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Monthly Investment Math: Rachel Comey Mules and How to Pay for Them

Welcome to August’s installment of Monthly Investment Math. Have a cheap seat!

08.03.16
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If there was a club for people who act like they can’t possibly afford expensive things and then spend exactly that amount on a bunch of random shit they don’t need, I would be president.

“$375 clogs?! Yeah, right!!!” I scream like a drunk witch as I complete five $75 online orders for cheap clothes I won’t wear and face creams I won’t like. It’s the shopping equivalent of feeling healthier for eating three brownie bites because “they’re basically crumbs!” instead of a giant one of the same cumulative size. Or cutting off a quarter of a donut because you “just want a little” only to return three more times.

It’s mental trickery!

If you, too, belong to this club, then have a seat and welcome to our second monthly meeting. (Remember our first?) Just don’t tell any psychologists we’re here or they might force us into a study on how and why people lie to themselves.

First, let’s recite our mantra: “Our relationship with money is nonsensical and we must be stopped. First, so that we may save, and then, so that we may invest in well-made items if and when we want to.”

Since saving is boring and we all know how to do that, let’s discuss investing and see if we can justify something outrageous.

***

When I first saw these furry Rachel Comey mules last year, my body acted like it had just been dunked in a warm bath on a cold night. Don’t they look like rainbow eyebrows for lucky toes? They probably taste like Skittles. I finally called them in a couple of weeks ago to shoot for a story on stretching at one’s desk. They had nothing to do with the story!!! I was just desperate. In the days following, I slipped my feet into them every day and concluded that they made every outfit look better, like little magic carpets.

When it came time to send the mules back, the loss felt by my feet indicated it was also time for some math. The price tag is $449, which makes me sweat profusely. Considering my current budget, I’m concerned I can’t make a case here, but if I don’t try, why’d you even come to this meeting?!

Here’s how to pay for the mules in 8 easy steps.

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Step 1. Skip one hair color appointment. Wasn’t I the one who said no hair color is maybe kind of cool now? Who knows if that’s true but it does serve us financially so let’s just say it is. Skip, skip, skip.

Saved: $115 

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Step 2. Skip two nights out on the town. Don’t even invite your friends over and make it a cute lock-in. I’m talking about straight up NOTHING. Like, go read a book and eat the weird leftovers in your fridge that look suspicious and then go to bed at 9 p.m. It’s a brain break!

Saved: $50 x 2 = $100

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Step 3. Don’t drink coffee for three weeks. OR! Or or or. Skip a coffee every other day for six weeks. Those are your options! You have to! Honestly, the caffeine will work better if you take a break anyway. Stay with me here.

Saved: $4 x 21 = $84

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Step 4. Do your laundry twice in the janky machines housed in the basement of your apartment building instead of doing wash & fold. I KNOW YOU LOVE HOW THEY FOLD YOUR LAUNDRY AT THE PLACE ACROSS THE STREET! But it’s just too expensive. The coin machines only cost $2.50 per load.

Saved: ($25 x 2) – ($5 x 2) = $40

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Step 5. Skip that mani/pedi with your friends. Painting nails is kind of weird anyway, when you think about it. If it’s a bonding experience just go sit with your friends while they get theirs done. Three words: free massage chair. I did this recently and have no regrets.

Saved: $40

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Step 6. Cancel your Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now accounts for one month. It will be good for you! Imagine the catch-up session you would have in store when the month was over.

Saved: $9 + $8 + $15 = $32

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Step 7. Skip your weekly pint of ice cream for a month. Just me? Oh.

Saved: $5 x 4 = $20

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Step 8. Go to the movies as you normally would but walk right past the concession stands as if they scorned you and you need to scorn them back. Which, they kind of did. Have you seen those prices? If you’re like me and only go to movies for the snacks, you could skip it altogether to cover the shipping!

Saved: $18

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Step 9. Buy the magic carpet rainbow Skittle mules and bounce off into the sunset.

Saved: $115 + $100 + $84 + $40 + $40 + $32 + $20 + $18 = $449

Meeting adjourned.

Collages by Lily Ross.

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  • Hilary

    THIS!!! “Painting nails is kind of weird anyway, when you think about it.”

  • Celeste

    Love this series! Great way to think about budgeting 🙂

  • Lana

    The best series on here! i love this, haley. so cute.

  • Katie in black

    OK, this will work on that Marc Jacobs bag as well… I will start after my LAST coffee, promise! 🙂

  • Meredith

    haley you are telling the story of my life right here except instead of coffee it’s frozen yogurt…

    • Subrina Ejoke

      I just found this Instagram vintage shop based in Richmond,VA and it is the bane of my existence. I’ve turned it into a game of how quickly I can type my paypal email address ☹️☹️. My CC is killing me. Some of the stuff I buy I’m like wtf!? Why? So I’ll be doing what you are doing.

  • Christel Michelle

    Need these in my life. No more Cha Cha Matcha for me… 🙁

  • Bain

    They are adorable, but…over $400 for ONE pair of shoes? I cannot even contemplate spending that much money on a clothing item that will regularly touch the ground and be in constant proximity to the dangers of urban life (e.g. people stepping on you on the bus/train, puddles, etc.)

  • Katie N.

    Oh shoot. Normally I’d say to wait for the sale, but at the rate that these puppies are selling out on FWRD I feel the heat and I don’t even want them. Honestly, it’s now or never. Your bank account will recover, just ask for money for christmas and that’s four and a half months away. On the other hand if you don’t, you’ll never forgive yourself. GIVE IN!!!!

  • Hannah Cole

    can you pls come over and just re-budget my life

  • Grace

    Haley, I need your wise guidance to justify the $800 Mackage down coat I want (need??) for this winter. How can we make this dream come true without skipping coffee?

    • snakehissken

      Do you really need coffee when you have an amazing coat to put on in the morning? I always find it easier to wake up on days when I’m excited about the outfit I have planned.

      • Subrina Ejoke

        This is the best comment EVER. And the truest.

        • snakehissken

          Thank you, thank you, maybe Team MR will see it and invite me to their next party

  • stefanie schoen

    hahaha thank you thank you for doing this. SO hilarious and definitely more on point with how we all move our budgets around to make the more expensive pieces work. But now I just need to cut out all those dumb H&M purchases!

    -Stefanie
    http://www.thestyleafari.com

  • Chi Huang

    This is on point! I am constantly doing this kind of math in my head. It might also be helpful to not check your emails in the promotion category or you will be like oh 30% off then I have to get it right now without thinking about how you are gonna pay your rent next month….

  • Alyssa

    This gives me so much promise! Thank you so much Haley!!
    I dont know if I could do without buying a coffee for 3 weeks though, I love going out and buying too much!! Its so much easier to see money like this rather than actual $$. As the amazing Carrie Bradshaw says, “I like my money where I can see it. Hanging in my closet”
    She did forget the sitting in my stomach part though (hint hint)
    (ps. youre not the only one with the weekly pint of ice cream!)

  • Charlotte Dallin

    I’ve never loved math more.

  • Anni

    Also, also! Did you know that at select cinemas (e.g. the cinemark near me), this cheap-ass tuesday where you can watch any movie regularly for about $6 and a 3D one for $9??? I have to watch a lot of movies for work and this is how I afford it.

  • Kelly

    Ugh I keep on buying lately and forgetting to stop buying my coffee/get my hair done/live a life within my means.
    I’m divorcing my credit card and losing my paypal password. There are no other options at this point.

  • Alexandra Schneider

    And now I have no excuses…
    To Anthro!

  • Bing

    If you bought a cheap pair of mules and visited a craft store for colourful fur material you could make a diy version

  • I love this humorous take on splurging! Definitely a fan of this article, very inspirational. I’m always getting heat for spending on more expensive things, but I do make little sacrifices such as these to make it work. Thanks for this <3

    http://www.lapetitegarconne.org