I’ve never been the type of person you could tag as frugal, cheap, penny pinching or budget conscious. Shelton is one of those guys who will put $20 in his wallet and six months later catch himself off guard when he realizes it’s still there. I, on the other hand, when presented with $20 I can dream up three ways to spend it within the hour in the microseconds it takes to have the bill placed in my hand. And I will.
When Shelton met me, not only was I a college co-ed with a rockin’ body, I was swimming in debt. Not the 20/20 investigative reporting kind of tens-of-thousands of dollars debt, but in two years in college I’d maxed three credit cards and owed roughly $5,000. Earning $5.50 an hour at Old Navy was barely feeding me three meals a day, much less paying back Discover for my boots, tattoo and Friday night cash advances.
Shelton comes from a family of CPAs, and you could effortlessly tag them as frugal, cheap, penny pinching or budget conscious. I tease him, and his mom, they they are like squirrels with little pockets of money holed up here, there and everywhere, and would never spend a dime without researching their personal financial history, future predictions of the stock market and how much bread and milk they have in the refrigerator.
So when we started dating, you can imagine both of our surprise with the other’s spending habits. Shelton wanted to stay in and make dinner, and I didn’t see the harm with going out for the fifth time that week. Over the years, as couples will do, we’ve adopted each other’s habits. I still wouldn’t say I’m a penny pincher, but I’m definitely much more budget conscious, so much so that I actually have to reign in Shelton occasionally and he’s had to reconcile with being a little more “comfortable” with spending money rather spontaneously, on stupid things.
Yes, this has something vaguely to do with maternity pants. I think more than health reasons, I’m so adamant about maintaining my weight because I don’t want to have to restock my closet if I were to gain. I mean, that would be expensive, and certainly not in the budget.
So I’ve actually been somewhat fearful of what would happen when I got pregnant and slowly but surely started retiring clothing. I was rather relieved when my sister, who delivered a little girl two weeks before we had our embryo transfer, offered a huge tub of maternity clothes. I sorted through and walked away with two pairs of jeans, few pairs of khaki shorts, and a shirt or two. Jeans were the biggest score, I was thrilled that they fit me and were a wash/style I would wear.
I’d held on to my $200 of birthday money for several months and when finally faced with having to buy maternity clothes used that. Two hundred dollars does not go far on any shopping budget, but especially toward maternity clothes because you can’t just hit up a Target sale rack and raid the 75% off trendy tops.
I carefully executed my maternity choices. I invested in a dark wash jean, that way I could “dress up” if I needed to. Fortunately I work from home so purchasing a work-appropriate wardrobe was not necessary. In fact, it was an advantage because I have a stock pile of yoga pants, PJ pants and other loungey cotton bottoms. And I’ll be damned if those elastic bands don’t just keep on stretching!
So here I am, with three pairs of maternity jeans, and only one I actually ever want to wear. It’s a full-coverage waist or whatever you call it, meaning the elastic panel covers my entire belly. They are the perfect length, color, fit, etc. The other two just have bands that fit underneath my belly and they are so annoying to wear.
First, maternity pants don’t come with belt loops. So with the “other two” pairs of maternity pants, I feel like an eight-year-old boy with no hips because with every four steps I take I have to hike them back up, along with my panties that tend to slide down with them. Wearing those pants in public is a workout.
Also, on those pants, somehow the elastic band has bent inside its fabric covering. So the little bit of coverage it would offer has been cut in half. And it’s annoying.
If you see me running around in the same jeans you saw me in the previous ten times, I’m not dirty, I’m just adopting some of that Koskie frugality and refuse to drop cash on pants I only need for four more months.