One year for Christmas maybe five years ago or so, my husband gave me a Helzberg Diamonvita tennis bracelet. It’s their version of simulated diamonds and it is somewhat convincing. It was around, oh…$200 to $300 maybe.
And as much as I think it’s pretty…I wish I had the $300 now instead of this. It was a mistake. And if I sell it I’ll only get back $100 at most.
Yesterday when I said I had made enough mistakes now to be careful when buying anything, I meant it. I’ve wasted tens of thousands of dollars on jewelry or other fashion items at this point that I’m never getting back. And ok, tens of thousands isn’t hundreds of thousands or millions but it’s still genuinely angering. That money could have gone into dozens of other worthwhile places.
Some people might read what I just wrote and get nasty in their minds and make snide comments about how I’m “showing off” or am clueless in some way, but actually…I’m just being what I think is honest. See, it’s like this: There’s a line when it comes to certain things that you don’t cross without being flat-out wrong.
Once in London, Mark and I were at a jeweler that specialized in antique pieces and Mark was considering spending around $10,000 on an emerald for me so he asked the salesman what he thought was available in that price range that I would like. In a sort of matter-of-fact, but genuinely regretful way that seemed very British to me the salesman said, “Yes, in order to buy any emerald that’s not small and is good quality you have to pay over $25,000. It’s very annoying, I know.” Mark thought he was being a little snobby and dismissive. I thought he was just being blunt (and somewhat empathetic) and I appreciated his candor. *silence*
Either way, he was right and frankly…since gifts are about the heart behind them if you’re setting out to buy an emerald and you have $100,000.00 you can easily spend but don’t want to and buy something for $5,000.00 (or even $10,000) instead it’s problematic.
I had a few problematic rings and wasted too much to mention. I poetically threw rings out of windows, in the ocean, and down toilets without any way of getting the money back just to remind my husband that he was going to have to choose me and our family and things of real value over money if we were going to continue as a couple during more than one sad, passionate fight. It’s one thing to be frugal but another to be withholding of love. And if my fiancé or husband had had $500 to spend and bought a cheap ring for $50.00 because he was more interested in having money than making me happy it would have been the same thing. It was about the intention.
But, that’s a different sort of issue and we’ve worked that out for the most part in our marriage. Mark knows all I truly care about is his heart and I’ve come to accept that his natural instinct is to make the most financially prudent choice in every situation regardless of almost anything. And I love him.
The line I mean to discuss is about money. And $25,000. is a certain line.
Whether you’re a billionaire or not anything from $25,000. to $50,000. starts to be annoying to spend (especially on something like a piece of very particular jewelry, such as an emerald brooch or cocktail ring. It’s not a car or property or an investment. It’s a piece of beauty you’ll wear fifteen times to any noticeable degree to others.) …And if you spend that much it’s not wise to do so on an ill-advised whim. It has to be right. $25,000. is the line where I believe almost anyone starts to be emotionally affected. Of course, before that amount most people will be affected, but my point is that a. Wasting money past a certain point is dangerous or at least unwise for anyone and b. Things add up. So, every dollar and every hundred dollars and every thousand…has to be considered.
All obvious, I suppose.
And, the thing I know is this: If you’re truly in a place to make the choice, always buy the best. The best will rarely not be worth it. “The best” being what’s the most right for you and has the highest quality. Diamonvita was…clearly not the best. Ha!
Recently though I was considering buying a pair of white sapphire studs or…*sigh* …Diamonvita studs. *eye roll* Yes, it is embarrassing that I was about to make that mistake again.
However, I had forgotten about my bracelet and thought that it made sense to buy the $50 fake earrings just to use until it was wise to buy the real thing. But then I was contemplating it around a very wise and lovely friend of mine from England and she said, “No! Don’t.” End of discussion.
At first I thought, “Oh, she’s a dear-heart but maybe she just doesn’t understand what it’s like to have to wait to buy luxury items over $1,000.” She has an exceptional amount of resources from anyone’s view and she handles it extremely well. For reference: To her $1,000.00 is as an ice cream cone is to a middle class American person. For me though, it takes a few months to buy luxury items over that amount unless it’s a necessity like a car or etc. And I don’t spend that much on a whim or spur-of-a-moment generally speaking (although, again, I obviously have out of necessity). That’s my budget. And, I thought, “I know she’s right, but…it’s hard to wait…and $50.00 isn’t that much. I can buy the diamonds this year or so, but in the meantime I’ll have these pretty little pieces.”
Yet, I’ve come to realize that she is so very correct. That $50.00 isn’t something to just waste on earrings I’ll never even likely wear eventually, and, therefore, it’s actually disheartening to buy them instead of shrewd. Buying a substitute is subconsciously depressing for so many reasons (i.e. you know it’s not real even if others don’t and so it feels dishonest.). Hence my further realizations and last post about “usables.”
My great grandparents on my mother’s mother’s side were immigrants from Norway at the turn of the Twentieth Century and they had a strikingly similar way of doing things to my dear friend. They bought quality items when quality was required and rarely bought anything that could eventually become useless. Also, honestly, they were both brilliant. To compare all these people to each other is a compliment to everyone in all the most lovely and meaningful ways, in my opinion.
So, as a follow-up to my last post, make sure your money in general is well spent. “Usables” it is…