why i quit chambray.


I absolutely love to shop. I’ll forever hunt a good bargain, but I also enjoy collecting clothing and accessories that will stick around my closet for years to come. Over the last few years, I’ve spent most of my shopping effort on others – my house and children, specifically. Since growing our family so large, I’ve fought hard to make sure we don’t go without just because there’s less money to go around. I want my kids to wear the clothes they like, and I want to decorate the house in a way that make us feel at home and proud to be in it.

That being said, Chris is forever trying to convince me to take a chunk of cash and spend it on myself. As easy as I find it to spend money, I seem to drag my heels when it comes to my own desires. I fell in love with a certain watch a year ago, but I’m waiting until I get a certain bonus in January to pull the trigger on it. As for his own clothes, there’s a patch in pretty much every pair of pants Chris owns. He’s also become quite adept with a sewing machine, but he never says a word because he’d rather spend his extra money on music gear. The point is, we’ve needed to update our wardrobes for quite some time now.

So last week, we did just that.

We’d been saving all year for Christmas. Who am I kidding… I have a savings account through a payroll deduction program called “the Christmas Club.” It’s amazing in that it requires no preparation or self-control. Anyway, we emptied it out on a date night last week and decided to buy for ourselves first for a change. We finished the night at our favorite sushi joint and swore up and down we’d have no regrets.

And I didn’t, at first. But wouldn’t you know I spent the last two evenings returning various items? I just couldn’t do it. I don’t know if it’s because I spent so much money at once, instead of buying one or two things at a time. Or maybe it’s the amount I spent on each item, which we told ourselves should not matter. This was our Christmas present to each other, for goodness’ sake! But I just couldn’t do it.

So I kept the makeup, the pea coat, and every single thing we bought for Chris. It all looked great on him, and he needed it oh-so-badly. But the rest of the stuff went back, tags still attached and some still wrapped in paper. I felt a little nervous about causing such a hassle, since we both used to work in retail. But I left the mall feeling so much relief, so much peace.

We’ll put any extra cash into savings, after we cross everything off of the kids’ lists and put new tires on the Suburban. With our upcoming move, padding the savings account makes me sleep easier at night. Besides, I never could figure out the right way to wear that darling chambray shirt anyway.

11 thoughts on “why i quit chambray.”

  1. Good for you :)
    Priorities are a funny thing and I know I’d feel funny spending lots of money on myself when there are so many other places it could go (baby, house, savings, bills, charity…). Glad you didn’t take everything back though!

  2. Right there with ya! Nick and I went to Target recently to buy some clothes. I felt so guilty afterward for some reason. We had the money saved in our clothing category, but I just couldn’t do it. I took things back. As you said, I think it was the whole spending more all at once thing. I MAYBE get 2 or 3 articles of clothing a year, so, I’m with you. I just don’t have it in me to splurge! I guess we partially have Dave Ramsey to thank for that! :)

  3. Eeek! I know exactly what you mean. I always wind up with buyer’s remorse and return almost everything I buy (I don’t know why I buy it in the first place). The one time we really managed to do some damage we drove out to some really nice outlet malls that were about an hour and a half from us. Although I had stuff I wanted to return, it was too far to justify the drive.

    I’m glad you kept a bit of it though! :)

  4. I wear my chambray shirt with my black jeans, or colored cords or even super dark denim. Also I wear mine over a dress to mix it up. You could totally pull it off!

    But I get the whole feeling of guilt and buying things for yourself when you live your life so disciplined in the area of money. Don’t feel bad for taking stuff back – the retail employees don’t care ;)

    1. I love the tied-up look! I just kept feeling like a painter in a smock… or the grandmother in Parenthood. Which isn’t totally a bad thing ;)

  5. Great post! I am a serial returner, if I don’t HAVE to have it
    it goes back! That and the last 2+ years I rarely buy anything for myself, working hard to be debt totally free instead. It’s much more fun to make things you already own work in new ways anyways. So cheers, maybe borrow a chambray shirt from
    one of the big boys?;)

  6. I admire you for this. I usually shop like crazy in a store…and then before I get to the register, do all of my weeding out. This way, I feel like I saved big time, thinking about what I could have spent if I didn’t put back. Somehow, this makes me feel better. I am a single, full-time, working mother. There never seems to be enough and I’d rather spend on my daughter, when I have the extra money. How many sweaters, shirts, boots, and jeans do I need? Especially when most of what I like is trendy and will be off-trend next year. I’m learning the art of learning to buy “good,” which means one nice item that will last for a while. I notice some of the high end merchandise lasts longer in terms of quality and timelessness. Soooooo, that’s my take. I’m glad I’m not the only mama riddled with these emotions about spending on myself.
    Anyway, it’s not about the material items. It’s about so much more. I know from reading your blog for a while, you totally get that. Thanks again for a great post.

  7. I have such a hard time spending money on myself too. My kids and my husband, no problem- but myself SUCH a hard time. About two weeks ago my husband made me get my hair cut and hightlighted. He literally had to make the appointment and drag me there. It had been over a year since I had done anything to my hair and my hair was looking REALLY bad (gray hairs everywehere). I really did need to do something with my hair, but I still wanted to cry walking into the salon thinking about how much money I was going to spend and the other things I could be speding it on (bills, kids, the house…).

  8. I struggle with buyer’s remorse SO BAD! This blog is awesome for crazy budget-ers like me (and you, it seems!). and this checklist for preventing the dreaded buyers remorse hits the nail on the head. http://andthenwesaved.com/avoiding-buyers-remorse/

    Also–I feel like chambray is this year’s acid washed jeans/jean jackets. we’ll all look back at picutred of our canadian tuxedos and say ‘what were we thinking?’

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