It's All About The Money

Money is such a touchy subject. Everyone deals with it in their own way, and each person's "financial style" can tell you a lot about their character. Or at least, I think that it does. My financial priorities have always been a bit...well, odd. When I was in my twenties, I was the type of girl who didn't own a single pan or a winter coat, but I had a closet full of every item ever produced by Sharper Image. I mean, really, how often did I use my telescope? Or my weird African face candle? Or my joke voodoo kit? Not very often. I'm the worst type of impulse buyer; like a child, I see something different or unusual-looking, and I am immediately drawn to it. No sooner do I find something that catches my eye, and my hand is already in my wallet.

Now that I am all grown up, I finally have a pan. Just one. I use it for everything: frying, boiling..even toasting. Sad, I know. But kitchen items are on the very bottom of my priority list, since I never cook. I'd much rather spend a few hundred on a juicer, which I actually use. I cooked an entire Thanksgiving feast last year using nothing but my single pan and a roll of tinfoil (or, as I call it, a baking sheet), so I refuse to believe that having cookware is a necessary part of being an adult!

I have found that I get far more enjoyment out of spending my money on experiences, rather than things. I will throw down money for a vacation without batting an eye. I have no problem handing over my hard-earned cash for a massage, or a facial. Yet, I'm still waiting to replace my microwave, which blew up several months back. It's an inconvenience to live without one, but I just don't care enough to buy a new one.

Perhaps it's my hedonistic nature, but I prefer purchases that make me happy, rather than ones that are useful. I get acupuncture every week, and this is partly because it keeps me healthy (and it also is good for business, because it makes the treatments I give more effective), but the real reason that I am so consistent with it is because...well, I really like it. I love the feeling of just zoning out for an hour and getting into the "acu-stoned" state. It gives me pleasure, which is why I have no problem paying for it on a weekly basis.

My impulsive nature leads me to a lot of purchases that most people would forgo. If I go online in the morning and see a coupon for a massage, I will call immediately to set up an appointment. On the other hand, if the coupon can't be activated until the next day, I will skip it. If I can't get something in the spur of the moment, the desire for it passes. I am also very loyal to those who I have been to in the past, so a reminder email from an old vendor will usually convince me to set an appointment or buy something.

So now I ask, what influences you to spend extra money on something that is not a necessity? Under what circumstances are you most likely to purchase something like a facial or massage (or acupuncture)?