In line with my previous post, another important lesson that I’ve learned the past few months is about making do with I have. For most part of my life I have been an all-or-nothing kind of girl. I remember a couple of years ago, I signed up for tennis lessons and while buying a racket, I didn’t want to buy the cheapest one and sprung for a pricey one. After a few months of lessons, I gave up and haven’t used my racket since. Or for the past years, I have spent upwards of $50 for a Halloween costume without really thinking if I can do something with items in my closet.
As I begin to track my money more closely, it’s apalling that so much of my money has been trickling into these unwanted upgrades. I am not saying that all spending is bad and whenever I buy something I must look for the cheapest model. But I have learned to spring for quality items only when it is for something I love and do often. For example if I played tennis every week, I would have no problem springing for a top of the line model if I feel that improved my game. If I were really smart, I would try to borrow that from a friend and use it a couple of times to see if I really like it before buying it. Many times while researching something, I get sucked into “if I pay just X more, I can get a better model” Many times I don’t even use the extra features. For example, when my hair straightener broke after 3 years, I located a suitable replacement (a Sedu flat iron, which I cannot recommend enough). I looked for prices and coupons online and also priced it the salon I get my hair done to find the best deal. But while buying it, I plonked down an extra $30 for a “kit” which contained gloves, a mini travel iron and a carrying case. They all are now gathering dust in my closet and even when I travel, I lug my full sized flat iron, because I forget that the mini one exists.
This new found sense of making do came in very handy this Halloween. I decided that I would make my own costume because I didn’t want to pay for one. Since I don’t own a sewing machine and my sewing skills are non existent, it meant pulling something out of my closet. I decided to dress up as an old favorite – a gypsy. I had a long skirt, a white shirt and some colorful scarves and guess what, the costume turned out much better than any store bought one.
The next time I want to buy something, I am going to think twice whether I really need the item and if I can do without it. If I decide I have to buy it, I want to prove to myself I will use it well rather than just buying it impulsively