As a kid I loved the Berenstein Bears books. One of my favorites was The Berenstein Bears Get the Gimmies, which shows how the bear cubs overcome a greedy little habit of wanting everything they can get their paws on. The cubs reach rock bottom when they throw a tantrum over candy in the grocery store, revealing their truly feral nature.
I admit that I can be materialistic and fall into a similarly greedy funk, where I want to just BUY THINGS, budget be damned, in a high-adrenaline shopping spree. If only I didn’t get such a high from handing over my debit card to a complete stranger.
Luckily, I’ve developed some coping methods for times like this to avoid binge shopping my way into a credit card bill that comes in an envelope with extra postage.
- Online window shopping. Faking that I can have all the stuff I want is almost as good as the real thing, so when I get greedy I stockpile an online shopping cart. After I get tired of clicking around (usually when I start to develop carpel tunnel symptoms), I stop, empty the cart, and watch as the balance goes from $2,674.56 to $0. Same rush, no damage.
- Ebay dabbling. I bid on one or two things I’m lusting after, but no more than a restricted low-ball amount that would probably make the seller pull the item if I won. By the time someone else inevitably tops my self-sabotaged bid, I’ve wised up and no longer need that tacky (in retrospect) sequined party dress.
- Small splurges. I give in and treat myself to small splurges that won’t do too much damage, like a new book or frivolous triviality (ice cream with sprinkles?). It’s the little things.
One day I’ll graduate to deep meditation on what’s more important in life, but for now this works.
What do you do in a greedy spell?
*Please note the great irony that the rightmost mannequin in the photo is holding a bear.