We all have that one guilty pleasure
I’m writing this article in the second week of December, which means two things:
- That the holidays and the necessary evils they bring (read: a sudden spike in traffic, thicker mall crowds and ever so tempting Christmas sales) are on a fast approach, and
- I really ought to get started on my Christmas shopping.
As if the lack of time isn’t enough to make the latter enough of a pressing matter, Christmas gifts are sort of a must in our household. Bottom line: there’s a lot of shopping––and not to mention, spending––to be done in the next couple of weeks.
Despite my voice of reason trying to yell some sense at me to get my shit together (make time to shop after work, clear my weekends and, for the love of God, stop spending on things that aren’t Christmas gifts for family or friends), I just can’t seem to put my credit card away. What am I going to do if my favorite band announces yet another concert? Not buy tickets? Um. LOL.
If we’re being totally honest, credit cards are my biggest fear, mostly because they can easily put you in debt. As a financial analyst so aptly put it in one of our recent articles, “Credit cards give you a false sense of purchasing power.” I put off getting a personal card for quite some time because I didn’t trust myself. Honestly, to this day, I can’t confidently say that I do. But the one thing that pushed me to finally get myself a credit card is also the one thing I just can’t seem to give up: concerts.
And I’m not talking about the affordable, street-side jamming kind of concert. I’m talking about the large-scale, wildly expensive K-Pop kind. The kind that you seriously attempt to get the best tickets for. The kind you fly to South Korea for. The kind that you question your friends for dropping tens of thousands bucks on in a heartbeat. That’s my poison of choice and let me tell you: I detest that fact. I know that every time I watch one of my favorite groups in concert or travel to see them, it carves out a considerable dent in my savings and entails taking on work on the side to make up for the money spent. But I just can’t quit it, you know?
If you don’t know, then keep reading. In the spirit of understanding what the men and women of today harbor special affinities for, we asked some of our friends: What is that one thing you just can’t give up despite the hefty price tag? Discover the what’s and why’s ahead.
Big on beauty
Most of the gals we asked largely credit their splurges to a particular skincare product, or a monthly beauty treat. Respondent Ella spends an average of P3000 per month on copping new skincare and getting her nails done––a self-confessed “treat yoself” ritual-turned-coping mechanism for her high-stress work environment. When asked if she’s ever managed without it, she shares, “It worked for a bit and I was able to save money, but a part of me felt deprived of being rewarded.”
Meanwhile, respondent Bubu, a female in her thirties, admits that her devotion to La Mer’s Renewal Oil, which costs no less than P9000 per bottle, is one of her biggest guilty pleasures. She does make a good point, though: “It's a good investment! It works for me and lasts me close to a year, so if you think about it, it's really just P800 a month.”
But first, coffee
An obvious must for every human who even so much as attempts to balance work, commute, family and a social life, coffee and other iced beverages turned out to be a common answer for both men and women. While a cup of Starbucks or Toby’s Estate joe might not seem like much, there’s no doubt that the funds add up when coffee runs become a habit. Respondent MAD, who spends over P100 on coffee at least once a day, puts her reason simply: “There’s a certain taste that I look for that I can’t seem to copy with our regular brewed coffee at home.”
Tweety, a college student surviving on an allowance, spends on fruit teas and coffee up to five times a week. “Considering the fact that at least one person in my friend group gets an iced coffee or milk tea everyday, it’s hard to resist the temptation of buying things,” she shares. “There are some afternoons wherein my hand just feels empty when it isn't holding a cup of fruit tea or iced coffee.”
The Eat, Pray, Love sitch
Hands-down, travel came out as the most expensive splurge across all respondents’ answers. Hot Mama, a respondent in her forties, spends over P250,000 on vacations once or twice a year. “Planning it is exciting. When I’m traveling, I can relax and worry less about everyday household and work issues,” she shares. “I learn about other cultures and places, and it gives me something to aspire for, or be thankful for.”
Respondent George, who spends an estimate of P150,000 on travel per year, shares the same sentiments. What happens, then, when they try to shackle themselves at home and hold back on the hard-earned vacations? “It just isn’t the same! Life is so much more boring.”
Perhaps it all boils down to self-control and (not to sound like your mother) a sense of discipline. Do you really deserve that mid-day coffee pick-me-up, or would your work performance suffer if your deprive yourself of it? Is that vacation something your inner adventurer needs to get the cogs in the system back in tip-top condition, or are there favorable compromises that can be settled for? Does your hard work this year deserve some self-rewarded compensation? Because this year has been one hell of a whirlwind, and damn do we believe we've earned our right to get some R&R.
At the end of the day, the things we can't quit might just be worth their price tag.
Art Alexandra Lara