What Will Those Designer Jeans Actually Cost You?


I had a college friend who had an annoying little habit. Whenever it was time to pay the rent, buy groceries, or split the utility bills she would say something like, “well, there goes seven hours worth of tips” (she was a waitress).

When we went shopping and she was debating on whether or not to purchase a pair of designer jeans or ones from a discount store like Wal-Mart she would ask us, “do you think they are worth five hours of housekeeping”? (She cleaned hotel rooms too).

It was annoying because she was constantly calculating every purchase with the amount of work she had to do to earn it. Sometimes she cracked us up too. After final exams she swigged back a few beers and exclaimed, “those were soooo worth the five toilets I had to scrub to earn them”.

Ten years, two children and a bunch of bills later…I find myself doing the same thing. For example, I will be able to purchase a Happy Meal with this post. Is it worth it? You bet! I love what I do.

However, there are times when the decision isn’t so easy. I went shopping the other day at Target. I have a horrible case of spring fever which usually turns into shopping fever. I want to buy a new purse, some capri pants and those adorable wedge sandals. As I walked into the store my heart started to race. I was frenzied. Should I pick the shoes out first or should I find a purse to match them with? Ooohhhh…what about a chunky necklace and lime green purse too? Oh…and I need sunglasses, gym clothes and a swimsuit…okay, breathe deeply and think for a moment…

What will my shopping frenzy actually cost me? It will cost about one hundred dollars which equals at least ten hours of writing, Ebaying and blogging.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all three of my “jobs” but I also love spending time with my kids. If I gave into my shopping frenzy it would cost me ten hours of playing outside with them, running to the park with them, watching movies with them and taking a walk with them. While I desperately wanted the lime green purse and chunky necklace, I decided that today I would choose to spend time with my kids.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever purchased something (milk, a loaf of bread, new shoes) while calculating the amount of hours it takes to earn them? Do you ever wonder what you have to give up for a designer pair of jeans vs. a regular pair? I would love to hear your feedback. Post your thoughts in the comments section.

Related Reading:
You Know You’re Really Frugal When…

Creative Uses for Thrift Store Finds

What Happens When You Aren’t Being Frugal?