I hate buying necessities like socks and underwear, but have no problem dropping money on concert tickets or a dinner out. Isn’t it funny that the things you need to buy the most, are the ones you put off for the longest?
The Sad State of My Sleeping Shorts
I get very hot at night, so all year round I sleep in shorts and a tank top. I have three pairs of sleeping shorts that I rotate through during the week, and wash them after each use. I’ve probably been using the same three pairs for the last five years, so you can do the math on how many times they’ve been worn and washed.
Two of the three pairs are on their last legs. There are holes all around the waistband, and the elastic is hanging out. Each time I change, I probably rip them a little more. When we’re folding laundry, we always laugh at the sad state of these shorts.
Yet I would continue wearing them.
Putting Credit Card Points to Use
I have an American Express card that I pay for certain things on. This is a separate card than the Chase Sapphire Preferred where we make most of our purchases and earn most of our points (for travel). Since I only spend about $150 a month on the American Express, I don’t earn a ton of points.
A couple times a year, I have enough points to get a $25 gift card to Victoria’s Secret or $50 to J.Crew. A couple months ago I opted to go for the Victoria’s Secret gift card to finally replace those sleeping shorts.
Browsing on the Victoria’s Secret page reminded me of the other things that I should probably buy. When was the last time I bought new underwear? Don’t I need to replace a bra that’s all stretched out?
I put a few things in my shopping cart, but then abandoned it….
for a couple months.
Pulling the Trigger on a Purchase
I realized last week that those sleeping shorts aren’t getting any better, and now was as good a time as any to make that purchase.
I decided that I would replace a few other undergarments that have seen better days, and filled my shopping cart with those items.
In total, after using the gift card and taking advantage of a sale, I spent $101.27 on the following items:
- 5 pairs of underwear
- 2 pairs of sleeping shorts
- 1 bra
That Wasn’t So Hard
I don’t know what it is with me, but I absolutely hate spending money on clothing necessities. Last year I actually made a wants and needs list, and would add things like a new belt or camisoles (undershirts to all you men reading this) to the needs section. I would slowly over time buy those needs, but more frequently, I would put off those purchases.
Unfortunately, with things like underwear and socks, the longer you put off replacing them, the more you’ll have to replace at once. I spent over $100 to get my undergarments up to snuff, but I’m not done yet because my sock drawer is in sad shape, as well.
I’m going to start doing some research and see if I can find some affordable running socks to replace my old ones. If the length of time it took me to make this purchase is any indicator of how long I’ll wait, expect me to buy new socks sometime in the next decade (haha I’m joking).
It is totally fine (and advisable) to buy new clothes as old ones wear out. It is probably a good idea to build these kinds of purchases into a monthly budget.
Maybe I’ll take my own advice and build a little bit of clothing money into my budget when I start receiving my teaching paychecks again in September. In the meantime, I’m excited to retire my old sleeping shorts and start a longterm relationship with my two new pairs.
Do you ever put off buying necessities?
Illusion of Scarcity Worksheet (PDF)
Download this free worksheet and start paying yourself first.
- Budget for financial obligations and recurring expenses
- Prioritize your financial goals
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