Sunday, April 11, 2010

Unexpected Windfall

Remember when Robyn won my 200th post giveaway? I invited her to write a guest post about her unexpected windfall, and she did. Without further ado, here's Robyn.

I was so excited to win a blog giveaway I could barely contain myself. (I’m really not exaggerating – I have some of the worst luck with contests and blog giveaways had always seemed like one of those things I read so much about but will likely never see happen to me.) My luck changed and Meghan picked me randomly as the winner of a sweet $20.

Initially, I didn’t think much about how I would spend it. I think subconsciously I had assumed that I would toss it in my cheetah print wallet and break it out when appropriate (like when I’m at Starbucks and feel a little dumb reaching for my debit card ¬knowing that the bill is less than $2).

However, as soon as it arrived, I actually paused and thought, “What will I use this for?” I’ve not always been a frugal person – I got my first credit card at 19 and maxed it out to my $1,000 limit in about six months. It took so long to pay that off . . . So having had some live-and-learn experiences, I’m much more mindful with my money now, even if I don’t get it right 100% of the time.

Meghan had asked me if I would be willing to write about how I spent the $20 – which I was happy to do. But the decision . . . That’s what was bugging me – I couldn’t make up my mind!

I’ve grown accustomed to certain frugal habits (coupons, not buying “brand new” everything, not hitting Starbucks SO often, etc.), but those have become more muscle memory than anything else. Here was $20 that I hadn’t expected to have and didn’t know what to do with.

I could go on and on about my indecisiveness, but I will cut to the chase and say that I did end up spending it – though I spent it in (what I consider to be) a very careful, mindful way . . .

I’m a runner, which is probably one of the most frugal sports out there. Sure, the shoes are expensive, but no gym membership, fancy machinery or specialized location is really required. You can go from “office” attire to “let’s go pound some pavement!” in under 5 minutes and all that is required is a change of clothes and shoes. (Of course, this could change depending on your office dress code.)

Alas, I digress.

Kohl’s was having a sale – a big one! My mom had given me a coupon for $30 at Kohl’s, which was a huge blessing as I was fast wearing out my only fitting pair of jeans. I needed a new pair. I was also torn between them and a new sports bra (was needing one of those – I’m training for a marathon) and with only $30 to spend, I was trying to decide if I wanted to cave and spend money to buy both or if I’d have to (gulp!) choose between two very-much-needed items. (You thought I was just babbling about the running, right?) When you’re built like I am (with an overachieving bustline), good-fitting, quality sports bras are worth every penny.

The coupon my mom gave me covered my jeans and (some of) my sports bra (a Nike running tank/bra combo that normally retails for about $40), Meghan’s gift covered the rest and I still had plenty left to keep in my wallet . . . You know, for the next time I’m at Starbucks and feel a little dumb reaching for my debit card for a $2 grande-bold-pick-with-room-for-cream. And let’s just say that my first run with my new sports bra was soooooooooooooo good. Thanks again Meghan!

Isn't she the sweetest? Read more about Robyn's life at Something Over Coffee and about her running at Chasing Boston.

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