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I went to Rite Aid yesterday to pick up deodorant for my husband and stood blankly in front of the makeup aisle for almost half an hour. I realized I hadn’t really bought makeup in longer than I can remember. It was a luxury item I couldn’t afford, and trust me, ten years ago they knew me on sight at the MAC counter. Now things are being plumped that used to just be lined and I have no clue what most of these personal care torture devices do. Since I can now afford the “or” and am not just “po,” I treated myself to an eyeshadow kit and mascara. Granted it was buy one get the second item half off, and I managed to find the last double package of mascara, but it was still weird to spend money on something that had been so de-prioritized. Here are some luxury items I used to spend money on without thinking:
- Makeup – God gave me a face and I’m lucky to be happy with it. When I was young I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup because my Dad was worried it would ruin my skin. So of course the minute I hit my late teens I was two steps shy of Angelina Jolie in the movie Hackers. Now, I wear something for special occasions, and to even out the rosacea when I’m feeling a little too red, but that’s about it.
- New Clothes – I told my husband this morning, “Honey, I wanted you to know, I’m probably going to buy socks this week so I’ll be spending money.” He gave me the look, you know, the one that says, “Really? This is earth-shattering news?” But when you’ve stopped spending money for so long, indulging in a $3 pair of comfortable socks instead of a $8 6-pack seems overly luxurious.
- Chocolates – Last week I bought a $5 box of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels. Not a need per se, but I’m pretty sure my husband thinks my PMS is more manageable with it than without.
- Purses – I now have five purses. Total. The only reason I have a fifth one is my Aunt just sent me one in some hand-me-downs. I can only carry one wallet, so I can only carry one purse. If you really want to get technical, I have one purse, one beach tote, one clutch, one formal purse, and one gift purse. In my entirety of marriage (almost seven years), I’ve spent $45 on purses. It’s a decent amortization.
- Red Meat – My father was a steak and potatoes man, but unless it’s an undesirable cut that I can stick in the crockpot all day to make something magical appear, we couldn’t afford it.
- Cable – While we used the internet, cable TV was unnecessary and way out of our budget. The cable guys are expensive. ‘Nuff said.
- Supplements – I remember at one point in my life I was taking nearly 14 supplements every day. I wasn’t taking care of myself or eating right, so I needed them. The best thing about being in the working poor was it forced me to be more simple. I walk, I eat healthy in season food. And I don’t spend ridiculous amounts of money on vitamins and minerals I should be getting in my diet.
What did/would you give up if poor?