Your Say: Do you find shopping therapeutic and do you impulse shop?

by Paris B on · 64 comments

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shopping2 Your Say: Do you find shopping therapeutic and do you impulse shop?

Apparently, a recent study has shown that Malaysians shop too much and are driving ourselves into bankruptcy with our shopping habits. Ouch! I think that’s a bit of a generalization because there are people who do shop like maniacs, buying this that or the other without thinking twice and driving themselves into bankruptcy, and there are people who shop smart. You just have to know your limits and I’m very sure most of you stopping by here do icon smile Your Say: Do you find shopping therapeutic and do you impulse shop?

The study also has shown that most people are abusing their credit cards by racking up big bills and then being unable to pay them off (a credit card is not free money ok, you do have to pay it back!) and that people shop because they find shopping therapeutic.

Now, I’m not about to say it isn’t. Sometimes, when you are really down or are really stressed to the gills, indulging in a bit of retail therapy does boost the adrenaline, and sends out the happy hormones. You could probably do the same with chocolate but that’ll just send it all straight to your thighs icon razz Your Say: Do you find shopping therapeutic and do you impulse shop? And shopping doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. The whole lipstick economy theory has been proven right over and over. When economies are down, people buy more lipstick because its an inexpensive pick me up (plus you also look better with lipstick on icon wink Your Say: Do you find shopping therapeutic and do you impulse shop? )

What say you then. Do you find shopping therapeutic and do you impulse shop?

I personally try not to stress shop. Having done it before, I’ve learnt that I pick up a lot of rubbish when I stress shop, like spending more just to get a GWP. Yes I find it therapeutic to pick up a little something but when things calm down, I realise that I did not need it or that it was really ugly and I don’t know why I bothered icon razz Your Say: Do you find shopping therapeutic and do you impulse shop? Shopping while stressed can result in impulse shopping for the sake of buying something, which is bad for your guilt and wallet.

Retail therapy isn’t something I indulge in often also, because I am a bit of a skinflint and I don’t go out to malls very often. So I indulge in some things but not others. I may pick up a new lipstick or drugstore goodie which will keep me happy, but I won’t pick up anything too pricey unless its on sale at a very good price or its something I’ve been planning to get anyway.

If there’s a sale on, and I’m in the market for say, new clothes, I will spend a little more. But I have my limits and I tend to be a cash only shopper unless I’ve forgotten to draw money. I also pay off my credit cards in full every month so I know for a fact I’ve got things under control icon smile Your Say: Do you find shopping therapeutic and do you impulse shop?

I do find that having a goal to save up for helps me with my reality check. If I have to pay for a car and for a house, that takes priority over buying a new pair of Jimmy Choos just because I’ve had a bad day. Sometimes, that bad day at work may pay its dividends in the end, and then I can splurge guilt-free icon wink Your Say: Do you find shopping therapeutic and do you impulse shop? Also, once you’ve paid yourself and your commitments first, you’re pretty much free to splurge at will.

But what say you then? Do you find shopping therapeutic and that retail therapy is your cure for a bad day? Are you careful with your money even as you indulge in your shopping therapy or do you impulse shop and panic when you see your credit card bills? I won’t judge and neither should anyone else icon smile Your Say: Do you find shopping therapeutic and do you impulse shop?

Paris B

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[ 64 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

LeGeeque September 27, 2011 at 9:08 am

Guilty as charged :P But my credit card bill is paid off every month. And you’re right, nothing like a new lipstick you can break out there and then, slick on and feel better! (If I was in one of those shopping moods, I usually tell the cashier to just scan the box and toss it, give me the receipt and I’d walk out with the lippie)

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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm

See, so long as you pay off your credit card and have savings and all, who’s to stop you from splurging? :) Well, me when we come to think of it :P

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domncroxd
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 9:41 am

i *try* as hard as possible but on the days where i’m extremely overwhelmed, i do end up whipping out the plastic and pressing “Confirm Transaction”. like legeeque though, i pay off the bill every month :)

as for the lipstick economy theory, i read an article the other day, where the author stated that research shows that even cheesecake and martini consumption have increased alongside lipstick. just a thought :)
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm

It never helps to work near or in a mall you know LOL The temptation to just go out and BUY something is too great. I’m glad I never have to wrestle with that because by the time I get in my car, get to the mall, look for parking, I’m ready to NOT buy anything :P And really? Cheesecake and martinis? So a rise in obesity and alcoholism too? :P

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domncroxd
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm

lol. i think when sephora opened, i was haunting that place for a week but now i’ve discovered a new lunch place (thanks to you) just opposite the road, my lunch hour is spent. you might be right about the rise in obesity and alcoholism. it’s like heavier, drunker, yet prettier women with lipstick. oh dear.
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 28, 2011 at 9:57 am

Ooh you have been heading to the RAW cafe? Haven’t been for food because I don’t go that area but their coffees are awesome! And yes heavier drunker women with crooked lipstick on :P

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SH September 27, 2011 at 9:47 am

My weak point….SALES. I only shop when things are on sale and only on items that I WILL use/ wear…not on items that I MAY need in the future. Made too many “MAY NEED” purchases in the past that I regretted later so I vowed not to do it again.

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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Been there and done that right? Sales make my head turn too but as you said, been too many “may need” purchases in the past too!

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xin
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 10:26 am

i try not to wander around the malls when i am bored because i tend to buy all sorts of junk, and i do use cc for shopping but i make sure there is no outstanding every month so i don’t get charged for interest and land myself in debt :D
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Evidently, the study didn’t take into account people like all of us who pay off our CC bills LOL! Its the interest element that scares me – its so darned high!

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Hanny
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 10:45 am

I usually do a lot of researching before I buy anything. A good strategy my parents have used on me is to give me a fixed amount of allowance every month, and I’m not to go begging to them when money runs out (excluding petrol expenses). This includes the phone bill, food and parking at uni ^.^ With such a limited amount of money, I found out that it is less economical to shop for lesser “dupes”. In the end, I’ll always want the “real” thing, for example drugstore VS high street lippies. So yeah. I hardly impulse shop ^.^
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Sounds like your parents have taught you well with the fixed monthly income. At least this way, when you start earning your own, you (hopefully) won’t run overboard too! :D

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Alexandra September 27, 2011 at 10:45 am

I used to be a ‘emo’ buyer, buying most things when I was down or being stressed up. I was shocked to see in my cc bills that I was spending more than I should. *Lagi Stressed*
I have changed my attitude since, also making sure that I pay my bills on the dot. I am so glad that I have overcome that stage!
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Yes yes, its actually even more stressful when the cc bill comes in at the end of the month! Makes me think “Why on earth did I go and spend THAT much?” And good thing that you wised up quickly :D

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plue
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 11:02 am

it’s fun to shop when you are stressed out, but if i don’t get something i want, i feel even more stressed out! LOL, silly right? yeah, so i stopped doing stress shopping anymore now (except for blushes), so i actually accumulate much lesser rubbish and stuff i don’t need compared to before. but my blush stash is getting really big so i really should stop.

LeGeeque picks up lippies, i go pickup blush. you? :D lipstick or blush? ahahaha.

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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Not silly at all. If I’m out to shop and I don’t find anything with the first half hour, I know the rest of the shopping trip is a wash out and sometimes thats stressful! Actually when I’m stressed I don’t really pick up cosmetics. It bores me :O So I usually go to the supermarket :D

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Lynne September 27, 2011 at 11:23 am

I did impulse shop quite a lot when I first started working about a year ago (having an income felt insanely good after being a poor student my whole life), but usually at sales where I’d just go ahead and buy stuff that I had only been ‘thinking about buying’. I didn’t own a credit card yet at that time so thankfully I was still spending within my limits but it sure left me broke at the end of each month. So right now I am more conscious in setting aside a sum of money for saving and expenses (rent, student loans, allowances for my parents etc) as soon as my salary comes in so I have a good idea of how much I am allowed to spend on luxury items like clothes and skincare each month, and for expensive skincare items I usually plan ahead. I still succumb to temptation and bust my budget from time to time but I think there is some improvement, so fingers crossed!

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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Oh I know that feeling Lynne! When you first start earning your own money, you feel flush! But its good to know that you wised up quickly and are setting aside savings and the like so you can spend on luxuries and also have a little put away for a rainy day :) See, they should have run a survey on all of us here ;)

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synical
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 11:38 am

“Professional” window shopper here – I usually only go to malls if there’s stuff I needed/stuff to redeem/event or other “errands” that I needed done. Or movies, of course. Mall walking is my exercise – and also a movement among the senior set in America – Google it, it’s true.

Read another article on Time (mag) property (http://t.co/bRoS82Gc) recently that people don’t buy lipstick anymore – now it’s nail polish.

My self-restraint is still better than some people I know, so the impulse buying happens once in a very blue moon. My warehouse sale budget (no matter what kind) is RM100 cash – that’s it. I also don’t have a credit card because debit card works fine in most situations and said debit card is also not linked to my bank account (meaning that I would have to consciously transfer money into the card to use it).

In short – yes, I believe in retail therapy – I get a buzz out of getting something I needed as cheaply as possible.
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Nail polish huh? Yes I do notice a recent rise in the number of people writing about/using nail polish. I still can’t though so its still lippies for me :) I used to splurge the most during warehouse sales. Any warehouse sales. I once spent loads at a sale for crockery and pots and pans LOL! But since I stopped hitting up the warehouse sales I’ve stopped those sorts of hauling but I can’t deny I’ve also gotten loads of good stuff cheap then :)

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bee September 27, 2011 at 11:38 am

fortunately…I am living in the east coast of Malaysia..so I don’t do so much shopping…but if I were to come to KL it will be a lof of things buying at the same time…hahaha and I am impulsive buyer I wish money grow from my flower pot at home so I can just pick whenever I want and make sure that everytime I wanted to buy something I will buy it…yey for me for having to pay a lot of moolah just for my shopping needs…hahaha

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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Ahhh don’t we all wish for a money plant eh? For now, its just got to be that thing called “WORK” that brings in the cash hehe… ;) At least you have an excuse though all that pent up shopping can do serious damage to the wallet eh? :)

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Nirah September 27, 2011 at 11:47 am

Luckily I dont like shopping when I am stressed. It takes away all the fun. But yes I do indulge in a pick me up once in a while and in my case its lipstick,Kohl or nail paint. Also I make all my payments (or take out the money for the same) at the beginning of every month. Which means I never put my self in a situation. Easy!
:)
And oh! I keep my credit card limit real low .

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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm

You sound like a very savvy shopper and a good saver too! Good on ya! :D

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beetrice
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Guilty as charged…I usually do shop more when I’m stressed, which is why I try my darnedest to stay away from the shops during that time (by convincing myself I should be home sleeping earlier! LOL..). But online shopping…*eeps*

That said, I usually end up succumbing to things I’ve been wanting or hankering after for a while but dithering cos of price/suitability/how to match (you get the idea, the UD 15th Anniversary Palette was a stress buy!). Still, I clear off my credit card bill at the end of the month in full so it’s not too bad right? Right?? :P
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Haha I remember you wanting that 15th Anniversary Palette – I hope its gotten lots of use since? ;) And yeah, so long as you clear your cc bill, and aren’t in debt, you don’t add to the stats ;)

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lyn
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I do shop on impulse but I usually make a list so that I am more disciplined. And yes, I do find shopping therapeutic. I don’t actually get to shop in bigger malls frequently so when I do, I go all out! Hehehe…

Yes, my credit card is paid in full every month. My advise is to shop wisely and only buy what you can afford. Like you, I tend to purchase in cash or use my debit card.
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I don’t have a debit card :P And big purchases (ahem!) go on the CC because I’m not stupid enough to carry cash around ;) But for everything else, there’s mastercard… I meant cash :P

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rinnah
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm

I used to ‘stress shop’ but then I’d realize that I was never happy with the stuff I bought for the sake of making myself feel better. I’d find some fault with what I bought and usually end up not using it (and then my mom would swoop in and give it away :P ). So nowadays if I’m bored or stressed, I tell myself to stay away from the shopping malls. Better for my purse at the end of the day. :P

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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I thought your Mom will swoop in and take it for her own hehe… But yes, I also realised that. I don’t think I truly own anything I really like from stress shopping although I must say some impulse purchases have been good ones :)

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Shay September 27, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I shop when I am free. Even when I am stress but not free, no shopping. Probably eat more.

So the key is to make myself busy.

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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Haha… I tend to do the eating thing too. A good meal satisfies me as well as a splurge at the shops does :)

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gio September 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I used to stress shop too, but then I would end up with lots of things I didn’t really need and so I’d get even more stressed. lol. These days I try to do my research before shopping so I won’t be disappointed with my purchases.
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Yes! Its when you think “Oh darn! What was I thinking when I bought THAT?” and that gets stressful too especially if it was pricey :P

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Jenn
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm

“You could probably do the same with chocolate but that’ll just send it all straight to your thighs” – Lol!! :D

I’m all for retail therapy, so as long as i don’t starve myself at the end of the month. I totally agree with your concept of paying yourself first – its important to manage your money wisely and feed the needs first, then wants. I do splurge sometimes, but i make sure i pay off my credit card bills every month so i guess i’m still doing ok! :P
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm

True wot that about chocolate? :D

So long as you aren’t starving, aren’t owing the bank a ton of money, have savings for a rainy day and have your commitments covered, I think you’re good for an ocassional splurge :)

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shusheshe
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I do stress shop unfortunately. Not so much lipsticks for me, but small things that I’ve saved on various shopping sites… ^^; But like you, I ALWAYS pay off the full balance on my credit card.

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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Good habit to pay off your credit card! That way, even if you splurge, you know that its with money you have, not money you wish you had :)

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Tine
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I’m afraid I do. Something I learned from Mummy dearest (shh don’t tell her I said that). She shops when she’s pissed off (I’ve been to many of her retail therapies). I shop when I’m feeling low. Nothing too expensive though, usually little pick-me-ups from the pharmacy or the departmental stores. Credit cards always paid off in full at the end of the month :)
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 3:08 pm

So long as CCs are paid up and you aren’t starving without a roof over your head, you’re still alright :) I went through a stage of shopping while pissed off too. And unlike when I’m stressed, when I’m pissed, I tend to really splurge. So yeah, learning to control the temper and not go near a mall while angry helps me ;)

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peach_ September 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I sometimes wonder if I’m really a girl because I don’t find shopping to be therapeutic! I “shop like a man” and know exactly what I’m looking for and only go to that store to get what I need.

I tend to go for quality over quantity, so I research whatever I’m purchasing before I take the plunge. I get more satisfaction out of waiting to make that large purchase for something I really, really want rather than a pick-me-up here and there.

I secretly want to be that stereotypical girly girl impulse shopper, though!
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 28, 2011 at 9:55 am

Of course you’re a girl Peach! :D You have just refined the art of shopping ;) And I do tend to agree with you about going for quality over quantity. Learnt it the hard way but am now on that track – less is more! :D

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Ming Xiu September 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I shop less when i visit shops cause i actually see the cash leaving my hands. But i have a bad habit when it comes to shopping online items. It’s so easy to just click the mouse and spend my money without realising it (>x<)

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ParisB
Twitter:
September 28, 2011 at 9:58 am

Ahh I can commiserate with that! Online shopping is evil alright, although its so convenient these days to be able to get things you want without having to battle the traffic and crowds in malls :D

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Avisse September 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I have a friend who worked in a bank offering personal loan services, and yup, he told me there are many people who need loans due to very high credit card debts. He said it can get quite depressing just looking at their bank statements with hardly any savings :(

I dislike using my CC too much, so I tend to use my debit card or cash, unless it’s an emergency or a really expensive item I want to pamper myself with. That said, I still have my fair share of regretted impulse shopping, ick! That one moment when you think you can’t live with that item, only to realise it isn’t that great once the shopper’s high subsides.

These days when I see something that catches my eye, I’ll stew over it for days and see if I’m still excited over it. Most often I get over it and move on, so yay for money saved!

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ParisB
Twitter:
September 28, 2011 at 9:59 am

That’s sad Avisse! I have spoken to people too in the banking industry and its really sad just how many people are in debt for the most frivolous of excuses or just poor financial planning :( I do the same thing you do. See something, think about it and if I get sleepless nights, then I’ll get it LOL!

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Stephanie/Yukaeshi
Twitter:
September 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm

I’d like to think that I don’t indulge in impulse buying, although once in a blue moon it does happen- I just pick something up because I feel like it, though this is rare because I also rarely go out (Maybe once a week?) and also because I’m a skinflint haha! But then again, if it’s something that really works, is good and reasonably priced for the product/item/thing then price is not a problem (Ah, the only exception here is Creme De La Mer- it works beautifully for me despite having all the things I’m sensitive to, but I can never ever justify the price). I prefer window shopping a lot, though- helps me unwind and exercises me haha! :) Then if I see something that catches my fancy I’ll go home and do some research about it or sleep on it first before really deciding if I should get it.
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 28, 2011 at 10:01 am

I’d sort of glad I outgrew my mall habit :) These days I go only out of necessity and if I do impulse shop, I make it a point to “impulsively” pick up something I’ve been planning to get for a while instead of just picking up any old thing :D

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Marina (Makeup4all) September 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm

When I am stressed and want to go shopping I don’t buy just random things I may buy something I’ve been wanting for a long time already!
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 28, 2011 at 10:01 am

I’m starting to do that too! better than picking up random items you may never need, although I sometimes do that in the household departments :P

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lavender September 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Most of the time, my shopping is planned. Once in a while I will shop impulsively. I also make it a point to pay up CC bill every month and I only keep one card. No back up but I like it this way as everything is in one statement.
thanks for the good writeup.
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ParisB
Twitter:
September 28, 2011 at 10:02 am

Thanks Lavender! And having control over the credit card is excellent money management. I think many people forget that a credit card is only money on loan, not free money!

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