm, just occurred to me:  I'm wondering if the problem isn't that we don't understand the triggers for impulse buying, but rather if we understand it too well, which means those highly-paid marketers know exactly how to hit you in your soft spot.