How to Pay for $650 Jeans

The retroactive justifications of a crazy person

09.23.16
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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.

If you, too, belong to this club, then have a seat and welcome to our third monthly meeting. (Remember our first? And second?) 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.

***

No one has ever called me a “shoe person,” a “bag person,” nor an “accessories person,” and my love for t-shirts precludes me from being a “top person,” if there is even such a thing. But I am, per my own proclamation, a “pants person.” My hunger for new and different pants — wide-legged, tapered, slouchy, cropped, drop-crotch, flared, crisp, tattered — is voracious and relentless. My personal style is, at its most low-key aspirational, an oversized crewneck t-shirt paired with a large rotating cast of interesting pants. This is probably why, when I spotted these Off-White pants on Totokaelo the other day, all traces of carbon dioxide swiftly exited my body. (Never said I was a doctor.)

How good are they? Really, really good, and I really, really want them, and THEY ARE $650 WHICH UPSETS ME ON A PROFOUND LEVEL.

I’ll be honest: I can’t afford them right now even through budget sorcery, so this month I wanted to try something different. Instead of planning out how I might save up for them, I’m going to look back at my past month’s expenses and, essentially, shame myself for spending frivolously instead of stacking the money in an envelope and sending it straight to Totokaelo (OR A CHARITY) (but this is investment math, so let’s stay on topic).

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Step 1. Say goodbye to the Airbnbs and hotels in which you slumbered comfortably while on your roadtrip through Maine, past self, and say hello to a hostel that costs $20/night, beg bugs included. You are not the queen of Maine! You are on a BUDGET!

Retroactively saved: $410-($20*4)=$330

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Step 2. Do not take your cat to get groomed in Greenpoint for $92. Instead, wake up 15 minutes early every morning and lull/hypnotize Bug into a daily brushing ritual that will keep him mat-free for eternity.

Retroactively saved: $92

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Step 3. When you lose your phone during Fashion Week, past self, take the free hand-me-down phone that is offered to you by a generous friend, even if it is only 16G. Do not, under any circumstances, get yourself onto a 30-month payment plan for a new phone that requires you to pay a $66 initial payment. (This particular decision would pay for the entire pants if you consider all 30 of the months!!!)

Retroactively saved: $66

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Step 4. Do not, I repeat, do not leave the house without eating breakfast, thus forcing yourself to purchase overpriced yogurt parfaits at nearby coffeeshops. And definitely do not do this EIGHT TIMES over the course of a single month!

Retroactively saved: $7*8= $56

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Step 5. Do not drop your MetroCard — the one that is unlimited and routed through your paychecks and thus not supported by MTA’s insurance guidelines — on Mulberry Street, thus causing you to double-pay for 14 Subway rides. Idiot.

Retroactively saved: $2.75*14=$38.50

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Step 6. Please please please, self, do not lose your brand new prescription glasses from Zenni in the Fashion Week chaos. Not only do you now have to go two weeks without them, but you doubled their low cost by buying them twice. Sigh.

Retroactively saved: $35

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Step 7. Bring homemade cake to your friend’s house instead of purchasing that cheesecake that made you feel dead because it was so good but think of the pants and BAKE IT YOURSELF. DON’T BE LAZY.

Retroactively saved: $28 – $7 (ingredients) = $21

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Step 8. You maybe thought you were saving mani/pedi money by grabbing nail polish remover and a single bottle of nail polish at Duane Reade a couple weeks ago, but guess what? You could have used your coworker’s remover and just worn your nails bare. They’d probably look better that way anyway.

Retroactively saved: $13

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Step 9. Buy the pants, you freak!

Retroactively and hypothetically saved: $330 + $92 + $66 + $56 + $38.50 + $35 + $21 + $13 = $651.50

UGH! Meeting adjourned.

Collages by Lily Ross.

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