American Express in hand ready to make my purchase, Marcela, the Goyard sales lady asked me for my credit card information to finalize my purchase. Moment of clarity: I was about to make a $2,110.00 purchase for a Goyard duffel I have been lusting after for about 3 years, and my job just made cuts. Is this the smartest decision? I asked myself. I quickly told Marcela that I just wasn’t sure about the color and I needed more time to decide and she kindly told me to call back when I was absolutely sure. We hung up the phone and all I could do was stare at my credit card. I promptly ran to the kitchen grabbed my scissors and began snipping the plastic that was becoming an evil force in my life. See, prior to this economic downfall I could frivolously spend without a second thought. I had a decent paying job, and parents to fall back on. Dropping $700 here for a Marc Jacobs jacket, $900 there for Lanvin sneakers was a practice that repeated itself about every other month. This time, with this Goyard duffel, it was going to stop.
Coming from a middle class family affords you the necessities with the occasional luxuries. When you step outside those bounds, it can get ugly. I wasn’t necessarily instilled with the best financial responsibility as I was growing up so any little extra money I had to go towards my love of fashion, that’s where it went. Minimal saving, maximum spending is the philosophy I was living by. Don’t get me started on the dinners at Morton’s, and Ruth’s Chris. I ate out more than I ate at home and all the while thinking nothing was wrong with how I was spending my money. As soon as I hung up the phone from my potential Goyard purchase I knew that I had to stop. I still had a job and income but I had to be more responsible with how I spent my money. I had enough designer duds to last me a lifetime and I needed to think about my future, and stop thinking about the instant gratification that came when I put on that new designer piece for the first time.
I gathered all of my current bills, wrote down my salary and began to budget. I had to aggressively cut out all of the spending that was not helping me to pay off my student loans or any other outstanding bills that I had. While I achieved living on a budget, I have a natural passion for fashion so there was that continuous need to venture into Saks, or Neimans. Luckily, I am a strong willed individual and came up with a solution to feed my need to maintain my style and remain budget conscious. Never thinking of it as a viable option, I started researching more and more on how I could take certain high end pieces and translate that into something of my own. Certainly this would feed my creativity, not to mention keep my money where it belonged, in my savings account. The recession introduced me to DIY ( Do-It-Yourself). Taking basics such as blazers, jean jackets, etc. and taking queues from my favorite designers I have learned to turn those basics into something that can be reminiscent of the actual piece it was inspired by. Not only is it an excellent way to save hundreds of dollars, but I can tweak the look to my specifications. As much as we all hate it, personally, I can’t help but think of the recession as my new best friend. In this economical state, I’ve learned a lot about myself and how to effectively handle my finances when it comes to my wardrobe. Its not always about having a designer label, that’s not what makes the clothes, you make the clothes. So don’t let the recession get you down. Think of ways to let your creativity flow free, this is a time to save money and think strategically for our future, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still maintain that style that defines who you are.