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By SAHAR DIKA, Arts and Entertainment Editor

It’s a new year and in honor of fresh starts and clean slates, I decided that I would dedicate my first column of the semester to helping people start the New Year on the right foot. As of late, I can’t help but notice how many people buy things they cannot afford and sadly, did not earn.

I hate to be judgmental because it’s not my style, but in all honesty, how many girls do you know in their twenties who can truly afford to buy a pair of $1500 Christian Louboutin’s or a $5000 Chanel bag? I’m all about labels, and if I could afford to splurge in that sense, I would be the first one doing it. I will not lie about that.

Sure they look very Fifth Avenue and of course I love the fashion, but what concerns me are the reasons why they find it absolutely necessary to spend ridiculous amounts of money on things they cannot afford to impress people they do not like.

There are a couple things I would like to address first. If your family happens to be so wealthy that you can pick money on trees growing in your backyard, I’m not talking about you. If you are a girl that works hard for her money and likes to shower herself with gifts that she can afford, I’m not talking about you. If your boyfriend, father, uncle, partner, mother, brother, niece, best friend or whoever buys you nice things, I am not talking about you.

On the other hand, if you have no job and mooch off your parents, I’m talking about you. If you have no goals, dreams, or other aspirations besides owning a Chanel bag, I’m talking about you. If you attend a college or university and spend your financial aid money on designer gifts for yourself, I’m talking about you. If you are in debt up to your eyeballs for the latest Jimmy Choo’s, I’m talking about you.

This may come off as quite offensive to some people, but sometimes it’s wise to reevaluate yourself. Before you purchase something that you probably can’t afford, think about why you are buying it or why you feel like you need to have it. You might notice something about yourself and about where your life is headed. To constantly live in the shadow of others is dangerous and always thinking about what you don’t have as oppose to what you do might cause you some grief.

Let’s all think back to a time when we were really sad. Did putting on the most expensive thing in your closet make you feel like a better person? Did it make your pain go away? I would probably feel worse to be honest.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a huge advocate of, “Look good, feel good,” but that’s a totally different scenario than, “let me shop away my insecurities.” I’m not going to lie and act like I have never done it before. I’ve purchased things that I probably shouldn’t at times, but I also have two jobs and I go to school full-time. I don’t feel as guilty knowing that I work hard and I don’t feel as guilty because I know it’s not a priority.

Health, relationships, careers, purpose, and ambition. Those are all priorities. Dressing fashionably along the way just compliments those things. As Marina and the Diamonds once said, “Your possessions will possess you.” Remember, they don’t own you, you own them.