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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

Why do new things make us happy?

Welcome back to new month on So far I have talked about new perspectives and all the new season fashion. Today I want to talk about the magic and uncontrollable feelings of joy we receive when we purchase something new.

It is apt that I write this knowing it will be going live just as many of you will have been paid. With all that hard earned money sitting in your bank accounts, and ASOS saved lists screaming out to be bought, I want to discuss the feeling of buying things.

You know that feeling you get when you look at the new in section of ASOS, and you see the roll neck that would work perfectly in your wardrobe, as you add it to your basket, press confirm and buy, and you wait for it to arrive? That bubbly sensation of almost illicit joy, surely I am not the only one who feels this. This dulls to vague tingles when you think about it winding its way to you via the DPD man, and when it arrives, the feeling comes back in full bubbly glory.

We all know that commercialism and capitalism is generally a system that favours the rich and keeps the poor, well poor. Yet in having these feelings, and enjoying the thrill of the purchase we are supporting this industry. Well like any good writer worth their salt, I am going to shove in some science for you, so we can all understand why buying things makes us happy.

We purchase things to receive instant gratification, we know it won’t last, but we don’t care. We are more likely to purchase things when we are low or upset. Science then says that things in the long run will not make us happier, as they will not make us like our life any more than we do already.

All the science and people who write about money, say that instead of buying things we should invest our money in to experiences. Which does make sense, but we don’t all have £6000 for a kayaking holiday down the Amazon. So there is not that many life changing experiences most people's wages can buy. Of course we can all save, but that means months of waiting, and like many I am very impatient.

I agree with all this lovely science, but I am still a huge fan of buying things within my means, and enjoying being able to treat myself. Of course treat yo’ self has become a crapy millennial self help stalwart for a few years now. Whilst I do not disagree with its main principles, on the whole I recommend exercising caution.

Never spend money if you know you need it for something else, this will only cause issues. Never make snap decisions, saying things like ‘I can always return it’, because 9 times out of 10 you will forget, and never use it. Sleep on it, I try always to leave one full day to fully consider a purchase, to ensure that I won’t end up feeling guilty about it later.

Ask yourself if you really do need it, and if you instantly say yes, then perhaps ask a friend or your mum! If it is clothes, always make sure you know how you will wear it, make sure you can create one outfit with the item, to ensure that you will wear it and get your monies worth. If you can’t then perhaps it was never meant to be in the first place.

All that considered, then I say you are ready to make your happy making purchase. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself, as you are absolutely worth it. As long as you are living with in your means, I support you.

I didn’t need to think about buying this top, I am in love with my #tittop from the divine and talented Cat O’Brien. I am very lucky to call Cat one of my close friends, so I had to support her work. These tees are available on Cat’s website here. If you do want to spend money, then I think supporting smaller businesses is a great place to start.

Of course I would be being very insensitive to not mention that there is a lot of poverty in this country, and that not everyone is as fortunate as myself and others. I can only say sorry for the situation that they are in, and hope that this country will do more to tackle homelessness and people living in poverty.

Shot by Cat O’Brien

Shop My lewk:

Shoes: Zara

Sunglasses: ASOS Earrings: Zara, old


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