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The urge to splurge

shopping bags

A personal finance expert I was interviewing once challenged me: “Can you go to the mall with only P500 in your wallet?

Made me think hard. What if I see something needed at home? I am a mommy after all. The household will stand still without my efficient shopping skills. Or so I think.

What if there’s a sale? What if I get hungry? What if I don’t have time tomorrow? What if, what if?

What if these are only justifications for what all women love to do–splurge!

Truth is, I am a spending addict. That’s a weakness I share with my husband. (Hala!) And yes, I constantly have to repeat the following mantra to help me control the urge to splurge when the usual inner debate on “want vs need” no longer works:

  1. There will still be a sale tomorrow! — And the next day, and the day after that. China will forever be supplying the world with products that are cheaper than they were yesterday. Divisoria today will be more expensive than Trinoma 10 days from now. That’s how fast goods are moving in this day and age of globalization. Breathe. I won’t lose anything by not buying NOW.
  2. Yes, I will last one more day without stocking up on soap! — or toothpaste, or spaghetti, or corned beef. I am so scared of running out of food in the house that I have a tendency to hoard food supply as if Noah’s going to drop by tonight. So, yes, I have a tendency to overdo. Don’t all moms?? (hands on waist) But I found out recently that money in my pocket for at least one more day is better than money in the credit card company’s or the mall’s vaults. Stretch that one day further and that’s more savings. In fact, here’s a very useful tipid tip: stretch the contents of your pantry by being very creative in substituting ingredients instead of rushing to the store when you run out of one or two items in your recipe! (Simotan blues!)
  3. One-of-a-kind blouse, shoe or bag? Pure myth! — The design’s so unique, I won’t be able to find this anywhere else, I tell myself. It’s so soft, I want it! The shoes are so ME! How many times have I said this as if I can’t live without the item bagged and clinging to my arm as I exit the shop’s door? Much to my delight after a very successful mantra-repeating exercise that the bags, shoes and clothes I have right right now will do, thank you very much!
  4. Trinoma, SM, PowerPlant, Glorietta will still be there tomorrow — if you really want it, if you really need it, it will still be there tomorrow. The mall isn’t going anywhere!
  5. I am fabulous the way I am! — Sounds like a narcissist on a self-praising spree? I admit it does, but this helps me focus on a person’s true value. What’s in between the ears and within the rib-cage (mind and heart, ok?) is not diminished or enlarged by clothes, jewelry, shoes, or outward things. So if there’s no budget for it, so what? I am fabulous the way I am. :)

Do you have some personal mantra you would like to share?

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Posted in Spending.


19 Responses

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  2. hachiko says

    @ nonamer: more precisely BDO UITF zero-entry fees, zero-exit fees after 30 days (45 days for $), and management fee of just 1%/yr is really competitive. Ideal place to start off your UITF investing.

    @ salve! stocks up really good and I’m giddy-giddy-happy today 😀 My good ole P 300k in Philequity was P 1.26M yesterday, could close today at P 1.28M !!! Felt relieved by my decision several months back not to sell low and invest for the long haul. Exactly as the textbooks say. Yen doing great too at 94/$ :)

    salve off-topic naman. hachiko finally has a movie – yey! Starring Richard Gere – astig 😀 mwehehe Watch it if you get the chance http://hachiko-dog-story-movie-trailer.blogspot.com/

  3. no_namer says

    hi hachiko! Just wanted to ask what you meant by zero-fee UITF? I also have BDO UITFs but none has zero fee…. Unless you mean no entry and exit fees? I also know that the money market fund does not have a holding period so even if you withdraw within 30 days, there is no early exit fees.

    Thank you!

  4. salve says

    thanks hachiko! i hope i can gather enough information to show everything in table format so that these two products are easy to compare. unfortunately, some of these loads you will only figure out once you have invested. the information disclosure system is really still very dummy unfriendly!

  5. hachiko says

    Salve ha? I remember, pinag tulong tulongan nyo sa Money Smarts si Sunlife VUL ha? hehehe 😀 Oh well.

    In theory mutual funds and VULs work under exactly the same principles / mechanics. I’m so sure you know. But in practice VUL gets lumped with lotsa insurance and lotsa sales loads. VUL okay if your objective is insurance. But for most of my money I’ll go for yields and I’d stick with low-fee mutual funds and UITF. My fave bank BDO even offers zero-fee UITF – beat that!

    And again, Salve dear, no need to feel guilty about your shopping escapades. It’s simply part of your deal with mister. He earns and you spend! hehehe 😀

  6. salve says

    hi marlu! me too, food and books. my super favorite things to buy. sigh. i love to shop, but i find that tempering the urge these days is also giving me a natural high. hope this lasts! :-)

  7. salve says

    hey Issa! time for a celebration, then! don’t you just love the warm feelings afterwards of having escaped the urge to splurge hehe. so, where did you buy your new shoes? haha

  8. salve says

    hi Ate Taya! Sorry about the late reply. Sobrang daming raket hahaha. I was going to choose which of the five mantra you shared is my favorite, but i couldnt choose which one i liked best. they are all winners. i’ll be sure to try them out and update in a new post all my collections.

    how’s the credit card situation right now in the states? i read that the interest rates have gone up tremendously?

  9. salve says

    Hi Tyrone! Thanks for your kind words, you are so supportive. Just curious: how did you stumble on moneystories? :)

  10. salve says

    hi hachiko! rereading your answer to my question: would you feel the same way with VULs? how do mutual funds compare with VULS in your opinion?

  11. salve says

    Joel, that’s a pretty good mantra. you got me wondering tuloy why it never works? hehe

  12. Marlu says

    I must admit that I am an impulse buyer most of the time and yield to my want rather than to my need.
    I think this is where budgeting is very crucial. I set aside my tithes first, budget for the necessary items such as utilities, car payments, housing loan payment or rent, insurances, and those that I should really pay. I usually go overboard on food and books. It really requires a lot of discipline. I still list all my expenses daily.
    What I have learned is that if there is nothing I need to buy, don’t go to the mall. Stay at home. But if you really want to go to the mall for a change of scenery, don’t bring your credit cards and have a small amount od cash that you are willing to spend.
    I still have to discipline myself at times.

  13. Issa@youwanttoberich.com says

    Hi Salve! You are so me! :) Did you know that there was a sale at Rustan’s for Citibank cardholders yesterday (until July 15 actually) where bags and shoes and blouses and dresses and all good things were at least 25% off (65% max) and that I could pay it for 3 months for 0% interest? I went, and yes, I did this just after I just met with Joe and Nannette (had her blessings though, but she kind of withdrew it at the end of our meeting, I think). :) But I went around and around, up and then down, and I just could not take paying 9,000++ for shoes, or 15,000++ for bags. Yes, there were the good, less expensive stuff but I figured I can’t “settle” so I left the place without any bags on my arms. But it does not end there. I was on my way to Zara (all SSI stores were also on sale courtesy of Citibank) when the very pointed heel of my shoe got caught in a groove and broke! Broke! It was a sign. I got off, scot-free, at least for that day. Whew!

  14. Taya Julian says

    I have the following checklist before buying something:
    1) Is it going to make me happy? (If I purchase it with credit and didn’t pay it on time, the extra money I’ll pay for the interest won’t make me happy.)
    2) Will it add value to my life? (Is that blouse on sale going to make me look good or simply fat?)
    3) Is it something I can’t live without in the next 3 days? (If it’s a necessity, then you need it within 3 days. If not, then it’s just a want.)
    4) Will it have a place to live in my home? (Am I respecting this item by using it instead of letting it accumulate dust in the garage or in a corner?)
    5) If I own it, will I invest my time to using or improving it? (Do I want to own it for a long time? Or if this couch deteriorates, will I spend some time to reupholster or repaint it?))

  15. Tyrone @ Millionaire Acts says

    Hi Salve! I’m glad I was able to stumble your new blog after Money Smarts. From now on, I would frequent in this blog.

    By the way, if you don’t mind, I hope we can exchange links in our blogrolls.

  16. hachiko says

    di naman salve. dedma ka lang kasi nagpapalibre kami dun sa moneysmart hehehe :)

    as they say economics is the science of the mundane. practical experience in money matters is indispensable. and no one beats the Japanese in saving money. bricks of 10000-yen ($104) bills under the mattress. yea! :) and why not? can you believe prices here are the same or cheaper than 20 years ago? galeng no?

    about my funds: NO WAY! last thing anyone should do is to give up and sell at such depressing lows. Perhaps I was able to wait out too since I’m now paid in yen, its value just rallied as markets tanked (110 yen/$ to 90 last year. 96 ngayon). so now that it recovered nagsisisi ka naman why you didn’t invest last March :)

  17. Joel Guinto says

    Hello Mam! This almost never works, but I sing a line from U2’s ‘Beautiful Day’ when I get the urge to splurge, ‘What you don’t have, you don’t need it now.’

  18. salve says

    hachiko!!! i feel as if you’re a long-lost friend haha. has it been that long since we “chatted” in moneysmarts’ comments section? :)

    you said: “Being rewarded richly for investing tempers mindless spending really well.” so true! a good example would be children or teenagers who have truly experienced watching their time deposit or mutual fund accounts grow, as opposed to just hearing parents talk about the benefits of saving. the experience itself drives home the point more effectively, and they think twice about spending that last hundred pesos on cellphone load or movies.

    i’ve been dying to ask you if you took out your money last year when mutual funds were at their lowest. care to share good friend?

  19. hachiko says

    Salve, my personal mantra I hope you find useful: P 500 spent today could be worth P 2,000 someday! Being rewarded richly for investing tempers mindless spending really well. I should know. My old Nov 98 investment for P 300,000 in equity mutual fund is now P 1.11 million. And that’s already after a big P 400,000 haircut from its peak! Bear this in mind before needlessly spending that money.

    Most notorious stuff I’ll also mention here are expensive gadgets and cellphones. I could have spent P 15,000 last Nov 98 on a cool Nokia 5110. So how much will I get for it now?

    RE: “what all women love to do–splurge!” Salve oks lang yan. Don’t take it against yourself. That’s your role as women / wives. Our role as men / husbands is to make sure we make money faster than you spend it! hahaha :)



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