After I’ve packed up all my personal belongings and moved out of my parent’s house back in the day, I was shocked to see how much excess things I bought that I don’t even use anymore.
There it was, in my parent’s basement collecting dust. Boxes, after boxes. Pile, after pile. I shook my head in disbelief.
You name it, I had it. I owned designer jeans by the dozens. I had a lot of overpriced bags, expensive shirts and other crap that I thought would make me cool. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely worked.
You know that feeling you get when you buy something new and you can’t wait to wear it? The moment you put it on, you feel like a brand new person. You naturally pull your shoulders back, puff up your chest with a knowing smile on your face. You have a swagger in your step and you feel extra fly. You feel different and you behave in a confident way that generates a positive response from others. It’s a quick fix and all you needed was some free time and a credit card.
“Holy shit, this is awesome!” your self-esteem recognizes that compliment and feels rewarded.
Subconsciously, your brain associates wearing new clothes with confidence. To the internally naive individual, this is a pit fall. It’s dangerous, and quite expensive, to rely on external things for validation. It’s true, shopping definitely has a therapeutic feel to it. The only problem is, the results are temporary and hard to sustain. When the novelty of the clothing piece wears off, there goes your self-esteem because your personal satisfaction is short lived.
I’m the first to admit, I like having nice things. I do enjoy them, just as much as the next brand whore. I still buy them and love wearing them. Except now, I have a different view on spending my hard earned money.
I use it to complement who I am and represent my personality, not make up for my shortcomings.
“Buy once, buy right.”
Nowadays, I would rather own a few timeless items that I really love than have a bunch of shitty ones I really don’t care for. I invested on a few pairs of well made shoes, high quality jeans, well fitting shirts and jackets. That’s it. Anything more than that is excessive. Things add up fast and by being efficient with how you spend your money with clothes, you can spend it on things that actually matter more.
Building relationships and giving value is always in style. Using your money to make someone’s day has a more rewarding feel to it than buying material crap. Great dinner with friends, creating experiences with your family, going to places you’ve never been to or even seminars to better yourself are some examples. Those memories will last you a life time because the exchange of value was a lot deeper. The experienced shared is more meaningful than something extremely shallow and superficial. You’ll find yourself happier and feel more fulfilled by doing this. The best investment you can make is with people and relationships.
So next time you stumble upon some extra cash and you’re itching to hit up the mall for some fresh threads, take a quick sec bro.
Think twice and ask yourself, “Do you really need that?”