Champagne Taste and a Beer Budget

When I was 17 I went to the mall with one of my best friends, Shannon. We went to the Clinique counter because she needed something from there. She wore the good makeup from the department stores, I wore the drugstore makeup like Cover Girl. But at that time I had a job at McDonald’s. My Dad required that I put half of every paycheck into my savings (very smart advice) and the other half I could have. So on this particular day, Clinique was having a special gift with purchase. If you purchased a certain amount then they would give you a cute little bag with mascara, powder, a lipstick and eyeshadow in it. Those might not be the exact items, but you get the idea. Well I had my own money and I wanted the good makeup! So I bought a lipstick. Back then I want to say that their lipstick was around $11 or $12. So I felt like I had gotten a really good deal because I got all of those free items with my purchase. But when I got home, my dad saw the receipt and I got a lecture about spending that much money on makeup. He said that I couldn’t afford to shop there and that I had Champagne taste and a beer budget. I didn’t really know exactly what that meant because I’d never bought nor drank either of those things, but as I got older, I realized what he meant. And he was right. You put two things in front of me, say two purses. I will hate one and love the other. Then I’ll look at the prices. The one I hate is $29.99. The one I love is $379.99. It’s ridiculous and it happens with everything.

So over the years I’ve found ways to have those champagne things on my beer budget. I shop at TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Burlington Coat Factory and Tuesday Morning. Regardless of where I am, I hit up the clearance areas first. I don’t care if things are last season or last year. But I do want quality.

Case in point, this wreath. A year ago I saw it at Kohl’s. I love wreaths but they are ridiculously expensive. At the time this wreath (made of dyed wood shavings and wood pieces) was $59.99. I checked another time when it was on sale and it was still around $30, and I didn’t want to pay that either. So I waited until the season was over, thinking I’d get it on clearance. But people had bought them all and none were on clearance. This year they were there again, same price. But this year when I went to the clearance aisle, there it was. For $5.99. Granted, one of the flowers and one of the stars were missing. But I just pulled one from the top of the wreath and filled it in. So I guess my point is this. Whatever it is that you want, whether it’s an item or a goal or a dream, find a way to get it. Sometimes it takes patience. Sometimes it takes working harder. Sometimes it takes creativity. Sometimes it comes in the form of assistance from others. Regardless, stay focused and motivated and find a way to get there.

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