What Is The Causes Of Impulsive Buying? (Part 2)
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The Relationship with Money and Material Objects
Money and material objects are omnipresent throughout the diary. This is not surprising in a testimony about addictive buying, in which the author describes a person economic behavior in great detail. However, the symbolic meanings of products and money, which are sometimes explicitly mentioned and other times are implicit in the author’s interpretations of the buying episodes and other life events, reveal some deep-rooted materialistic values. For example:
I admit now that I dreamt of one day shopping in good shops like my big boss….haha… A friend (female) before she got married, who was always dressed in the latest fashion, drew my attention a lot, like the boys who were well dressed. I was mistaken, but nothing can be done about it.
Although, at times, she seems to question the importance of money and material objects, these values constantly emerge. For example, an important motive for worry and anxiety is the damage that her buying behavior has caused to her husband and children. On one occasion, she mentions the possible emotional damage caused by her permanent state of anxiety and irritability; she also considers at one point that her spending habits have not set a good example for her children, but most of the references to this issue refer to the pain she feels because the accumulated debts now prevent her from buying things:
I see people with their flat all set up buy a car, things for their child, and I think how I have ruined my family… It takes a great effort to acknowledge these feelings, like seeing a friend who has kept his money under control and has many more things.
What is outstanding throughout the diary is the degree to which family relationships and friendship revolve around the purchase of products, going to shops as a leisure activity, and gifts, both in the form of material objects and money. One fact that illustrates this centrality is the friendship maintained for years with another buying addict from whom she frequently receives money and gifts.
Money, material objects and presents in family relationships and friendships.
What did I spend money on? On everything and on everyone.
It can repeatedly be seen that purchases, material objects, and money have always been and are present as means of communication and relating, both in family relationships and in friendships. Gifts of articles of clothing and other products to various family members and friends are frequent, not only on special occasions, but as a routine that is carried out either by buying or by paying for what others buy. For example:
Last week I went to get clothes for my nephew, I went with my niece… I think that they have forgotten about that affair of them buying me the suit, but it doesn’t matter.
At times, money and presents fulfill a reciprocal function: They are a way of paying for, or returning favors.
One day, I had a quarrel with my nephew, the one I always said was my child, and the relationship no longer feels the same to me. I feel sorry about the affection and about everything I spent on them. Of course, you must understand that they now have a good friend that gives them a lot, and an uncle without children who is giving them a lot of money, you can see it in their clothes and everything.
The inappropriate nature of my relationships with certain friends, based on excessive gifts, becomes evident to a good friend, someone from outside the family.
Everything I gave them didn’t seem right to my friend. When that happened, I was often with the wife of one of these friends. They had a daughter whom I was very fond of. As they didn’t have much money I always bought things for the girl, shoes, a dress, a jacket. My friend was right, it was too much. For my birthday, I went to the shop and I really took advantage of this friend, because he pays by installments. I bought a jacket, a skirt, a jersey, a jacket with a polo shirt, and, to round it off, two pairs of pants because last year’s pants are no use to me.
In fact, this friend’s gifts include clothes and other products for the husband and children. These family values, beliefs, and customs with respect to money and material objects, in short, the predominant material culture in this family generates an atmosphere of permissiveness that favors the development of addictive buying.
The behavior of both women during these visits reminds one of a relationship with a child, a nephew or niece, or a grandchild, because each time there is a visit, there is always, or nearly always, “pocket money”. Last Monday, my mother came to bring me prescriptions, well, I was waiting to see if she would give me something… she gave me five hundreds.
I’m going to draw a five hundreds for today or tomorrow because my nephews and nieces are coming. I draw a thousand because there are two of them and they’ll spend it on the machines, if not, I’d only take five hundred.