woman holding shopping bags

Don't Buy It Now!

I recently heard a commercial for a furniture store that said, “Buy now! No interest until 2025!”

I had a vision of my parents sitting in their living room years ago and thought how shocked they’d be to see the ease with which people furnish their home these days. They and their generation bought only when they could, and if the money ran out they waited until they’d earned enough to buy something else that they needed. My parents didn’t have extra nickels and dimes to waste; their worn recliner chair and couch were proof of that.

We have become a get-it-now world where we don’t have to wait for anything.

I’m no exception. I’m too familiar with the buy-now, pay-later world and the nightmare it creates.   I remember days when I purchased not only one shirt, purse, pair of pants and shoes but included all the other colors they came in, too. Bigger televisions, upgraded cellphones; the list went on and on, and the spending continued. So many others had all of these great things, and what would they think if I didn’t keep up? I acted the way I thought the world expected me to, not the way I really was.

Eventually, of course, that mentality caught up with Kevin and me. We got rid of items long before we needed to–and while the bills were still coming in for them. The items weren’t worn out, but we were! Our bills were like anchors around our necks.

But in my fifties, things got shaken up. I realized that the old ways of doing things weren’t right for me anymore. It took a lot of work and a good dose of loving myself to start fixing the feelings that were causing my need to shop. Now, I realize that having a designer purse won’t make me rich, and premium lipstick doesn’t mean I’m a model. A friend wrote on Facebook just the other day that the time on the face of a Rolex watch is the same as a Timex.  Wise words!

I get asked often why I share my shortcomings with so many people. The answer is easy; I wasted too many years wearing a mask to cover up what was really happening inside, and in the end it exhausted me. For me, it’s freeing to share the vulnerable, imperfect side of myself.

Believe me, I still get the urge to splurge.  The solution for me is not to watch too much television – and to stay away from QVC and HSN altogether! It’s just human nature to want nice new things, but when that urge hits me I look around at all I have and remember to breathe. I am grateful I have what I need – and not more than I need.

Don’t get me wrong – I still have zillions of things I want to purchase on this new journey.  Movies, pizza, concerts, and plane tickets to visit my family back in New York, to name a few. Making memories are far more precious investments than any shopping-mall visit ever could be.

My mom made dinner every night from Monday to Thursday, and she combined all the leftovers on Friday, because nothing could go to waste. She and Dad worked very hard and I didn’t thank them enough back in the day.

So I will say my thanks to them now by trying hard to follow in their footsteps and create a new ad for  myself:

The best deals with no interest until 2025 and beyond are to…

Shop moderately

Slow down and enjoy each day

Make loving memories

Remember that “stuff” doesn’t make me beautiful; I already am

Use it up

Wear it out

Make it door do without.

And when watching television, walk away during the commercials!