shirt-Gap, shorts-J.Crew, shoes-Old Navy
Can't you just smell the end of summer? It's awful. I know I know, I have waviered back on this issue a little. The last couple weeks I couldn't wait for summer to be over but as the days creep on I keep immediately regretting that decision. I only have one week left of freedom before classes resume. I am 100% not looking forward to that.
I also realized after working on a little project over the weekend that I have never really told you guys how I got started on this whole affordable fashion smart finance crusade anyway. I mean you all know the basics, I have (had) at least $7,000 in credit card debt and SSBF was on the verge of killing, or worse, leaving me. But what about the nitty gritty?
The whole story is, at least how I see it is that I was nothing short of a shopping addict. Clothes were a way for me to feel good about myself, but not in a healthy way. I associated clothes with my self worth meaning that I needed them to have any. I'll try not to go too deep psychologically, but I was the the girl at private school that didn't have as much money as everyone else. Once I started working I felt like I could make it appear that I did, even though my days of private school were long gone. My parents never really taught me how to deal with my money because, honestly, they weren't even good with their own money. Once I got my own credit card things began to spiral. I was away at college and free to do what I wished. The shopping trips became more extravagant because thanks to credit cards and revolving accounts I only needed to pay a mere $15/month on my debt to stay current. I had no vision for the future and just continued to shop as often as I felt the need. This continued for 4 years. I managed to rack up at least $12,000 in consumer debt. Some of my friends knew, I never disclosed the exact number though because I was ashamed. But I was so addicted to the way a new pair of shoes, or shirt made me feel that I just couldn't stop.
Going on my fifth year in college is when I met SSBF. I always teased him about being cheap, even early on, but he always wore it proudly. It wasn't until we started talking about moving in together did I discuss my debt with him. I could tell it was really unsettling for him to know I had that much debt. It made me feel guilty, but I still couldn't stop shopping. Even after we made the move to Maryland I was over extending myself. I would come home from a day of shopping and see the look on SSBF's face. It was like a mixture of frustration and disappointment. He was paying for basically everything while I shopped to my hearts content.
I'm not 100% sure when it happened, but it finally hit me. It was like one day I woke up and said. Oh sh*t. What the f*ck am I doing. Seriously. I would put money on that being my exact words.
At that point I knew I had to change. I knew it was going to be easy either. It was a slow start, with lots of bumps. I had to teach myself how to save money, how to set budgets, and how to not constantly shop. Most importantly though I had to teach myself to respect me for who I am, not the clothes I wear. It's sounds a little after school specialish, but I say it because I'm not the only person out there to ever feel that way. That's wear Money Smart Fashion comes from. I wanted fashion to be a hobby that I could have fun with. I wanted everyone to know that you should wear your fashion not let it wear you. Mostly though I wanted people like me, who live(d) beyond thier means, to know that they aren't the only ones and it's never too late to start over.
It's still hard for me to talk about my debt but it feels a lot better to get that out in the open. It's actually laughable to think how much of a spendaholic I was given the coupon-cuttin', deal huntin', crazy meticulous saver I am now. I'm starting to resemble SSBF more and more each day. hehe. Soon I might have to change the name of my blog to "Miser Smart Fashion"-- haha ok let me not get ahead of myself.
If you stuck around to read all that, my attempts to lure you in with photo's worked haha! Really though, thank you. It's readers like you that keep me motivated each and everyday.