Claire’s Corner: Financial Splurges Edition


Hi everybody. And happy, happy Friday!

I’m here to fess up to a little weakness of mine. It’s an interest that is evidenced throughout my living space, has no real purpose other than entertainment value, and costs me money.

It is, of course: squirrel memorabilia.

Didn’t see that one coming? If you visited my apartment, you probably would have. I’m not really a collector, per se, but growing up I had a weird (let’s call it what it is) interest in squirrels. Since owning a real live one was out of the question, I turned my attention towards squirrel themed items.


This sums up my college experience.

It’s an interest that hasn’t waned over the years. In fact, as I gained independence over my finances, it gained momentum. I finally could buy those squirrel cookie cutters when I wanted to. I could also toss that squirrel shaped pillow into my shopping basket. So I did. It became an almost knee jerk reaction to whip out the debit card every time I saw something to sustain my quirky habit.

But let’s be honest – nobody needs 39 squirrel figurines in their life. Not even me. So why did I keep up the random purchasing? Because, I was buying on impulse, and I was splurging.

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Coffee, gadgets, clothes – these are the example often used to describe splurges. But impulse buys can mean any purchases that elicit the ‘see it, want it, buy it’ reaction. In sharing my slightly embarrassing squirrel obsession, I wanted to highlight the scope of spending – little impulse buys exist in all shapes and forms! But one thing remains the same – overspending is overspending. To avoid letting impulses control our purchasing decisions, it helps to understand and acknowledge our natural tendency to splurge.

Here are some great articles to get you started:

A Lesson From Comic Books: Everybody Is Trying To Sell You Something (Thrifty Genuity)
Items that tap into feelings of nostalgia and loyalty are just as difficult to resist as items that are clearly marketed for consumption. Thrifty Genuity looks at comic books as an excellent example, and reminds us to consider the real function of items – before we purchase them.

Fighting The Urge To Spend Money  (Eyes On The Dollar)
Giving into urges is easy, but with practice you can put up a decent fight against them! A great article by ‘Eyes On The Dollar’ – quite enjoyed the the donut graphic as well!

The Psychology Of Splurging  (Bargaineering)
Not only are we hard-wired to splurge, companies and marketers never forget the fact! Miranda Marquit looks as some of the habits that reflect the psychology of our impulses.

The Problem With Desire (We Only Do This Once)
Adding perspective might help you to think twice before adding to your arsenal of possessions. A very thoughtful piece by ‘We Only Do This Once’ which looks at the impact of purchasing patterns on our overall happiness.

3 Reasons Why We Overspend (MoneyZen)
Why exactly do we overspend? MoneyZen offers some unique answers to the question in this motivating read!

And don’t forget to check out our guest posts…

Good Financial Cents – Are You Talking About The Sandwich Generation? – Why You Should Not Buy A New Car

… and sites mentioning ReadyForZero

Chicago Tribune
The Military Guide
Sun Sentinel

OK, so now that I’ve owned up to my squirrel obsession – care to share any of your own unique splurges?

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  • Tony@YouOnlyDoThisOnce

    Thanks for the mention, Claire! That is so nice of you. Have a great weekend!

    • Claire Murdough

      It was such a great post! I particularly loved your ‘wash, rinse, repeat’ analogy.

      Happy Friday 🙂

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar

    I like squirrels, but have to admit they weird me out a little. Maybe I’ve seen Christmas Vacation too many times. Thanks for the mention.

    • Claire Murdough

      Ah, Christmas Vacation! As much as I love ’em, that squirrel scene continues to haunt me. To this day, I double-check my Christmas tree before bringing it into the house.

      Happy to share your post, Kim!

  • Lyle @ The Joy of Simple

    Cool “obsession” 🙂 My thing is Batman stuff, collectibles or not! He’s just so cool!!

    Also, about squirrels, a friend of mine had a visit from a woman he met online. She came all the way from Australia and has been here, still is, for the past three weeks.

    Anyhoo, she really likes Montreal, where I live, but is now in love with the city for one reason…Squirrels!! Apparently in Australia, they don’t have squirrels or at least in the part that she lives in. Since seeing her first squirrel upon arriving, she’s spent a bunch of money just on nuts and other squirrel related food as she loves feeding the little critters. She’s happy, the squirrels are happy, it’s a win-win all around 🙂

    Thanks for a fun post and take care.


    • Claire Murdough

      Hi Lyle,

      Your story made me laugh out loud!! Clearly, they’re universally captivating little critters 🙂

      And also, you’re so right – Batman is the coolest! Definitely a trendier interest than mine.

      Thanks for sharing – made my morning!