On this trip to Miami I have made my first visit to Ross, the Dress for Less store. It took the overcoming of some mental barriers and some serious talks with myself like “Bushlings get it the hell together! We are in a recession! You’re acting like a damn lawyer!” It was the horror of the last one that got me in the door.
Since purchasing my own home in recent months I have been on quite the budget. The investment I saved years for now needs to be maintained – mortgage payments, association fees, dryers need replacing, next month will be the water heater. It has stressed me out a bit to adjust to it all but I have managed so far. And better than expected!
In this experience I have learned something quite interesting. I have lived the life of a Lawyer.
Now let me explain. A childhood friend and I have done many things together. We went away to university as we should. We came home with professional qualifications. We secured challenging jobs with great potential for growth. We bought land. We bought and moved into our own apartments. But at the end of the day when she says she’s broke she means “I have no more money in my frivolous spending budget and I’m not touching my $100k in savings” and when I say I’m broke it means the savings account is broke too.
The difference? I am a Lawyer and she is an Accountant. Lawyers make more money than Accountants usually. But Accountants always have more money than Lawyers.
The Car Demonstration:
Ok so here is what this difference actually looks like. When you drive into the parking lot of a small law firm you will see more Merecedes Benz signs and Audi circles and Range Rover grills than there are parking spaces. The partners have 2 or 3 each, the associates 2, and the mail boy has a measly 1 – usually the best maintained.
Drive now into a top accounting firm like KPMG or PWC or E&Y (they don’t even pay for the full word! We’ll just buy one vowel please). You will see luxury cars only in the partners’ spaces. And don’t be surprised to see the senior partner rock up in a beat up Civic with no air conditioning.
In case you missed it there is another example.
The Shopping Demonstration:
Say I go shopping with my Accountant friend. We will go together to the same store on Memorial Day weekend for the sales. The difference is she will walk straight to the sales rack and if she finds something that isn’t on the sales rack it isn’t coming home with her unless she will lose sleep over it. Me now, I am the kind of customer they design store layouts for. Expensive stuff at front and sales hidden in back. I look for something to catch my eye and everything in the front will keep me up at night. I often don’t even make it to the sales rack!
And so I have found myself in my newly minted responsible adult status examining the differences. There are so many other examples that prove the theory! She cooks six times a week and eats out once. I cook once a week and eat out six times. She lives in a tiny one bedroom fixer upper with plans for a massive home later in life. I went for the 2 bed 2.5 bath with 2 pools (don’t ask) and a gym.
Before coming on this trip I sat myself down and gave myself a little talking to. I am to shop like an Accountant and be patient enough to look through aisles and aisles of special offers or Ross’. I am to go to Bally or Playtex in an outlet mall and bypass Victoria’s Secrets. I am to limit my clothes shopping to $300 and fill two suitcases. I am to choose wisely.
Today I have sat down like a good Lawyer and made a list. $70 of my $300 has been spent on half a suitcase worth of clothes. The rest is to be rationed carefully. Because today I am going to shop like an Accountant.