I have a problem with impulsive spending. It’s true. Impulse buys are an ingrained part of our culture. Coming from a blue-collar background in Ohio’s rust belt I’m afflicted. I grew up in a “work hard, play hard” culture, where satisfaction was measured by random take-out and spending. It was a culture of conspicuous consumption, trickled down to the working class to keep them sedated and working. Pay day was always about the celebration and licking our wounds.
Everyone I grew up around was always talking about their next paycheck. The things and rewards they would buy. My dad always talked about this car he wanted, Next paycheck. For years. He finally settled on an older model, a used one.
Why? Where did the money go?
In my dad’s case, he was never able to afford the car he wanted. He certainly made enough money, but he spent it on meaningless things. It was all movies, takeout, video rentals, dinner with friends. To be sure, that’s a way to enjoy life. I can’t say my dad was totally unhappy. But he never really achieved his dreams. He traded them for these impulse buys. Countless times “what’s for dinner?” was answered with a pizza hut coupon chanced upon in the daily newspaper. It was easy to do it. It was the 90’s version of Amazon’s one-click buys.
Some hold the theory impulse spending is merely a lack of self control. That might be true. I think it’s lack of a true goal. It’s lack of passion around something we want to achieve.
In my dad’s case, he wanted that car because he thought it would attract women and make people respect him. He’d replaced his passion with a facsimile, a mere proxy of his true desire. In his mind, that car became the dream, not what he actually wanted to achieve. Deep down he knew the car wasn’t what he actually wanted. All the movie rentals and pizzas were just bandaids to cover his dissatisfaction with life. He lost faith in his ability to achieve.
My dad worked hard. He got up every morning around 3am. He was a roofer, and a damn good one. Maybe he still is, I don’t speak to him anymore (but that’s besides the point). People were astounded by his talents. He had the same skillset as an Apollo engineer, and that’s no exaggeration. I watched him build air planes from junk parts and I remember a time he accidentally set off a rocket in our garage. One time he told me he’d have gotten on the Challenger, knowing it would explode, just for the shear thrill of going to space.
Impulsive spending is a symptom
Impulsive spending is a symptom of lost dreams and fragmented goals. It’s what happens when you forget you wanted to go to space so bad you’d have hopped aboard a rocket that was destined to explode. Along with it come false dreams and hobbies. It’s a thin line.
My dad was playing space man in the garage, while letting his life blood out as a roofer. His analysis was he couldn’t do it because he skipped going to college. He just didn’t try.
I also dropped out of high school and never went to college. I even wound up in prison. For years, I was a total wreck. I’d pretty much made up my mind I’d never amount to anything. I was sentenced to a life of blood and sweat like my dad. I sedated myself with impulse buys, trash food, and porn. Oh, and drugs. We can’t forget how much they liked me.
As I write this, I’m the chief technology officer of an international logistics company. But I still have an impulse spending problem. It’s crept back in every time I settle and get comfortable. Every time I lose my passion.
The Life Hack
I’ve given myself to a Goddess. As I sit here I’m locked in a male chastity device and all of my bank cards are inside of a locked box. Goddess Maya holds the only keys to them. I can’t spend any money or even wank without Her permission. Extreme? You bet.
I’ve thrown myself on Her mercy and she’s proven an able guide and counsel for me. My passions are clearly in sight again. I have goals and drive. She herself put it like this: if you had a favorite horse, wouldn’t you put reins on it?
It’s a simple plan. For me, impulsiveness manifests as wanking and spending money on stupid things. She’s taken that away. She protects me from it. Any money I earn is split between us, half to my savings and half to Her. She allows me enough spending money to cover my basic needs. Some would say it’s a bad idea to allow someone else that kind of control. What if she exploits me? What if she ruins my life? I’m not worried.
Even as she goes on dates and orders takeout, using me like an ATM machine, she is forcing me to improve my life and follow my dreams. Serving Goddess Maya Loux is a life hack.