A few weeks back the boyfriend and I drove out to the premium shopping outlets in Woodbury. I enjoy outlet shopping because I can buy some of the brand name clothing that I like without busting my budget and feeling bad afterwards. These days some of my favorite outlets are the home and garden type stores (William Sonoma, Crate and Barrel etc.). If you find the right sale, and they have the item you’re looking for, you can get some pretty amazing deals.
Side note: are we in the middle of
a recession bad economic times? Nobody would know that based on the number of people we saw at the outlets. Literally the stores were so jam packed you couldn’t turn around without bumping into someone. It took us 30 minutes just to find a parking spot (and that was after we “stalked” someone walking back to their car). Tourists from Europe and Asia were buying big rolling suitcases to fill with all of their purchases.
I’m not usually one to make a big deal out of brand names. I’m not going to lie and said that I don’t like nice things, but I’m also a realist and know that if I pay $100 for a glorified tee-shirt at Versace, I will spill something down the front and be very upset with myself for the next 3 days.
During this particular trip I saw an adorable Vera Bradley overnight duffel. Boyfriend has one (yup, he does. Love a man who’s not afraid to embrace his feminine side) and I decided that I “needed” one. Well I didn’t need one, I wanted it. And you know what? I bought it! No planning, no mandatory waiting period, no price comparisons and no debating with myself, I just whipped out my American Express and paid for it. And I don’t feel bad at all, in fact I love the bag and I’m excited to plan a little weekend trip so I can use it.
What do I love even more than the duffel (other than the fact it’s pretty darn cute)?
I love that I can afford it!
This might sound odd to some of you who have only known me as the, “Student Debt Survivor”, but back in the day I bought things I couldn’t afford (insert shocked face here).
When wanted something so I bought it…whether I had the cash or not. Not all the time, and not huge purchases, but after a long week I would sometimes treat myself to a dinner or a drinks I couldn’t afford. That lack of foresight, combined with $30k of student loan debt put me in a precarious financial situation. Just 5 years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to make a spur of the moment purchase. When I was drowning in student loan debt, I would sometimes make a purchase then return it the next day because I felt guilty.
Today, I’m debt-free (except for my mortgage) and in a much better financial place. I’m saving money for retirement, paying off our house and helping others when I can. I can finally afford to “splurge” on myself (and others) a little bit and it feels great! So if you’re thinking about whether the sacrifice of becoming debt-free is worth it! Look at this Vera Bradley (fill in your own desirable “thing” here) and tell me it’s not!