I recently bought two baskets at Winners to replace two at home that have been breaking down for some time. Apparently second-hand wicker only lasts for so long. One of the baskets I replaced was for laundry and the other for miscellaneous items (like my almost-deflated soccer ball and a bunch of slippers and hats). Bringing the baskets home prompted a need, or rather a desire, to reorganize some things around the apartment. Things like my three closets. And for fun, I counted the number of dresses I have. They have their own closet so it seemed like I had a lot and I wondered if my guess of 25 dresses was correct. It wasn’t; it turns out I have 48 dresses.
For some, 48 dresses will seem outrageous. I admit it does seem like a lot for a regular person (i.e not a celebrity). I mean, it’s almost one dress a week for an entire year. But I love dresses and I guess I just don’t get rid of them the same way I do pants and tops when they no longer fit or I’m tired of the style.
For other people, mainly my fellow shopping addicts, I’m certain having 48 dresses isn’t so crazy. Especially for a single girl. I don’t often touch on the perks of being single, but having three closets all devoted to me is great. I have never had to share closet space and I really don’t want to. Heaven forbid I have to downsize my collection to make room for suits or something. Should we only have one closet, my future mate will have to keep his clothes in the trunk of his car or in a bag hanging from a pole out our bedroom window.
The 48 dresses in my closet made me think about my decade-long shopping problem and how it contributed to the large student debt I have incurred since I was 19. It started during my first year of university when I realized that the $5000 I’d saved up for school would be used up in the first year. My next four years of school helped that debt grow, as did the two cars I bought and all of my shopping. When I got my first big-girl job in 2007, I made debt repayment my number one priority. And it’s been my number one priority for almost seven years. With a bit of shopping here and there.
I do and I don’t regret all the purchases I have made over the years. I love many of the items, and I obviously still have a lot of them. But it has been daunting carrying so much debt for so long. I originally planned to pay it all off in five years. But then I replaced my aging car with another aging car and I adjusted my debt-free goal to age 30. That didn’t happen, but now that I’m only a few months away from 31, I’m finally at the finish line. After playing with my budget for the millionth time, and deciding that I do not need to go on a tropical vacation this winter, no matter how great it would be, I’m less than 100 days away from being debt-free. And it feels amazing!
So until the day I make my last loan payment, aka the best day of my adult life (besides the day my niece was born), I am on a self-imposed hiatus from shopping. Not a complete ban as I will need groceries and other items (i.e. presents for all the babies) and emergencies may arise, like a hole in my winter boots or lost mitts or something. But there will be no indulgent shopping until after I am debt-free. And then, I will celebrate by buying two more dresses to bring the number I own to an even 50.