Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mindful Spending

I had a post in mind and I was ready to write this morning. First I visited Donna Freedman's blog Surviving and Thriving and what she wrote made me forget all about my plans. She wrote about being frugal on purpose so that you could spend on those few items that are really important to you when you are able. She wrote about cherries but I was thinking about my purses.

Choosing What and Whether to Buy

I have been poor to various degrees all my life. Frugal living has been a necessity not a conscious decision. When the children were little, everything was about them. I was just the mom. I spent very little on myself. I would buy a cheap black pocketbook because it would go with anything. I would spend no more that ten dollars and keep it until the straps broke and it fell apart at which time I would venture into a department store and purchase another ten dollar black purse.

Near the time of the empty nest I decided that I was worth a few extra purchases and I was really tired of the one black purse. I went online and found a nice green purse (my favorite color, how did you guess) and spent gulp twenty four dollars. A few months later I was shopping for work clothes and shoes. Yes, I was using a credit card because it was an emergency need, but I paid it off in three months. As I was walking quickly through the store just getting what I needed I came to a halt in front of the expensive purse display. They were on sale 60% off but still, remember I never used to spend more than ten dollars.

With the discounts the purse I fell in love with was still over fifty dollars. I walked around with it, sure that I would feel silly about spending that much on a second green purse. I wasn't a label fiend either and this had the designers name right on it, which I usually hate. However, the color was beautiful and shiny, the design was unique. I felt like I had one of Monet's water lilies on my arm. I made the purchase thinking I was buying a quality item I would have for a long time. Surely it would last much longer than those ten dollar purses of long ago.

The edges of the corners and zipper pulls peeled and the lining ripped within three months. Meanwhile I use my twenty four dollar Internet bag every day and it still looks new. I can't imagine buying a $3000.00 bag. I feel bad enough over $50.00.


  1. You are so cute about everything that I wish you were my very own daughter or at least a close neighbor!

    Great Big Hugs
    Mother Connie


  2. Oh my, that is definitely my downfall.. fact I have a birthday coming up and I'm dreaming of a new bag....

  3. Yeah, I'd be ticked too.

    So, let's find a different splurge!

  4. Connie, thank you!

    Sharon, hey, it's a birthday, get several bags. :)

    Monroe, just proves that more expensive items aren't always better quality.

  5. Purses and shoes... I am soooo with you. These are my huge weaknesses. I spent so much money on purses that I am ashamed to name the amount. So, don't worry about $50. You wanted it, you got it and loved it. While it lasted...

  6. Aloysa, purses yes, but shoe shopping makes me sad. My feet are as wide as they are long, nothing fits. Sigh. They're more like cow hooves than feet really. :)

  7. The quality of a bag is not always proportional to the price. Often the high end bags are fragile. I usually buy expensive brand that wears like iron- the last one I bought was 12 yrs ago and I get compliments still- but learned the hard way on some other ones.