I’ve put myself on a shopping ban, not because I really wanted to but because people were saying my shopping was excessive.

I disagree. I’m a very focussed shopper, I see what I want and I buy it. I actually hate shopping, so it’s rare than you’ll see me shopping for hours, that’s only if I end up with the real shopaholic – Mwitwa. That girl can shop! And she really enjoys it!

My real problem is that I’m a spendaholic. I feel the need to spend money. Before I’d spend money going out (drinks on me for everybody!) or buying food (ha! and I wonder how I put on all the weight). But then I looked around and thought I had nothing to show for the money I earned. Really stupid, in retrospect.

So that’s how my interest in shopping started. It started with cute dresses from H&M, and DP, then I moved up to Zara, and then Karen Millen. As I earned more money I started wanting the things I saw on TV, or the stuff that R&B and rappers talked about (really a big mistake). When I bought my first pair of Jimmy Choos, I felt a high, you couldn’t imagine. I felt like my hard work was paying off. What little girl doesn’t dream of a pair of Choos. Because I’m the classical kind of girl, I wanted Choos more than I wanted the more trendy and fashionable red bottoms of Christian Louboutains.

Ever since then I’ve craved that high again, and I only seem to find it when I get a high-price item. But my friends think I spend excessively, so I got to the point where I don’t tell them what I’ve bought and hope they don’t open my closest when they come to my house!

I do find it frustrating that people question my spending habits, but if I’m not putting it on a credit card, then why can’t I buy it? I like buying these designer or expensive items because it does give me a sense of pride, that I’ve worked this hard and have this purchasing power.

But more recently I’ve had another lightbulb moment. It’s all well and good to have this stuff for my own personal pleasure, but how is it helping my personal net worth?

Recently I bought my first car – a Landrover (a Freelander actually) – second hand, but I was still so chuffed, felt quite grown up. I got it because of my move to Zambia, need wheels, unlike in London which has a relatively good, but frustrating public transport system. And that led me to thinking, if I can get a car, I can get a house!

Now that I’m focussed on getting my first house in Lusaka, I do have to kerb my spending, but every once in a while, I slip but I’m trying to be strong. It’s also hard when shopping for expensive goods gives me so much pleasure! I have to try and focus on the pleasure I’ll get from shopping for accessories for my house!

In 2011, I hope more people will stop listening to these songs and think buying the Gucci, Prada and the Louis is important and start focusing on increasing our personal net worth.

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