How to stop buying shoes

There are lots of ways to waste money; two of my personal bank-draining demons used to be shoes and purses. How did I kick the habits? I’ll tell you, because I’m just a damn awesome person. How awesome? I’m not making a joke about how modest I am. That’s how awesome. You don’t come here for run-of-the-mill humor; I’m assuming you come here for crafting and to bask in my radiance.

Let’s start off with shoes. I grew up in a desolate area, with nary a movie house or coffee shop in sight. It was basically not even suburbs, but suburb adjacent, and we shared it with cows. Once a mall was built in my late teen years, it became our sole source of entertainment. We spent evenings and weekends wandering the air-conditioned wonder, taking in the endless delights of Sbarro and Claire’s.

I don’t even want to think about how much money I spent on cheap earrings and plastic garbage. Payless fed my shoe habit with their relentless “Buy one, get one half off” sales to draw in vulnerable, naive teens like myself.

In an effort to curb my habit, and avoid being buried alive in accessories, I forcibly grew my own feet to a women’s size 10 1/2, or about an 8 in men’s. (Actually, I just inherited my 6’2″ dad’s feet, without the height to match; but I can go snorkeling without flippers!) Since I have yet to find a store that consistently sells shoes large enough for giant-monster feet like my own, my spending decreased dramatically.

Unfortunately, flip-flops are one size fits all, and they became my new addiction. They’re comfy, cheap, and easily accessible. I finally realized I had over-dosed this last year. I found 3-4 pairs I had never even WORN, so I handed them off to a friend who has worn the hell out of them.

At this point, I still love my flip flops, but I have realized I have ample to last me for the next ten years at least. I have also developed a bunion, which flip-flops are bad for, so out of fear I will stop buying (but probably not wearing) them. So all you have to do to reduce your shoe-buying, is stick your feet in a nuclear reactor. You get Godzilla feet, and your wallet gets a break. I bet you never knew it was so simple!

For serious though, take an inventory of all the shoes you have on hand. I generally keep one pair of nasty sneakers for things like yard work (HA! Yard work! Right.), and one pair of old flip-flops for the beach, or playing at the river (much more likely than yard work). Other than that, the same rules for reduced clothes-buying apply to shoes: buy durable, simple, classic styles. That way they won’t wear out or break, and they will match with everything.

You can also consider reducing the color palette in your wardrobe. I have one friend who wears only black and shades of grey; everything of hers matches everything else, she doesn’t have to separate her laundry, and she always looks sophisticated. I’m not planning to go that extreme, but if I get rid of my brown office clothes, I can avoid buying a new pair of pants and shoes. I don’t even really like most of my brown stuff anyway, so I’m seriously considering it.

If you have shoes that you like, but look a little worn, or aren’t quite what you want, consider painting them, or altering them in some other way to make them what you do want. The basic rule you should always follow is make it last, make do, or do without, before making any purchase.


May 25, 2012. Tags: , , , . House Stuff, Thriftiness is Cool.

One Comment

  1. How to choose a purse « My Attempts at Cleverness replied:

    […] Part 2 of how to reduce your spending on accessories. If you missed part one, you’re a terrible person, but here it is for your edification. […]

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