I have a problem. I just bought 7 pairs of shoes at the Louboutin sample sale and the only reason I stopped at 7 was because they had a limit. I considered offering a stranger on line cash to purchase that 8th pair I wanted so badly, but instead I painstakingly parted with a pair of glittery gold t-strap platforms.
I don’t just shop for myself either. I love buying gifts for my parents, my brother, my friends, their kids, etc. But here’s what’s weird. I refuse to pay the $14 a month for netflix, instead using my brother’s family plan. I don’t want to pay for streaming music services, so I listen to commercials every few songs. I don’t like paying to park in NYC garages which can cost up to $70, so instead I leave my car at work and walk miles to where I need to go or I splurge on a metro card. When I leave a room at home I turn the light off so I don’t waste electricity. If I leave the house, I turn the heat down to 65. I won’t buy anything from bed, bath and beyond unless I have a 20% off coupon. I refuse to get Apple Care for my laptop because I just hope nothing happens. I buy everything I can on my Amex card so I can get points to go shopping (I got a free Chanel bag and Louis Vuitton bag from my points). I order 3 drinks if happy hour ends in 10 minutes. Every month I look at my mortgage and do the amortization calculator to see how much I can save if I pay extra every month. And I never download apps that cost money.
Here’s the extravagant side. I have hundreds of pairs of designer shoes and sneakers, dozens of luxury bags, and I usually pay the bill when I go out to eat with my friends. If a first class airline ticket costs a couple of hundred dollars more, I’ll upgrade my seat. And I believe if something costs more it must be better.
Where does this come from? I was thinking about it, and it’s 100% my parents. My dad’s favorite stores are TJ Maxi and Marshall’s, and I grew up tagging along with my mom to Loehmanns, Century 21 and Filene’s Basement. I remember my dad picking up a desk off the street with the chair attached and graffiti and gum stuck underneath and trying to force me to do my homework on it at home. He offered to give me one of the many used vacuum cleaners he bought off eBay when I purchased my new house. And he can tell you how to avoid paying tolls on the NJ Turnpike if you’re down to drive an extra 10 miles out of the way. And growing up we NEVER had a nice car. It was always one of those #DropMeOffDownTheStreetSoNoOneSeesMeGetOut
My mom, on the other hand, was and is a shopaholic. She can be thrifty, but that means buying a thousand dollar bag reduced and an additional 50% off. If you go to the mall with her, all the salespeople know her name. She even got a part-time job working retail at a store she likes to shop at so she can get a discount. And everything she buys looks like something she already has. We would go shopping and she had to leave her purchases in the trunk until my dad fell asleep and she could sneak it in the house. He never knew because again, it looked like something she already had.
Right now I’m taking a vow to do better. I’m not going to buy anything I wouldn’t want if it wasn’t on sale; no more purchases that look nice depending on how much it costs. I’m going to stop opening emails which link to sales. I’m going to stay out of department stores and boutiques. I’m going to stop buying things which would look good if I lost some weight or in case I get pregnant. For the most part…