Shopping within my means

With the change of season, I’m in the market for some flannel PJs for LLC and LMM.  They’re harder to come by than you might expect (unless I’m really missing something) but I was really excited when I stumbled upon a really cute penguin pair in Rachel Riley on my lunch break.  That was until I saw the price tag: £75.  Wah.  I should have known when I entered the designer shop I wasn’t going to find my happy ending.

Even considering the price to wear ratio, there’s no way I could justify or afford to spend £75 on some PJs when there are so many more affordable options.  And even if I could afford it, £75 on a pair of children’s PJs still feels kind of nuts.  But I still felt a little bad that I couldn’t give into temptation, and that reminded me of why I don’t too often dabble in stores like that in the first place: I find things I like that I can’t buy.  It’s better to avoid temptation.

This little incident got me thinking about a recent trend in our house where 3.5 year-old LLC asks can I get a Baby Annabel, I want to have one of those, can we go to the Disney store, and the like…  She doesn’t throw a wobbly when I tell her no, not today and on the whole is a content little kid but she’s certainly becoming increasingly aware of material things, which I guess in natural. And while I don’t want to stem her burgeoning desires too much, I also want her to understand that she can’t get everything she wants and that it’s important to enjoy the things she does have.

I think my parents got this balance right with me.  For a born and bred Long Islander, I wasn’t the stereotypical daddy bought me a sports car diva that people often generalize about when they think of Long Island.  And neither were the friends I gravitated towards and have to this day.  My parents were very generous to me, but I wasn’t overly spoiled and they instilled in me a work ethic and appreciation for earning “the material things in life.”  I didn’t lust over things outside of our means or compare what my family had to others; I was pretty content, and happy.  I hope I’ll be able to say the same for my kids as they grow up.

As an adult, I’m more acutely aware of what I can afford and do sometimes suffer those lustful moments like I had on my PJ hunt.  I do probably have reasonably expensive tastes, but then I keep my clothes forever!  On one hand it’s inspiration to keep working for what I want, on the other hand I need to remind myself of those same things I’m saying to LLC and LMM about valuing what I do have.

The places my mind travels on a lunch break!

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2 Responses to Shopping within my means

  1. Hi Tanya – that’s definitely too much for PJs. Try the Little White Company – or LL Bean via your parents! Much nicer than Primark, but more affordable than designer.

    PS we’re back in Southeast London, would be lovely to meet up sometime.

  2. Circus Queen says:

    This is definitely something I’m going to have to watch out for with myself. We had very little when I was growing up. I always wore cousins hand-me-downs and I think I was a teenager before I had anything new – even then it was only occasional and most of my clothes came from a friend who could afford to shop all the time so gave me clothes she didn’t want anymore. Now as an adult, I still charity shop and I’m happy with that but I do love buying T things I never had. She’s recently worried me by responding to “We don’t have any” when she wants something with “Buy it.” It’s definitely important that we strike the balance now while she’s very little and maleable.

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