Since knowing what clothes were, I’ve had a shopping temptation. I embarrassingly admit that every time I leave a store empty-handed, I become unhappy. This does not mean that I go shopping every day and spend billions of dollars on clothes (I wish!); I simply have a love for clothes and shoes. Seeing new and creative outfit possibilities makes me happy and I enjoy seeing what stores have in trend.
“When I shop, the world gets better and the world is better, but then it’s not and I need to do it again.”
A year ago or even a few months ago, when somebody would tell me about how college students are always broke and like to spend as little money as possible, I laughed. I had saved up enough money from my numerous babysitting and tutoring jobs that I thought: “I’ll be fine! I can practically go shopping everyday!” – if you know me well enough, you know that I would if I could. With my shopping temptation, I knew that I would go shopping too much. The truth is, New York City is designed to tempt girls like me to shop. The City and I together are a catastrophe not only for my wallet but also my savings.
On my walk to class every morning, I stare at the “SALE – 50% off” sign at Gap and unfortunately have to run past it, no Gap shopping bags in hand. Every Friday I finish class at noon, and decide that it would be a smart idea to walk around Union Square, only a few blocks away. I never know why I think it’s a smart idea, because I always somehow find myself in a store. In Union Square – a somewhat downtown mecca shopping attraction – I am surrounded by stores including Nordstrom Rack, Forever 21, Zara, H&M, and countless other shops within the small radius of a few city blocks. I am ashamed to say that every Friday in the City, I have been shopping, only once not purchasing an item. Living near Union Square has been quite a problem for avoiding a shopping addiction like mine.
At first when it started get cold outside, I was excited to buy fall and winter clothes. This was until I realized how much more expensive a coat is to buy than a pair of denim shorts. I also realized that when I worked hard to make my own money, it was much harder to spend than when my parents would buy me clothes. Now I think: “Hmm, if I buy this scarf for $30, it is the same amount as me babysitting for three hours. Is that worth it?” Sometimes the answer is yes, but usually (and sadly) the answer is no. It is not worth $40 to buy an Urban Outfitters top that I could have my friend who attends FIT make, although I was very enticed. (It was literally thick bands of gold elastic sewn together into a small tube top). I used to despise the long lines for fitting rooms, but now I thank the twenty people waiting in line at Zara; they have prevented me from spending another lump sum of money on a clothing item I unfortunately don’t really need (I do want but do not need).
With Christmas coming around the corner, I should start making a wish list of clothes, however, I have searched and searched online but somehow cannot find anything I like at all. How ironic.
One thing I’ve learned from shopping in New York City as a college student:
Sometimes a clothing item is worth refraining myself from Starbucks for three weeks – usually nothing can be worth more than Starbucks because I’m addicted – or not spending as much for the rest of the month. When it is something I will wear over and over again, I learn to make sacrifices. I’m starting to master prioritization and budgeting, skills that will only help me in the future, especially when I make money (again).
Luckily I now have too much schoolwork to go shopping. My bank account thanks all of my professors.