When do you pay more???

mommabirdNovember 21, 2008

My oldest son is 14. He's generally thrifty and happy with what he has, but lately he's been noticing fashion for the first time. He wanted a certain style of jeans and the cheapest I could find them in his size was $31. He's 6'5" and skinny as a rail so it's really hard to find his size. When we found 2 pairs in his size, I bought both.

When do you cut your losses and just pay more than you want for an item? I'd searched thrift stores for the jeans, tried all the deep discount stores, etc but the only place we could find his size was a department store, and the $31 was a sale price.

And what I've noticed from all the jeans searching is that it's almost impossible these days to find men's jeans where the length is longer than the waist size! I guess with the obestiy rate being so high, stores only order bigger waists than inseams these days. That makes it hard for skinny tall guys (or even skinny short guys)!

I finally just decided that my time, gas, and wear and tear on the car were all not worth any more looking. Now the next item is that my second son wants his own tuba. We've been renting from the school, but the school instruments are really, really old and beaten up. He wants a nice tuba he can keep for good. Where does one find a discount tuba?? :-)

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I sure can't give you tuba advice, but for $31 for jeans, I'd say don't sweat it. I see people paying $60, $80, or over $100 for a pair of jeans! $10-$20 is more my price but in the $30 range, I wouldn't lose sleep.

And yes, sizes can be an issue. So again, I don't think you should feel bad about it. Be proud he's thrifty and has learned from you. I think he'll be just fine.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 12:29AM
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I'd pay more for something that's hard to find elsewhere. After I've searched the thrift stores and the discount stores and still can't find what I'm looking for I'll buy an item on sale at a regular store. I tend to have to pay more for my jeans too because I am also tall and skinny and finding a pair that is long enough is a rare thing for me.

I also pay more for quality. If, for example, I can get a fiberboard bookshelf for $40 or a solid hardwood bookshelf for $140 I'll go for the more expensive one. Quality will last forever if taken care of, while cheap things will often be useless in under 5 years. The supposedly cheap thing ends up costing more in the long run. Not to mention all those cheap things break and end up in landfills. There's a limit to this though, more expensive doesn't always mean higher quality, sometimes it just means more trendy. And trendy is just code for something you'll hate in five years so you'll be in the same situation as with the cheap item except out more money.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 8:19AM
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For the tuba, try a music store. Most cities have them. They often have used instruments or will allow you to put up a sign saying what you are looking for.

In terms of what I'll pay a lot for, it's shoes. I tend to buy 1 pair of shoes for $80-100 and wear them almost every day fall, winter and spring. I'm a teacher so I'm on my feet a lot and have a tendency to get sore feet if I dont' wear good shoes. So each fall, I buy a good pair of shoes.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 9:34AM
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Mommabird,I agree with buying quality whether at the department store or the discount store. I had a friend that dressed her DD in the latest fashion at the most expensive stores in town for ½ price. She did this buy striking up a conversation with a lady who was looking on the sales rack for a size smaller than her DD. The lady could not find what she was looking for and my friend had just the thing. She still had the price tag and the dress had been worn only three times to church. It had never been washed because they pulled it off and hung it up immediately when they got home. This friend purchased four new dresses at the beginning of the season, her child wore a new dress every Sunday for a month, and then they started over with the dresses. The lady agreed to give her ½ the cost of the expensive dress and asked to be called when she had other dresses to sell. It was a win win situation for both of them.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 10:23AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I think you did fine with the jeans and it was smart to get two pair. I have large feet- size 11 and will stock up on shoes when I find what I like on sale even if I don't need them right then. I cannot go out and buy a pair of shoes except maybe at WalMart or Payless and those shoes are not what I like.

I have a mental list of items that I am always scanning for when I shop - which is all the time but I do love shopping. So I usually know the best price on things and what I need to pay to get what I want.

I looked for two years for a pair of flat, black, formal size 11 dress shoes and eventually ended up paying around 70 for them and was very grateful to have found a pair that I liked well enough that wasn't 150+ or sold out.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 1:17PM
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My son is 6'8", has a 38" sleeve and wears a size 15 shoes.

When we find ANYTHING that fits, we NEVER quibble about price.

$31 is cheap for jeans, BTW.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 2:23PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I like Bumblbeez will definitely pay for the shoes. It is difficult to find reasonably fashionable shoes in size 11 that are comfortable and made well. I do keep them for a while. I will pay more for quality. My older kids tend to wear there clothes for several seasons so I will purchase slightly better quality (and the boys will become hand me downs). As a tall woman I will pay more for clothes that have enough material to actually cover my belly and the top of my jeans when I bend over. I will also pay more for things made on this continent if it is something I intend to keep (if it is something disposable, I don't realy care about the quality and thus will not pay more). I definitely will pay more for low VOC paint.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 8:17PM
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I'd say it's time to tell the kids to get jobs to pay for their luxuries.

Give money for a clothing budget that will cover the necessities. If a kid becomes "fashion conscious" and wants high end gear, then they can pay the difference in price or buy just the item themselves. If a kid wants 'his own' nice tuba instead of using a rental that you pay for, they can work for it. CraigsList is a good place to look for bargains in musical instruments.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 11:16PM
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I don't think $31 is too much for something a little more fashionable for a child that is hard to fit. My guess is trendy or not, there weren't a lot of available choices out there.

My boys are younger, and I can find great deals on plain and striped shirts during the end of the season clearances. It doesn't matter how much I'm willing to pay, but I we have a really difficult time finding 'fun' t-shirts for the older child. I like my children to have a few things just because they like it or it makes them comfortable. My younger child likes Star Wars and some of the shows like Power Rangers, but there is nothing in the stores that interests my older child. If you look in the boys clothing section, it's usually loaded with skull and crossbones, dragons or the tees with disrepectful sayings like "I hate my sister." I've ended going on-line to buy a few science themed shirts of my child's choosing. Sure, it costs a little more, but it makes him feel like he fits in with the other kids and he has a little fun with it. In this case, I'm willing to pay a little more because I feel there is an added value.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 12:20AM
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Luann - my son is on his way to 6'8" (projected adult height by our dr.) so I know I'll pay BIG BUCKS for his clothes some day soon! At his current 6'5" he only wears a 34" inseam (short legs) so I can still find things.

DS is willing to get a job, but in our state you have to be 15 to get a job. He does mowing & odd jobs, mostly for elderly people in our neighborhood. I tell him to never charge them, just take what they offer if they offer at all. He's on his way to Eagle Scout and I want him to learn joyful service. Most of the elderly people don't realize that $5 isn't the going rate for mowing these days, but they pay what they can.

I see it as my job to clothe all my kids until 18. 99% of what they have comes from thrift stores, but the tall I just can't find thrift clothes any more except Tshirts. I am thankful his 2 younger brothers are more average size for now! I'm also thankful the school district keeps his school so hot that the kids wear Tshirts all year so I don't have to worry about long sleeve shirts!

Oh and, a few days ago, we found the jeans on sale for $22 at a different store. He'd worn one pair of the $31 ones, but we took the other pair back. I bought him 2 pairs at $22 since that was a super deal.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 11:56AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

It sounds like you're doing a great job - and teaching your kids joyful service is more important right now than making him pay for his clothes.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 12:55PM
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"It sounds like you're doing a great job - and teaching your kids joyful service is more important right now than making him pay for his clothes."

I wholeheartedly agree!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 1:10PM
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in a world full of $100 jeans? you're doing just fine.

and smart to grab both pairs while you could. in fact, it might be an idea that, if you find a brand he's happy with, to see if that store could special order him an extra pair.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 1:44PM
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14 and working these days? Be proud of both him and the job you've done raising him! He EARNED the extra pair of jeans in my book! Seeing kids being responsible is such a day-brightener for me. I've seen too many of the other.

He knows the value of money and has a good work ethic. He'll go far, I'm sure.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 2:41AM
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I've raised kids and grandkids and my policy has always been that I will buy them good quality clothes. Sometimes I get them at garage sales, sometimes on sale. When my son got to be tall and he went into a size 13 shoe, I bought Levi jeans (they come in lots of different lengths) and we had to drive 50 miles to find someplace that sold big shoes (this was before the Internet. I could've ordered them but one does need to try shoes on.) Ordinarily, though, I did not buy all the fancy brands that were so expensive. DD, at one time, wanted a pair of shoes that cost $100. I told her that I would give her what I normally pay for her shoes and she could earn the rest and buy the shoes she wanted. DS had several lawns that he mowed for extra money during the summer, and he let her help him. She mowed a few lawns and got the shoes. But she learned something very valuable with that. She is a very good shopper now.

On the other hand, DS never cared much for fashion and he was always happy with whatever I bought him. He mowed lawns every summer and always had plenty of cash. He has never learned how to manage his money well, though. Go figure.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 8:56AM
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