Living beyond our means

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I will be the first to admit that I am absolutely a product of my generation. I love technology, gadgets, social media and social networking- God forbid I should accidentally leave my iPhone at home one day- the withdrawal from not being connected to all of my friends and blogging platforms at the touch of a button doesn't bear thinking about. To a large extent I find I am influenced by the online community I have immersed myself in- I read beauty blogs for makeup tips, fashion blogs for style inspiration, and spend hours typing 'vintage' 'shabby chic' and 'ditsy floral' into search bars, constantly trying to find the items I have seen other people using, that I believe I need. I have grown up in an era where everything is so accessible for magpies like me, who are always on the look out for something new and shiny. Unfortunately, my search for the perfect shade of red lipstick, the ultimate fanned out lashes or the dress that sucks everything in has me gritting my teeth and gulping down a lump in my throat every time my credit card bill hits the door mat.
It started with a few things to boost my credit rating. Then it was £100 here, £150 there, a trip away (well deserved), a shopping spree (I've lost weight and NEED new clothes), a Kindle (need one to read on the bus to work), a DSLR (for taking arty farty pictures) and finally, my most extravagant purchase, a Macbook (for writing articles like this, to go on the blog.) Truth be told, the trip away was a wash out, the clothes from my shopping spree are languishing in a drawer somewhere unworn and ill fitting, the Kindle stays in my bag while I read blogs on my phone on the bus to work, I end up taking all my pictures on Instagram, and I already had a laptop at home that I simply needed to buy a new charger for (but I do love my Macbook!) I am part of a generation whose philosophy is “if it's broke, throw it away and buy a new one.” Spending on credit cards and store cards is so easy, as it doesn't feel like spending real money. I get lost in the moment and justify meaningless purchases in the hope that they will somehow improve or add to my life in a way that will bring me endless happiness forever and ever. Then when I am home, and the euphoric bliss of handing over plastic and walking away with crisp paper bags full of purchases dulls to a niggling regret, I hate myself for constantly living beyond my means and making it harder for myself to ever be able to afford the really important things, like a mortgage on my own home, or my wedding that keeps being put off due to lack of funds. Am I just a shallow and impressionable individual, or does the media have a large part to play in convincing people like me that we want things we don't need?
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