Budget before Blahnik

“I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the woman who lived in her shoes!” –Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie on HBO’s Sex and the City


Along with shopping, we should talk about finances (I mean these items don’t purchase themselves)!

I, like many young women, have a good amount of debt. College wasn’t free (loans, loans, loans), and even though I waited years to get my first credit card, it didn’t take me that long to get that bill up to the limit. Even though I only had one card (and not a wallet full), I found myself getting rejected for some cards because I kept my balance high.

Since December I’ve been working on getting rid of my debt. After getting my tax return, I cut the balance in half, and have been making large payments religiously since. I even cut up my credit card in May (and framed the remains) so that I wouldn’t spend on it anymore. I didn’t close my card, because apparently doing so does more to hurt your score than help it.

Immediately following my ‘cut up the credit card’ moment, I realized that it is ROUGH to live in New York without another form of payment just in case. Money just went and I found myself anxious about having money to do little things like…I don’t know, buy a $76 metrocard every month to get around. So I decided to bight the bullet: apply for a new credit card, keep the balance low, all the while paying off my other card in full.

Well. I now have an Amex Blue Cash Card. A grocery trip here, a trip to J.Crew there, and my bill is now at almost halfway up to the limit. I know. How did it happen?

Anyway, my debt is back up, I’ve backtracked a BUNCH. And now I’m just like…how can I think about buying $500 shoes (or even $200 shoes) with my bills as they are? It’s unrealistic. It does a disservice to me (and a tremendous service to Mr. Jimmy Choo).

Lesson laides: If you must shop, you have to be smart about it. Take care of finances first, closet second. We also have to think about SAVING! You need more than a loan to purchase a house or a car…you’ll need some cash. Remember the quote from above? When Carrie had to buy a house but had spent all her money on shoes???? I’m just saying…

If you have debt and are looking for a reform, check these books out for reference. But don’t buy them full price! Get a copy from the library…or check out options at half.com or buy used copies at amazon.com. Hopefully everyone can have this goal: Fabulous Clothes. Impeccable Credit.



Claire Sulmers is the publisher and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, the #43 most influential style magazine in the world.

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