For a long time, I had accepted the fact that I would never be great with money. Why? Because I'm a bit of a hedonist and enjoy spending way too much. But because I may throw a cool $300 on a top I've had my eye on, that tends to give people (myself included) the impression that I am financially doomed. I even recall watching Confessions of a Shopaholic and believing I could relate to a woman in almost $20,000 (AUD) worth of debt — despite having absolutely zero credit card debt and a healthy nest of savings.
And it's not just us fashion tragics that feel the pressure to cut down drastically on our spending in order to be considered 'good with money'. Looking through financial columns and money-saving tips, most of what we see doesn't even account for the spending habits of regular people, let alone those of us who'd happily save up and splash out upwards of $1,000 on a designer item.
But personal finance is exactly that: personal. It's about managing what you earn and ensuring that your hard-earned dollars are spent wisely, not living as frugally as possible to maximise savings, but budgeting for your lifestyle.
Shopping isn't inherently wicked, but you might need to actively account for your predilections when budgeting. There is such a thing as healthy spending, and it's a good idea to shift your thinking to be more realistic, so you can avoid any impulse buys or the dreaded 'withdrawer's guilt'.
Ultimately, shopping and spending aren't mutually exclusive, and being 'good with money' means something different to everyone. As someone who relishes in a new purchase, I know that cutting out spending altogether isn't realistic for me, but that doesn't make me financially unfit, nor does it mean I'll never be able to own property one day (well, maybe not in this economy but you get the idea).
Click through for the best shopping advice we've heard, to ensure that our shopping doesn't spiral into Rebecca Bloomwood territory.