I got this cute drawing on a receipt for socks I ordered online, and I decided to share it on reddit, the social news website. Not sure what I was thinking.
The first comment, from MikeOnFire, was actually a good question that got me thinking:
$44 for three pairs of socks? Wow, either I’m missing out or I’m pretty good with my money
To which I responded
Whether or not you’re missing out depends on how much you currently spend on your socks, how often you need to replace them, how much you like shopping for socks, the value you place on fashion/style, etc. Spending more or less for a particular item doesn’t necessarily make you good or bad with your money. It’s all about how much value you personally get out of the amount you spend.
In other words, nobody can impose their money values on another person. Beyond spending less than you make, being “good with money” can mean different things to different people. I don’t spend much on clothing over the course of the year and I’m not a fan of clothes shopping. So when I buy an article of clothing, I choose something that will hopefully provide good value, and last a while.
The most important things when it comes to money are having a healthy attitude, and sticking to your goals/values. Actually those might be the most important things in life in general. Funny how that works.
Speaking of jackets, I have a little secret that I’ll let you in on:
My ski jacket is as waterproof and as clean as the day I bought it. That’s a pretty bold statement considering I live in rainy, outdoorsy Seattle, and the jacket is 10 years old.
The secret is a product called Nikwax. It’s really two products purchased together. The first preps the jacket by cleaning it. The second is the actual waterproofing agent.
A kit costs $20 and is good for about 5 jackets. I figure for that price (plus the negligible cost of running the washing machine twice and the dryer once) I’ve extended the life of our family’s jackets by at least 10 years. (The kids get cheapo thrift store ski jackets that they lose or grow out of in a year anyway.)
Frugality doesn’t mean not buying nice things. But it does mean taking care of the things you have so you can get the most use out of them.
The hardest part about being frugal is not caring what other people think.
I bought a coat at Value Village for $5. I assume it was priced low because it had a rip in the back, since it’s an otherwise amazing jacket that packs down small. I’m not good with sewing but I’m really good at duct taping things. So I taped the hole closed with waterproof duct tape. That was 2 years ago and it’s still going strong.
Since the hole is in the back, I usually forget about it anyway. I probably saved myself $50 – $75 compared to buying a comprable coat new.