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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
Step 7. Skip your weekly pint of ice cream for a month. Just me? Oh.
Saved: $5 x 4 = $20
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!
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
Collages by Lily Ross.