Thursday, April 7, 2011

Taking the plunge

by Steph

I took the plunge yesterday. I bought 2 J. Crew swimsuits.

Yes, you read that right.

T-w-o.

$168. Including tax and shipping.

I'll wait while you faint and recover and start reading again.

Because I nearly fainted when I clicked "Submit order".

Let me back up. When I got married 6 months ago, my husband and I decided that we'd each have our "me" savings. Money that was set aside from each of our paychecks into our own individual savings that we could spend how we see fit.

Now I have never been one to save anything. When I get gift cards, they literally burn holes in my wallet so I have to spend them the next day. Sometimes even the same day. Every year for my birthday and Christmas, my parents have learned that gift cards are the best gift that give me the greatest joy and here's why: the gift is really SHOPPING. Shopping, I love. Shopping, is the best gift. Shopping, is something I don't do anymore now that I'm responsible with all my credit cards and paid off all that debt.

Back to my savings. I've been saving for 7 months now and it wasn't much... just $25 every paycheck. I've been checking J. Crew's website because the swimsuit I wanted has been in a whirlwind. It's been taken off their website several times since I first found it because it was sold out. And every time I checked, they didn't have my size. So I decided to check again yesterday and there it was! In my size and everything!

As I was about to checkout, I paused as I realized that I was about to spend $109 on a swimsuit.

Then the banner at the top of the page flashed at me. 20% off your order of $150 or more.

It taunted me. Only $41 more dollars and I could save 20%? Well... surely I could find something for $41.

Or... I could just invest in another swimsuit.

I sat there. Unsure... so scared. I hadn't spent money like that since I was back in my college years when I was racking up credit card debt as quickly as I was racking up the clothes in my closet. I bought $90 shoes like it was a cup of Starbuck's coffee. Then thousands of dollars later, I had to cut the habit. Cold turkey. The only time I could shop was when I got gift cards. No more shoes, no more new outfits, no more going out whenever I wanted. Eventually the debt was paid off but the result was an intense panic everytime I wanted to buy something. Do I really need this? Can I explain this purchase to my husband?

Except I did have that savings...

I wouldn't be putting it on a credit card, this was money I already had. And it was ALL MINE. To spend however I wanted. I knew my husband wouldn't mind because we had decided not to judge how the other person chose to spend that.

But I was still scared. This was going to blow 80% of my savings. With one click. I hyperventilated. I panicked. I froze and couldn't move forward. Even saving $35 didn't make it better. Suddenly, everything was hazy and I didn't want to be where I was.

Then my good friend Jen reminded me that it was an investment, a modest one, it'd last me long and I needed the swimsuits plus they were adorable. She's my friend because she encourages my spending.

So I took a deep breathe and clicked.

There it went. Whoosh.

I held my breathe. Wondering if the feeling of guilt would come. And it didn't! It wasn't an impulse buy, it was a thought out purchase of something I could truly say I needed. So now that I've aired that I feel so much better. And I really am happy with my purchase.

See what I got....they're so pretty...



The flowery one is the one I originally wanted and the black is a backup. It's slimming. :)

I hope you enjoyed my story of struggles and triumphs. Tomorrow I'll tell you about my annoyance with Customer Service reps.