I'll never forget the first time I started working and making my own money. It felt great to not have to ask my mother to buy a pair of shoes. I was making my own money, which meant I could spend it however I wanted to. Well not exactly, my mother still had a say in what I could and could not buy, but you know what I mean!
One my favorite stores when I was a teenager was a store called Stiches. Stiches is a clothing store for both women and men. They sold exactly what I wanted as a teenager. Winter coats, jeans, sweaters, tank tops, skirts and shorts. All this at a cheap price. It was after my first trip to Stiches that one of my friends started calling me cheap. I didn't really think I was cheap back then. I was just buying what I could afford and Stiches fit the bill! Most of the clothes I owned as a teenager were from Stiches.
As I got older and started working in Corporate Canada I knew I would have to expand my wardrobe a little by purchasing business attire. Stiches doesn't sell suits, or blouses or else you know I would've wore their suits. Even though I couldn't buy my work clothes at Stiches, I still shopped their for jeans and work out clothes. This is when more friends and my family started calling me cheap. By this time, I was in my twenties and still shopping at Stiches. My friends were constantly asking me why I don't shop at better stores. I would tell them that Stiches was cheap and had what I wanted.
Now that I am 32 and still shop at Stiches, my friends and family pretty much have accepted me for who I am. They know I am cheap and don't bother wasting their breath calling me cheap. Except for the odd occasion! Luckily for me I still fit into their tank tops, sweat pants and jeans. I have had work out clothes for years that I have purchased at Stiches and I still wear them today. Don't get me wrong I know that stores like Nike and Lululemon sell really nice work out clothes and the quality is great. But I don't go to the gym to show off my latest work out gear, and besides have you seen the price of a Lululemon tank top? Well if you haven't, one tank top is $52 + tax. Let me repeat that, $52 + tax. I get a headache just thinking about paying that much for a tank top. I paid $2.50 for a tank top the other day at a Stiches outlet store. I paid $49.50 less than someone else who actually bought one of those tank tops. There's a lot I could do with $49.50. Like I said earlier, I have tank tops and sweat pants from Stiches that I've had for at least six years, maybe even longer and they still fit and look fine to me.
Although my income is much higher now than it was when I was sixteen, I just don't see the need to shop at more expensive stores for certain things. I am a firm believer in keeping my expenses as low as possible. I really try not to increase my expenses just because my income increases. That is what helped me to get rid of my mortgage. Any extra money that I would get from bonuses to promotions at work would go towards paying down my mortgage.
What about you, what stores have you been shopping at since you were a teenager?