Monday, February 17, 2014

Confessions of a Former Shopaholic

A brief side story; in 2006 I walked into Banana Republic to behold a cozy, blue, cashmere sweater.  I wanted it.  I needed it.  It was cashmere, the ultimate in luxury!    It was priced at, GASP, $160.  For 1 sweater.  And not even a fancy sweater, mind you, but one that looked like a sweatshirt.  

I went back and forth thinking of all the (imagined) envious looks I would receive from the friends who (I imagined) wanted a cashmere sweater.  So what that my Banana Republic credit card balance was over $1,000 and my Chase card was over $2,500.  It was Christmas for crying out loud and my family needed nice gifts.  That was why the credit card balance was so high.  And after spending so much on them I “deserved” a cozy sweater to wear while shopping for them.  So I bought it, for regular price; but hey, I got points on my card!  

Fast forward to 2012.  I had gained 20 pounds so the cute, cashmere sweater has been sitting in my closet since 2007, unworn.  For the past 3 garage sales I had tried to sell it, for $20 of course - it's a $160 cashmere sweater!  No luck, so I took it to my consignment shop thinking perhaps someone will recognize its quality and buy it.  No one buys it.  I had another garage sale in May.  Disgusted that I have not been able to sell it, I lower the price to $4.  $4 for a cashmere sweater, what a deal!  The garage sale goes on for 2 days and no one buys that darn sweater.  The last 2 hours of the sale I mark all but a few items down to 25 cents. The sweater is included.  A nice lady walks out of my garage with a $160 cashmere sweater for 25 cents.  I sit back and marvel at how stupid I was in 2006.  I've come a long way, baby!

 Here is an old picture of me in the infamous sweater.  And oh, the $160 Uggs and $150 premium jeans I bought about the same time. I was setting such a wonderful example for my daughter. (Insert sarcasm here!)  As you can see she was trying to mimicked how I looked.  What other parts of my life was she trying to mimic?  

And by the way, I have no problem at all with people buying $160 sweaters, Uggs, and premium denim skinny jeans, if they have the cash and can afford it. I have several high dollar items I have bought with cash over the past few years that I love and use/wear regularly.  I saved for them or purchased them with money gifted to me.  My point is I did NOT have the cash and at the time could definitely NOT afford it.  Please don’t make the same mistakes as me, my friends, it only leads to heartache!


  1. Great post. I've learned a lot through the years about investing in quality pieces and spending less on trends. It's worked out pretty well. Setting a clothing budget has also really helped. Love how you said we're setting examples for our daughters!

  2. I just wish I would have been thinking of that at the time. Fortunately though, this daughter is very good with her money now, for which I am thankful! Our budget is wonderful for keeping me on track, especially now when money is limited. I really think through every purchase!