Photo courtesy of dogfrog
My fellow male readers may view this as a “devil’s advocate” post, but I’m not calling it that because my wife is a reader and she may take offense!
Let’s play a little game. Read the following line, close your eyes and pay attention to the image you have in your head: “The shopper, loaded down with bags from a morning of scouting out sales, walked briskly towards the mall’s exit.” Ok, you can open your eyes now. Was your mental image of the shopper a man or a woman? Right, it was a woman. That’s because most stereotypical views of shoppers and shop-a-holics assume women are the major offenders. However, I would argue that men are equally guilty.
The Male Shopper vs. the Female Shopper
After my wife and I first married she took up an interest in scrapbooking. We bought so many scrapbook supplies that I joked we could run a scrapbooking supply store out of our spare bedroom. Of course, I was reminded how much went into each scrapbook, including the books themselves, stickers, cardstock, stamps, etc, etc. I wasn’t convinced. I thought this ranked up there with one of the most expensive hobbies ever conceived. I griped about the cost of everything, and trips to the scrapbook store frequently led to arguments about money and left us both feeling guilty–her for buying supplies, and me for being upset about it.
The funny thing is that during this same period I bought a laptop computer that I “had to have,” a pager with a texting feature (this was before the days of cell phone text messages), and a new truck. Those three purchases alone were many thousands of dollars more than the money my wife spent on her weekly scrapbook supplies, but they were spread out over the course of a year or so. Other than those luxuries I stayed out of stores for the most part, which somehow justified my spending over hers. Not fair.
Women Buy Shoes, Men Buy iPhones
Some women like shoes or purses, while others enjoy spending money on cooking or crafts. Some men like cars or electronic gadgets, while others pour money into radio controlled planes or sporting events. The point is that we all have our weaknesses when it comes to consuming. The infrequency of our shopping trips, or the resulting amounts, do not make one party fiscally superior to the other. The average man has many jokes in his arsenal about how much his wife likes to shop, but if they really stopped to analyze spending they would probably discover they spend just as much (and in most cases, much more) on big ticket items.
How does this compare to the spending in your current relationship? Are you the spender, or the saver?