Last year, I found myself newly married and wanting a purse (these obviously go hand in hand). I had gone through my phase of fake leather, Urban Outfitters, cheapo purses and was ready to upgrade to the real deal. I had developed a penchant for handbags in my college years after my mom bought me a Coach purse for doing well in school. Don’t get me wrong, this was not a normal gesture or the rewards system my family used–though, I could be into that. I had worked forty hour weeks as a waitress while taking twenty-one unit semesters, summer courses that kept me from returning home, volunteered at a hospital and did community service with 7th graders in order to gain acceptance into UCLA. So, she was sweet and bought me a little congratulatory gift for all my effort (which paid off, I got in). Little did she know, that was all it took to convert me. That chapter wore out its welcome and I stopped the expensive habit a few years later. Enter the Urban Outfitters phase. Now, back to 2013: here I was, a newlywed, wanting something that was once a justifiable expense to be a mutually accepted reality in our lives. Then I realized, no man would ever see the price of a designer purse and understand (to be fair, I didn’t test this theory). That’s when I thought of The Purse Fund! I realized I could buy my own with the scraps I saved up over the course of a few months, and similar to our Way2Save account, we would never feel the hit.
I started saving in a paper envelope that I kept in my dresser. The banker would poke fun at me when I’d cash a $3 check that I got from a rebate. I sold mounds of things on Craigslist: nothing is junk! Everything has a price tag! One person’s trash…you know! The rule in our house is if either of us bought something before we were married and chose to sell it, we get to keep the proceeds. If it was a joint purchase after marriage and we sell, it goes into our checking. I made that up. Because of this. *pats self on back* I used eBay sparingly, as I think it’s the devil, but I managed to sell a vintage dress and older designer purses I had hung onto. I even sold two used cell phones for a decent price here. There are numerous places to get cash for your clothes in Los Angeles, which I did a bit of as well. Since starting the fund I have been able to buy two purses. I currently have enough for a third, but I’m holding out to save a little more.
The icing on the cake is once you’ve worked for the money, you aren’t going to just spend away your sweat and tears. You’re going to find the best possible deal because you know the value of a dollar. So with that in mind, my first purchase was for one marked down by $100. The second? Are you ready for this? $310 off! I have the outlet mall and Black Friday to thank for that. I realize not everyone likes purses the way I do. But I know you have that special something you want to splurge on occasionally. For my husband, it’s adding to his blu-ray collection. For my sister, it’s probably video games. For many women, it’s shoes. You can apply this method to any old thing you like and watch the cash pile up. It works like this: seek quality first, be willing to wait (sell/save), remain frugal in your purchase. Just because you have the cash doesn’t mean you spend it.