Yesterday, I almost let myself get out of control with my spending again. I saw that a British anime site was selling Gundam series super cheap and I ended up making an order with Paypal’s pay later. Not even an hour later, I was racked with guilt and wanting to cancel. Thus I ended up sending an email and having my ordered cancelled today.
Why do I do it? Why do I buy all this shit I have no need for? Why do I self sabotage my finances like this to begin with? You might be asking those questions, and after a long time asking myself those questions (many years), I think I can explain it.
Let me first start off by saying that my explanation is no form of justification. All my reasoning for doing such things is based off unhealthy ways of thinking. Recognizing that, however, is the first step in order to overcoming it.
Taking my recent incident as an example, let me walk you through the different thought processes (both conscious and unconscious)
The deal was a pretty good one. For those not aware, normally Gundam series tend to cost like 50 bucks per set, but it’s not uncommon for most Gundam series to span two sets (Most 50 episode series come in two sets) Which means you’re most likely paying 100 bucks for most Gundam series. The deal discounted the sets to about 25 dollars and also incorporated a buy one get one. Thus you could get a 100 series for about 25 bucks
The major catch was the blurays are region B (as opposed to A which is what US and Japan use) as the store is in England. Thus the only way to play them is to buy hacked blu-ray players. Which, had I gone through with purchasing, I would have also needed to buy (They range from like 100-300 bucks depending on how nice of one you want)
Still, when you consider the cost of the US Gundam sets, you’re saving A LOT of money. I had at least 12 sets plus some movies which would have come out, if I bought them in the US, to over 600. Whereas with the cheapest region free blu-ray player and the sale, it would only be about 300ish. Insanely good deal.
When you see that good of a deal, there’s a lot of times, at least in my case, where I start thinking about whether I can use that particular thing. It’s a habit I think I’ve inherited/been conditioned into from my father. Whenever we see something that’s a good deal, we start getting ideas in our head for how to use it.
I had, in the past, started on a journey to see all of Gundam. While it’s very much something I’d still like to do, it’s been a couple years since I watched a Gundam series and now I hardly remember them. I want to start over, but since then I’ve also acquired a lot of other stuff I’d like to do (What can I say but there’s a lot of stuff that interests me, at least in my niches anyway)
Seeing a deal that’s not going to last, however, reminds me that I wanted to do that, and I start thinking about “Well what if I take advantage of this now and that will both give me the incentive and a way of tackling this project” Not realizing that you’re invested in a bunch of other stuff and that you never do until later on when you see a stack of Gundam blurays clogging up a shelf that you were hoping to use for something else.
Substitute Gundam for a bunch of other things, and you’ll understand part of my line of thinking. It’s a combination of FOMO but also stockpiling for a project I never end up embarking on.
The other sort of big reason I buy so much shit, is recognition. We all know how people live outside their means in order to appear a certain way, and I’m no different at times. While I don’t do it with a wish to be seen as more than anyone else, I do do it to be seen in a positive light. Because then it feels like I’ve been accepted in a way
Again using the Gundam blurays as an example, somewhere deep down I’m hoping it might impress someone. I’m hoping they’ll think “That dude seems cool, maybe I should get to know them better”
Obviously, when brought to the surface of my thoughts, I know it’s an unhealthy way to think. Being part of my unconscious though, it can be hard to have it come to light. Especially in a moment where I’m thinking of buying something in the first place and all I can think is “I want this”