I knew it was bound to happen sometime, but I was hoping it wouldn’t be as early as the second week of January! We have had our first unexpected expense of 2016.
Despite my grand plans for financial success in 2016, we were going to need to pull out the credit cards yet again, this time to replace cheap, worn-out shoes.
While he was at work, my husband texted me this lovely picture of his shoes.
Yes, they ended up in the trash later that evening.
My husband’s profession is very hard on shoes, so this is an expense we need to anticipate coming up over and over again. He dresses up for work daily (so we are talking dress shoes here, not work boots or sneakers) and is on his feet all day on hard floors.
No more crappy shoes!
In the past, we have bought most of my husband’s work shoes at Kohl’s and they have been in the $40-$60 range depending on sales. They have not been good quality, and don’t seem to last very long. I’m sick of replacing them so frequently!
I did a little research online in an attempt to figure out which shoes brands were better quality and might last us longer. I found an article from Business Insider that was really helpful but had the intimidating title “The Best Men’s Dress Shoes for Under $350.”
Gosh, I hope so! WAY under!
From this list I noted Aldo, Kenneth Cole and Hugo Boss as some of the “cheaper” options, and brands I had seen in stores in our area. I shared the article with my husband and asked him to keep it in mind as he shopped. We are strapped financially, but we also need to ‘invest’ in better quality.
We don’t always agree on our financial plans, so I worried about how this unexpected expense would impact our already tense financial situation. I’m proud of my husband for taking a few days to make a decision on which shoes to buy and checking a few different stores (plus online merchants like Zappo’s).
My husband ended up purchasing two pairs of Aldo shoes for approximately $190. Two pairs because he needs both a brown and black pair of shoes for work. His old black pair were completely done and ended up in the trash earlier this week, and the old brown pair were inching closer to the same fate and would need to be replaced soon anyways.
Why no tattered shoes?
You might have read about my tattered boots, and wonder why my husband is getting new shoes but I’m not. In his line of work, appearance is very important, for two reasons. First, he needs to feel good about himself so he can put his best foot forward (pun intended) and keep his confidence high (he is in sales). Second, he sells high end products to customers with high incomes, so busted shoes would stick out like a sore thumb! My tattered boots are perfectly fine for running to the grocery store with two little ones in tow.
Is it really unexpected?
Of course, this unexpected expense really wasn’t unexpected was it? We know how my husband needs to dress for work and should anticipate this cost. It was an unwanted expense at this moment in time. It was an unprepared expense because that category of our budget (I like to use sinking funds for things like clothes and haircuts) was not yet funded. And because of our tough financial situation, I had only budgeted $35 for our clothing fund for January, so this purchase was made on credit which adds to our debt.
How can we keep this from happening again?
This was our first unexpected expense of the year, but it certainly won’t be our last! We need to stick to the financial fitness plan for 2016, reduce our debt, reduce our spending, and increase our income. In the future, our improved budget needs to have a more accurate clothing category that is fully funded so the money is there when we need it. A solid budget should have many sinking funds to cover all of these expenses that will inevitably crop up.
Do you use sinking funds?
If you’re interested in learning more about sinking funds and working them into your budget, I gathered some information for you:
What items do you spend more money on for the sake of quality?
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