I love shopping.
I freely admit it. It’s a major issue. At home, I regularly travel at least an hour to get to H&M, one of my favorite stores, mostly because it’s all so cheap and cute.
And now I’m here in London, one of the fashion capitals of the world and home of Europe’s largest shopping mall.
The only issue here is that, as I’m in London, everything is in pounds, which means I have to think carefully about what I buy. For example, the boots I’ve been lusting after for three months aren’t 90 bucks, but pounds. So with conversion, close to $150.
Ouch. I’ve paid less for hotel rooms here.
At home, I would have bought them long ago. It’s a lot of money in dollars, but for a pair of boots I can wear for the next few years, totally worth it. But in pounds? Maybe not.
And all the prices look so reasonable too, until you do the conversion, shudder and walk away.
So I’ve curbed the shopping urges, despite the temptation of Harrods and Oxford Street, which has a huge four-floor Top Shop and three H&M’s within a few blocks, just to name a few temptations.
The moral of the story here is that I’ve learned to prioritize, to watch my money in a way I rarely did in the U.S. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I haven’t bought anything here. I’m not that strong. But having to analyze the prices and really think about what I’m paying has resulted in me buying less junk and instead more quality pieces that I know I’ll wear a lot.
And it’s made me think about what else I spend my money on. I’ve stopped using my nice shampoo, first because they only sell it in salons here and second because it costs nearly twice as much. I buy fewer groceries and make sure they’re ones that will last for a while – I’ve eaten more peanut butter and jelly here than I have since grade school.
Not to mention, I’d rather have that weekend trip to Scotland than buy those shoes.
Although my inability to afford clothing is killing me (did I mention the Top Shop has four floors?), it’s actually a good life lesson. Even when I get back home, I’ll still think more about whether I really need that tank top or if that dress is really worth it compared to something that will be more lasting, whether it’s clothing or travel. For example, when I get back, I plan to continue traveling (I’m addicted) and go to D.C., and hopefully to New York and/or L.A. at some point soon. To do so, I can’t spend money on cheap clothes I’ll wear a few times and then give away.
Why not join me in this? Let’s prioritize and decide what’s really important, then go for it, instead of wasting our money on crappy clothes we’ll wear a few times before it rips or we give it away.
The ultimate dilemma: shoes or hotel rooms?
I love shopping.