Consumer confessions is a safe place that I've created on my blog where I can admit my financial faux pas. I hope that there won't be too many of them, but like most human beings, I am liable for the odd slip up now and again. My plan for this blog is to give full disclosure to my monthly spending habits, as I believe this will help strengthen my resolve, improve my financial awareness, and make me accountable. I will also use it to track all of my progress from now to Financial Freedom.
If I get into a position where I've spent some money and I feel a sense of regret, I will document it here in Consumer Confessions. I will use the post as an opportunity to let the guilt from my 'recent purchase' drift away out of my mind.
I don't want to hide a purchase, lie about it, or play down the impact of it. I'll just say what I did and I'll explain my rationale at the time. I hope by following this process I will become more financially aware, and I won't beat myself for spending money. I will, as ever, welcome any comments!
For the past 3 years I've been living quite frugally, and when it comes to Birthday's, I have to confess to not making too much of an effort with my friends and family. They all get presents, but I rarely get them anything inspiring. I'm the type of person that feels guilty when other people go to a lot of effort for me. I think I don't tend to fuss over people, because I don't like it myself. The reality is of course, that some people like to be made to feel special or they just really deserve it!
One of my best mates has recently celebrated his birthday. He's due to come over to my house next weekend with his wife for a good old catch up. So I've been deliberating over what to get him. For the past few years I've just bought him standard alcohol based presents. Here today, gone tomorrow. I can remember his reaction to a Christmas present I gave him for 2013, and he joked sarcastically "Is it alcohol by any chance?"...... and it was. He really didn't mind, as he's not the type of guy that particularly likes material things anyway, but I did!
His presents to me tend to be pretty random, and a few years back he bought me a very different present to what I'm used to receiving. It was a 'Zorbing Experience' voucher for 2 people. Very cool!
I've read quite a few books and articles on the secret of happiness. I find it fascinating! I found a common theme in all of them. They suggest that people should spend money on experiencing things in life, and not material objects. An experience will not only last a life time, but the pleasure can sometimes grow as you reminisce over the event.
If I look back over the great experiences I've had, I would have to agree. Also, I would agree with material objects losing their appeal. Once you've bought an expensive item it feels great initially, but that feeling diminishes over the months you own it, to a point where it is no longer seen as 'special'. It eventually becomes something else you own.
To that end, I decided I would make more of an effort this year and get him a cracking present.
So, this morning I've just order an 'Ariel Atom Thrill' experience day at the tune of £76.99. An Ariel Atom, for those of you that don't know, is a high performance sports car. It's the third fastest production car in the world to get to 0-60mph (2.89 seconds!). He'll get the opportunity to drive this beast around a racing track.
I would normally spend up to £20-£30 for most presents for friends, I tend to spend a bit more on family and my fiance. It's stil 3-4 times more than I would normally spend.
I think I might have gone a little overboard with the total amount. To curb my guilt, I put the payment on my 'spending money' card. This is where I do my guilt-free spending. I am trying to keep the amount of guilt-free spending money down, so it kind of goes against what I'm doing here.
I also purchased the voucher via topcashback.co.uk and I've received confirmation that I'll receive £11.31 cashback for it.
I have to confess something else as well. I actually didn't feel too bad about spending it. I actually had a rush of excitement when I bought it, and I can't wait to hand over the gift card and see his reaction now!
I hope the Dividend Growth God's will forgive me on this occasion. I promise not to make a habit out of this. Sorry other friends/family! :-)
Do you have any consumer confessions to make?
Labels: Consumer Confessions