My love affair with shoes started after college graduation and I was trying to look professional for my job interviews; finding a “business” shoe was part of the agenda. I kept on hearing from other people how shoes (or bag, or clothes) are considered as investments because they give you the confidence to carry yourself. So…I “invested”…… a lot. How much was “a lot”? Well, let’s just say that a couple of years ago, while I was doing my general cleaning, I found out that I have more shoes that I can wear once every two months, plus five or so unopened boxes of pairs that are still waiting for the “right occasion.” I checked the condition of the shoes, some are still in tip- top shape, some shabby, some fit, some don’t (well, not that my feet got bigger, I just remember buying some shoes even if they were not my size just because I felt I had to have them). I had to get rid of the tattered ones, those that don’t fit, and those that I don’t imagine wearing in the next three months. The result? I just got rid, correction, I just wasted a couple of thousand pesos. So, what was the “investment” there?
The year after that, I challenged myself not to buy any shoe for six months. Did you know what happened at that time? I was able to pay off my credit card bills all in full because I stopped compulsive shoe shopping; I have funds to pay off my debts (which, in the first place, accumulated because of shopping); and more importantly, I was able to channel my shoe funds to a real investment. I save every month and when I saved enough, I invest it on a Variable Unit-Linked insurance policy. Now, whenever I receive my policy’s updates, I’m glad I went on a “shoe diet” and invested my money on real investments.
Do I feel deprived now that I don’t get to shoe shop anymore?
Here are some tips to still feel Imeldific without breaking the bank:
Buy shoes with colors that you can match with any dress e.g., black, brown, beige. If you find these colors boring, go and buy colors that you are most comfortable with. Red shoes are both sexy and powerful and can actually match any dress color (thank goodness that color blocking has been invented!).Buy brands that are known for style and comfort, they may be a little pricey than other brands but you will surely walk more miles on these shoes than their cheaper alternatives which may be uncomfortable or will easily wear out. Clean your shoes regularly. Use the right shoe cleaning materials. Oftentimes, shoes are just a wipe away from looking like new again. Buy classic designs so you do not have to worry about getting outdated and have the impulse to buy every time there is a new fad. Take photos of your shoes, that way, you will have an inventory of your shoe collection. Before buying a pair, check your album if you already have a similar pair, or a similar color, you might not need that new pair after all. What if you really, really, really want that pair of shoes? Tie it to a goal, challenge yourself to hit a target before you splurge. For example, I challenge myself to finish a course or lose some weight. Shoe shopping will motivate me to accomplish my goal and it gives me time to contemplate on a decision to splurge. Sometimes, when enough time has passed, I would have already changed my mind about buying the shoes so I end up accomplishing the goal and with extra savings. And oh, don’t buy shoes online unless you know your size for a particular brand and shoe design. Shoes should be tried on. I’ve wasted three or so pairs because the shoes I bought online did not feel well or it looked good on the picture but not on my feet.
How are my investments now? Let’ just say it has grown enough to take me to the shoe-shaped country, Italy. Growing investments, and not buying every pair of shoes, can change your life.
(Originally written by Abi Magtibay at http://www.savingstips.com.ph)
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