A Barbarian’s Guide to Shopping

Greetings Barbarians! Long days and pleasant nights!

It may come to you as a surprise, but I love shopping. It’s one of my favorite modes of relaxation. But Mr. A, didn’t you just say you were broke last month? Yes, I still am, but it is what separates the men from the boys – the incessant desire to have things or the total lack thereof. A man should be aware of the things he buys and he must be in complete control of his spending. He has control over his desires and does not allow his desires to control him. In short, he is a savvy consumer.

Growing up, I never was a responsible spender. Whenever I see something I like, I buy it, regardless of the price tag. I’ve spent a lot of money on things I don’t need more than I can remember. It’s funny how a pair of shoes could lead to a shift in priorities and perspective. I became aware of my spending habits and began to steer towards more sustainable spending. 

On Patreon, I offer a request tier wherein patrons can make requests and I will fulfill them via writing. Earlier this month a patron asked if I could write about my modes of relaxation. I told her it would be great if she could make a few suggestions of things for me to try. So, she did and I’m so happy that I have new things I could try in the future. Yet, given the current situation, I’m still staying indoors as much as possible. So, I’m gonna do the next best thing and write about her suggestion that I already enjoy. 

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Most men despise shopping and like most men, they like to keep their shopping simple. They saw something they like, they take it, go to check out and go home. No fuzz, simple. While I will always admire such simplicity, I’m afraid it’s not that easy if you want to be a savvy consumer. Youngsters of today don’t even know how to haggle or know the concept of debit and credit. With the way things are going, then it’s no surprise that many are drowning in credit card debt. 

A savvy consumer means he makes his purchases on his terms. He knows what he is paying and he knows what he is getting. He informs himself before making his purchases to ensure that he is getting what he is paying for. It doesn’t mean you have to be stingy or it doesn’t mean it has to suck. 

The Toilet Paper Principle

A savvy consumer knows the difference between value and price. He understands well that cheaper price doesn’t mean better value. Take a cheap roll of toilet paper for example. Cheap toilet paper is scratchy and less durable. You have to use more sheets just to get the job done and in turn, make you spend more. What supposed to be cheap ends up being more expensive, thus not a wise choice. Be well aware of what you are buying before buying it. A $2 salt and a $3 salt are still salts but a cheap toilet paper is very different from top dollar toilet paper. 

Feature Shmeature!

Cartridge razors suck and do you know what’s worse than a cartridge razor? A four-blade cartridge razor designed for men! My answer might be an exaggeration but it has a point. All you need is a sharp single blade (safety or straight razor) to get a nice clean shave. To be honest, more blades that pass the skin irritate it more that it should. Do you get the point? More feature means more expensive. Most of the time you don’t need those features and you will end up paying more. Before you buy something, you should ask yourself, do you really need those, or are you just wowed?

Never Pay Full Price

Shop at thrift stores, raid the sale rack, ask for a discount, be willing to wait. Don’t be afraid to miss out because, in all honesty, you ain’t missing much. Many products are tricking us into thinking that you need this right now when you actually don’t. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t spend big either. With that said, here are some occasions where you can spend big:

  • Short notice or important items
  • Unique items
  • Long term investment items

Follow this tip and not only you’ll get to save money but you’ll also get to enjoy shopping. Let’s admit it, who wouldn’t like clothes, shoes and other cool stuff? As long as you as in control of your spending habits, there is nothing to worry about. 

Shopping is great, as long as you are smart about it. Personally, it is one of the activities I enjoy especially if I can afford it and if I don’t, well there is still next time. 

So, are you man enough to do some shopping?

To Courage, Freedom, and Shopping!

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