Did you hear the flurry of personal finance bloggers simultaneously clicking unfollow on Twitter? I just admitted to owning a $700 pair of shoes, and I had the gall to say that purchase wasn’t wasteful. Someone take this blog away from me, right?
I know that designer shoes aren’t for everyone. I’m also confident that I absolutely could have made it through my wedding day just fine on shoes that cost a fraction of the price. More than that, though, I am certain that I’ve learned more about personal finance by investing in these heels than anyone–including me–would have ever guessed.
I knew it was ludicrous to spend $700 on wedding shoes, but I had my mind made up. I tried to be a pragmatist for much of my wedding planning. In a lot of ways, I still think of my wedding budget as an exercise in self-restraint and the guest list as my greatest act of diplomacy. But when it came to my shoes, I completely lost my head.
Still, I didn’t think it was entirely fair to ask Mr. P to go halfsies on something that wouldn’t benefit him in the least, so I picked up a side hustle. Sure, I had tutored occasionally over the years, both in undergrad and in my first few years of teaching. But I had never tried to create a consistent side gig from it. Once my goal was firmly
set in my mind pinned to my Pinterest wedding shoe board, I added my name to a tutoring registry, updated my resume, and scooped up my first student within a week. I started meeting with her once a week, and soon her family recommended me to a friend. Then, I got another call from the tutoring registry. Soon, I had five students who I met with weekly. In less than two months time, I had my shoes paid for. But that wasn’t the biggest benefit. In under eight weeks, I put together a successful and efficient side hustle that I have sustained for the past three years. Since my side hustle relates to my career, I’ve had the opportunity to make extra income, expand my resume, develop my entrepreneurial skill set, and network with families and other teachers. Finding the right goal is motivation magic.
Lest you think my Jimmy Choos are collecting dust in my closet, think again. No, I don’t wear them every Tuesday.* I do wear them as often as possible. I’ve stood up in two weddings since our big day. Both times, I was required to obtain a pair of silver shoes, and both brides approved my beloved previous purchase. Score! Additionally, I’ve also worn them to a handful of other formal affairs. In terms of cost per wear, they’re still not Payless prices, but they definitely make a lot more sense than buying a $100 pair of shoes I would only wear once.
While we’re on the subject, how many wears can one get out of a pair of Jimmy Choos? Thanks to fine folks at Nordstrom, the answer is seemingly limitless. The last time I wore my shoes as a bridesmaid, I was midway down the runner-less, tiled church aisle when I noticed an ever so slight creak that wasn’t quite keeping time with Pachelbel and his Canon. After being unsure of what to do with them for a month, I finally mustered up the courage to bring them back to Nordstrom — along with the original box, dust bag, and receipt — to see if they would be willing to send them out and give me estimate of what the repairs would cost. The manager of the shoe salon** took one look at the shoes, applied some pressure to the heel, and confirmed that there was some sort of defect in the heel shank. Then she ordered me a brand new pair. Because
the shoe gods smiled down on me Nordstorm might just have the best customer service in the whole universe. While I don’t actually think that Nordstrom would continue to dole out a never-ending supply of sparkly pretties, I do think that a cobbler could perform wonders should they eventually need new heel taps or soles.
So let’s recap, shall we? My $700 pair of shoes…
- Taught me how to build an effective side hustle.
- Underscored the importance of considering cost-per-wear when shopping.
- Will last forever.
You had better bet that anytime someone invites me anywhere remotely fancy, there will be Jimmy Choo heels on my feet.
*Move over, Taco Tuesday! Let’s make Sparkly Shoe Saturday a thing!
**Shoe salon is retail speak for this is going to sting when you see the price tag.
So Tell Me…Were my shoes worth it? Have you ever purchased something that turned out to be a far better investment than you realized? Will you still follow me on Twitter even though you know my shoe secret?