I bought new shoes, yesterday. I've been needing a few pair for work for a while, but have been reluctant to buy any. I'm very terrified of spending money on myself for necessary items. In fact, the more necessary the item, the more terrified I am of purchasing it. And my "will not tolerate any clothing item which costs more than this" price point is unrealistically low: $20. I've recently upped it to $30. Y'know - inflations
Here's how it usually goes:
- Molly realizes she needs some new item of clothing because her old ones are wearing thing, are otherwise too damaged, or are hopelessly stuck in 1985.
- She frets over this for weeks while her clothing items wear even more thin and she really doesn't have any choice.
- She goes to thrift shop and doesn't find what she's looking for - at least nothing that doesn't have a hole in it or a stain on it or that is in her size.
- She goes to a consignment shop and doesn't find anything that looks like it's appropriate for anyone under 50.
- She goes home and complains to Honey that she can't find the clothing item(s) she needs.
- Honey gets exasperated and tells her to just go to a freakin' store and buy what she needs because he doesn't understand why she won't go spend the money she needs to buy the clothing item(s) she needs
- Molly finally breaks down and spends a day shopping in which she purchases basically what she needs - ie, if she needed another 3 skirts, she got one - but finds that she spent most of her time in the clearance section because she was afraid to spend another $35 - $50 per clothing item that she really went shopping for in the first place. So, she ends up bringing home some bargains that are great, but she can't wear for another 6 months when they're appropriate for the weather. I am the queen of bringing home 10 tank tops in December when what I really desperately needed in a bad, bad way were 5 sweaters.
But not this time!! This time I needed at least two pair of office worthy shoes and I got them. AND I even paid full price for one pair. And for the first time in a long time, the shoes I tried on felt comfortable, because I decided to disallow myself to visit Payless. Payless is fine, but let's face it: If you have a bad back like mine, flat arches and are basically a wuss, they don't have shoes that allow you to comfortably withstand 12 hours. And I end up having to spend another $15 on a replacement pair every few months or so because they fall to crap so quickly. Why not just pop the $60 now for shoes that will not make me want to kill myself by 3PM, and which might just still look decent in another year and not all scuffy gross?
I was still proud of my thrift, though. I bought 3 pair shoes for just under $115. Two pair were on sale, and one were the most comfortable shoes I'd ever put on in my life. I may actually begin to purchase from that brand more. Honey has several of their pair, which I've never been able to justify to myself for $80/pop. But after buying this pair - it might be worth it. My feet have never felt more loved!
Thriftiness is good, but if all it does is simply give me shabby crap that doesn't hold up, then it's not thriftiness at all. It's mere shortsighted cheapness. Just like the US avoiding spending $1B in levy repairs and upgrades pre-Katrina was cheap and ultimately cost us $30B in damages. I will no longer be deluded by the illusion of immediate savings. $60 on a pair of shoes may end up saving me tons of pain in the long run.