Even after college, sometimes that horribly embarrassing although slightly endearing “broke” factor follows you around for awhile. You’re stricken with bills, you’re exhausted and wine costs a lot more than a Franzia box.
Budgeting becomes so much a part of your life, you wish you major-ed in it. To accommodate fueling up your car, paying your landlord and deciding between water and WiFi, little money is leftover for your wardrobe. In fact, for the first few years out of college, you probably look like Lindsay Lohan, post Freaky Friday.
It’s perfectly okay because we’ve all been there and I will reassure you that it does get better. Barring you don’t give up on life and actively avoid employment, it definitely gets better.
But just like your electric bill, there are a few things about your wardrobe that should be budgeted for. Among these is your wallet.
I know it sounds absolutely insane and superficial but it couldn’t be more true.
Your wallet is more visible than you think. For men, it finds a cozy little nook in your pocket where you’ll likely remove it and flash it about several times throughout the day. For women, it’s likely one of the few things you bring with you for a quick bite or, rears itself from your purse morning, noon and night.
I’m still young enough to care what others think about me but less so than I did in high school. With that said, the significance of your wallet has less to do with others than it sounds. There are two main reasons you should invest in a quality, well made, wallet.
1. “Shoot for the moon because if you miss you’ll still land among the stars…” or something like that.
It’s a quote we’re all too familiar with when we spend our nights rummaging around on Tumblr for some quarter-life inspiration. Basically, it means to say that your goals should be so big that even if you don’t quite hit them, you’re still going to succeed and be happy with your results.
The same holds true for your wallet. Having a nice, quality wallet gives your subconscious a reminder that your cash, although few, still deserves a nice place to live. It’s a reminder to yourself that when you have the money to splurge, you spend it on a quality finance item. The money could have easily been blown at the bar or on a few brunches but it wasn’t. You took the time to make the decision to treat yo’self. Taking yourself seriously enough to buy a quality items reminds yourself that you are mature enough to be deserving of the purchase. That mentality will duplicate itself to a nice pair of shoes, a new MacBook and eventually a car or a house.
Not to mention, when your boss invites you to lunch, a Velcro wallet with dragon stencils* might send the wrong message.
2. “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
By the time you leave college you’ll notice a significant change in the way you care what others think of you. That feeling continues to grow the older you get. It’s a healthy development for adults and is important in order to avoid inducing unnecessary stress on yourself. But don’t give up completely.
Letting others know you take yourself seriously enough to budget for a high-quality item, let’s them know you’re mature enough to handle other “nice things.” Remember when your parents wouldn’t buy you that really expensive car when you turned 16 or let you stay out past midnight? They wanted to know you were mature enough to handle adult-like luxuries.
While your wallet might not land you a promotion, it’s a starting point for your transition into responsibly managing those teenage dreams of grown up stuff. It’s the same mentality as surrounding yourself with those you wish to follow. Being motivated to push yourself to the next level and go for that promotion is large portion mental. Dressing for that next phase like you already have it will remind yourself but also others (your boss, your coworkers, your professor) that you take yourself seriously and deserve more.
I can’t stress it enough that I don’t mean to make this sound superficial. It’s a mental game that you’re playing with yourself and others. As much as you may want to revert to a millenial mindset and say “fuck the authority” they kind of have a hand in your future.
The lesson here is to take yourself as seriously as you take your Netflix bill or Club W subscription.
*This was the exact design of the wallet my now husband had when we first met. Needless to say, our first Valentine’s Day celebration involved a new wallet.