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 consider this our monthly meeting. 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. Like this really cool Acne blazer whose price tag would normally send our eyeballs careening north and our physical composure careening south. It’s $750.
You know that phantom tingle you’ve been feeling on your back? No, it’s not ASMR. It’s the fifth limb you didn’t know you were missing in the form of this blazer. And you want it so badly because it will work with your jeans and dresses alike because it’s simple but interesting and boyish but feminine and cooler than every pickle pre-vinegar you’ve ever met. The only thing its missing is a home that looks like your closet.
But how could you possibly pay for it? Grab a jelly pen and a glitter notebook because we’re about to do some math.
Step 1. Don’t buy that $135 pair of white leather sneakers in your cart because the sneakers you have are doing just fine and honestly they’re kind of going out of style anyway.
Step 2. Do not buy that $75 jacket from Zara or H&M or Mango or Need Supply or ASOS or Nasty Gal because you really want a blazer but don’t want to pay a lot. And definitely don’t buy a second cheap one that doesn’t quite fit right because the first one ripped in the armpit after only five wears.
Step 3. The next three times you intend to meet friends out for dinner, invite them to your house and cook together instead. It will be a bonding experience! And the groceries — if split — will cost you about $10 to the $40 you would have otherwise flushed down the toilet at a restaurant.
Saved: $30 x 3 = $90
Step 4. The next five times you want to call an Uber because you’re some combination of tired and lazy? Think about the Acne jacket and get the F on the Subway or start walking. It’s good for you!
Saved: $15 x 5 = $75
Step 5. The next ten times you go out for a drink, buy one less drink than you would otherwise. I swear you didn’t need it anyway! Maybe this takes you a week, maybe this takes you a month — I don’t know your life! Just do it.
Saved: $12 x 10 = $120
Step 6. You know that big-ass salad you buy for lunch Monday through Friday? You’re banned for the next month and required to eat your own leftovers. Sure, those leftovers probably contain $3ish of food, but DUH that’s cheaper than $12!
Saved :$9 x 20 = $180
Step 7. Buy the hell out of that blazer because, if you didn’t fail fifth grade math, you’ll know that you just…
Saved: $135 + $150 + $90 + $75 + $120 + $180 = YOU GUESSED IT! = $750
All those little bites of donut that might not have felt so bad at the time but also wouldn’t bring much to your life have now added up to a cool-as-fuq blazer you will cherish 4ever.
Feature collage by Emily Zirimis.