In Ask Sherry, Discussions, Style

Ask Sherry: Most expensive items I’ve ever been given or purchased

You asked, and I am answering every Friday once I have enough questions!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1DKFg6SD0Kmb_0U5yb4OTNfkvfmsf5dWxJJbZTzUtH7M/edit

You can ask any question using the form here.

What is the most expensive wearable item you’ve ever bought? Been given?

The most expensive wearable item I have ever bought are my Burberry trench coats, one in black cashmere & wool and the other in gabardine cotton. I think the cashmere one might have been more expensive because I bought it at retail for $2000, and the gabardine one was on sale at $1600 when I got it.

I’d buy them again, for sure.

What are some items that you have bought and not worn yet? Why?

Formal dresses that are so heartbreakingly beautiful, or work-only dresses that are in silk or other such fancy shapes.

I haven’t worn them yet because they are not playground friendly, nor grocery shopping-appropriate not even by a STRETCH of an imagination. They are meant to wear with heels, too structured and unless I want to pretend I am going to work, and I throw on this dress with some heels, I can’t wear this stuff to go pick up milk or play with Baby Bun in the snow.

I’m waiting to go back to work to wear them.

Other reasons also include that I bought them near the end of the year (Boxing Day sales) and they are really summer/spring dresses, so there’s that too. I have to wait for warmer weather.


Most notably these items have been unworn as of this post:

SportMax Cacao Scribble Print Dress – $60 down from $1500 (?)

This one is way too work-appropriate. Can’t wear this to my playgroup in heels. LOL

https://www.instagram.com/p/BLs8vMAh0iZ/

Similar dress here.

Chi chi London Alyssa Pansy Dress

Way too fancy for playgroup. SO MUCH FUN though.

I actually think I could pull it off in a playground but then I wear it, I see the huge ruffly skirt puffing out and I would look REALLY REALLY weird at the park with other Yoga-Pant-Wearing-Mommies-in-Sneakers.

*cough*

Maybe to the grocery store. I’ll pretend I came from an “event”. LOL.

https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=533067417&pid=uid1104-32002848-44

Similar dress here.

What are some expensive items that you’ve bought, that did not live up to they hype? And some there were totally worth it? Coughburberrytrenchcough!

I would say the most expensive items I bought that didn’t live up to my hype are heels that don’t fit my foot.

I spent over $300 on shoes from L.K. Bennett (although I have their flat wedges and they’re not too bad), and those fit really great in the store and felt good but the heel was not high enough. I need exactly 3.5″ to have the right pitch for the foot to have and for them to STAY ON MY FOOT. They are comfortable and I’d try them again, but in 3.5″ heels.

At the end of the day, I am a Manolo Blahnik-woman, and only in this specific style called the Tuccio that hugs my foot but it needs to be exactly 90mm (3.5″), and in a stiletto heel. They don’t make this any more. I have resorted to stalking eBay auctions for used versions (that, and they cost SO MUCH MONEY).

https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=528997102&pid=uid1104-32002848-44

I would also say I bought expensive laptops from Sony that I paid over $1500 for, thinking that more money = more quality, but they lost their battery charge and sucked as much as the cheap Dell versions. I now no longer bother with PCs, and only go with Macs and Apple products for the most part even though I know all about how they’re not open to changes, security issues, bla bla bla. I don’t care. My Macs work and have lasted a long time through my typing abuse, and I cannot say that about my PCs by any stretch of the imagination.


The things that I bought that were worth it are definitely my Burberry trench coats, one in black cashmere & wool and the other in gabardine cotton. They are SO WORTH IT. I wear them over the crappiest, dullest outfits and feel and instant perk.

They really do make me look much better than I deserve, and believe it or not, people who know NOTHING about fashion, can see that it’s a fantastic jacket.

I will also say that the BELT was amazing from my trench, it is THE MOST WORN belt in my entire wardrobe because of its perfection in design — two straps, buckles in a light gold and the perfect fit around my waist:


I have had friends and colleagues touch my jacket over and over again (with permission) multiple times before exclaiming: It must be a Burberry. I’ve never felt anything like this before.

https://www.savespendsplurge.com/style-shopper-review-of-frye-melissa-back-button-aquatalia-tory-burch-derby-riding-boots/

Other items I find worth the hype include my boots. Frye is an excellent brand (I own the Melissa Back Button Zip Boots), Aquatalia is super comfortable (I own the Odina Black Boots bought secondhand) and as indestructible as they say (at least, the old versions are). I reviewed Tory Burch, Frye & Aquatalia here.

Also, Rag & Bone makes the perfect moto boot.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGzzWH8vTG_/

Lastly, the other bag that really holds up to a beating is my Longchamp Pliage. Before it was stolen. Twice. 🙁 That bag took a BEATING with all the abuse I laid on it, and still looked as good as the day I bought it.

https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=502831751&pid=uid1104-32002848-44

I recently (last year) purchased the Longchamp Neo Pliage on a recommendation by Tania who said it was more durable than the original Pliage. She was right. It’s thicker and really holds its shape, the zipper is also way more durable.

Hi, just found your blog by looking for futons, but also really liked the PF and fashion themes. Great site 🙂

Haha. Thanks. 🙂

I am always interested in hearing how people actually invest their money. I don’t live in the US and don’t make tens of thousands a month while working, but save quite a bit of what I earn, but find it hard to actually find a good strategy to actually invest these savings. Is that information you want to share? Whether general information, e.g. “Index Funds”, or more specific, e.g. “I have shares of company x,y,z”, or investment philosophies would be helpful. Thanks, Marc

Yes it is information I want to share but it’s a lot… you can read where I stuck my money in 2015, and not much as changed since then, but I am working furiously on a book that goes into how I invest everything in detail, particularly Baby Bun’s investments which he is making a killing.
If you live in Canada like I do, you’ll love this book even more.
I only put about $3000 a year into his account, and he has over $16,000 as his net worth now, being barely 3 years old.
I spend only a few hours each year, but I know lots of people find it confusing.
I sound like a broken record, but it is almost done. I need to take some trading screenshots, read it over, then slap it together, and we’re good to rock and roll.
In general, I do 50% index fund investing, 50% dividend investing but right now, hold shares in the top oil companies at the moment. I’ve been waiting for oil to go back up and then I’ll sell what I have. I’ve been sort of lucky getting in at the dip in prices nearing the bottom last year, now I am finally seeing some traction but I am in it until it goes back up, which I have a strong intuition it will.

How did you and your partner meet?

At work while I was traveling (best place!), we became colleagues and in almost no time at all, a couple. I find a lot of people meet their spouses / partners on projects, which is a nice thing as a consultant; you get exposed to a wide range of people all over the continent and you end up having access to a wider dating pool.

You’re also thrown together and forced to trust each other & work together for a short period of time which also helps break down any barriers.

Plus, consultants are generally friendly, outgoing folk. We make friends & gain trust easily…. or at least, the good ones do.

Is Sherry your real name or a name you use specifically for this blog, etc?

It’s my real nickname. I used so many fake ones in the past (Sarah being the most notable) that I just kept getting confused when people talked to me because I couldn’t remember my “name”. Now I just use my real (nick)name.

Deal [sic] all, I hope my email finds you well I’m a foreign in Canada”visitor” and I’m pregnant, so i want to ask if i can participate in international insurance or emergency insurance. If not, how much it will cost me if i virginal delivered and stayed at hospital just 24 hour

I do not know. I am sure there is international insurance, but I am not sure it covers this. I use Seven Corners when I travel for true emergencies but I suspect if you are already pregnant (existing condition) they will not cover you for this.

As someone who has given birth, I can also tell you that you cannot predict or guarantee you will have a vaginal birth. I had to have a C-section and it required a lot of surgery, care and downtime afterwards (6 weeks), not to mention saying you’re only going to stay for 24-hours.

I would call a Canadian hospital where you plan on giving birth to ask for fees. They will and can charge you any amount they want but it varies by hospital. You need to call and ask.

How can a 68year old, short woman put together a stylish wardrobe?

You are in luck. I just found an amazing blog called The Middle Page. She is such an elegant, stylish grandmother!

Honestly, though, if she is too much for you (I dress like her now), I would say a stylish wardrobe is the simplest. I’d say a nice slightly oversized V-neck sweater, some jeans (your choice, doesn’t have to be skinny), and some flat shoes like ballet flats, oxfords or whatever floats your fancy.

If I could wear only ONE outfit when I am older, it would be variations on this (obviously not flat loafers during winter, maybe short boots instead), and I think it is super classic, yet stylish.

Be comfortable!

Thanks for answering the question about how you acquired your professional skills.

You’re welcome! I hope it did help.

The other question that has been on my mind, is: Seeing as you and your partner divide everything equally, and share equal financial responsibility for your household, how do you monetize caring for Baby Bun? You seem to spend the most time caring for him, so it would make sense that some of that time be considered a form of childcare; after all, you’re not working, your partner is.

That’s an excellent question.

We don’t necessarily monetize the caring of Baby Bun as much as we take into account the time spent in general for the family, regardless of working at home or outside of the home.

I will mention that when I am working and he is not, he takes care of Baby Bun at home most of the time.

We take him out of daycare and he stays at home. He says he kind of enjoyed it, but my memories of that time of him at home with Baby Bun are not quite so rosy.. 🙂

I remember him basically going into our bedroom at 5 p.m. when I got home and shutting the door for 3 hours to de-stress from Baby Bun. It was very lonely and stressful to be basically alone with your child, with no interaction with him. I was happy when he went back to work.

He also didn’t understand how hard it was for me to rush home and then be stuck with a baby all the way until bedtime, plus wake up and take care of Baby Bun during the night even though I was working.

I myself didn’t even know how hard that was on me until I look back and realize that I don’t do that now with him working and me at home (that is to say, I don’t run away every night to some cave to destress for 3 hours from Baby Bun; I only do it on occasion when I need it and I try to be very sensitive to him working and needing that sleep & time alone as well).

Anyway that’s in the past, but the point is that until you are in each others’ shoes you don’t know what it’s like, and when he is at home, he takes care of Baby Bun.

How we do it is look at it in 2 parts:

  1. The hours each person spends on the household tasks and then divide accordingly.
  2. The hours someone spends working outside the home, its equivalent of working inside the home & then adjust for stress relief

The way we see it primarily, is that household chores (cooking, cleaning etc) and running a smooth household also takes time. We split those household chores, and right now in this particular situation. we take into account his working outside of the home, and then we take into account my working inside the home being a never-ending task with Baby Bun, so he takes and does a little more to compensate plus gives me time off to be alone.

He does get time alone at work but he also gets time alone to do the household chores, which he understands as being quite important for mental health as he went through that with Baby Bun.


Now for how we split the household chores:

He does:

  • All the cooking for the 3 of us for the main meals
  • All the car stuff – repairs, tires, mechanic visits, fluids, cleaning
  • All the repairs around the condo or anything to do with appliances including household equipment like getting baskets when we need them and making the household more efficient
  • All the grocery shopping (I just give him a list of what I want and he gets it)
  • All the management, tracking & stocking of inventory and making sure we don’t run out of toilet paper for instance
  • All of his own laundry and some of the household stuff when he sees it like the towels; but he used to do ALL the household laundry too when I worked
  • He also on occasion does major cleaning things like totally clean out the oven, the fridge, wash all the windows, clean out the ducts of dust
  • All the washing of Baby Bun’s milk bottles & refilling

I do:

  • Right now, all the Baby Bun Care 90% of the time (we’re talking literally 24/7) but this will change soon once I start work; I do just leave for 5 hours on the weekend, or sometimes when he gets home I leave for 2 hours to have some time to myself
  • My own laundry
  • Baby Bun’s laundry
  • My own cooking and meals for things he doesn’t know how to or want to make that I crave eating :); Plus the dishes with that too
  • The birthday and special event cakes — I only have one recipe I do really well which is the Banana Cake, so I make that now for occasions & birthdays including my own
  • All the household laundry except for a load or two here and there because I’m at home so I have just naturally taken over that task
  • All the cleaning in the condo – vacuuming, mopping, bathroom cleaning
  • All the dishwashing – he dirties a LOT of pots, pans and dishes when he cooks, it is insane, so this is a real job
  • All the administrative household stuff that has to do with emails, letters, dealing with repairmen that come to the place, or the building super or booking and paying for things (to which he reimburses me half later on)
  • All the social household planning & stuff required except things with his friends such as making sure we have holiday cards and gifts for the daycare workers, family, friends, although he did his own holiday cards with the family but I was the one who organized the photo shoot for it

Specifically with Baby Bun we also do the following because he’s our son and not a “household chore”:

  • He spends at least an hour if not more each weekday night with him doing things like teaching him numbers, and reading to him
  • He does the nighttime routine with Baby Bun to get him into his “night underwear”
  • I do the morning wakeup (crack of dawn 5 a.m.) of milk, entertaining and general care until he’s up including care during the night because he has to work
  • I do the entertaining and care of Baby Bun when he cooks (to get him out of the way)

I am looking over the list, and I would say it is a pretty even split, if not a little more favourable towards myself and the workload, although with Baby Bun, he’s the wildcard of how exhausted I am at the end of the day. Sometimes he gets in the door and I just throw on my clothes and leave Baby Bun with him.

I’m also aware that he has to work, so when he gets home, it’s like a second shift for him to deal with Baby Bun or to make our dinner (we have specially cooked dinners every other night or so where he makes an omelette or something), but the way I see it, it’s a never-ending shift for me.

I would say that neither of us feel like it is uneven or unbalanced right now, and he has understood what he did in the past was really tough on me and wrong because he sees me lose it and knows what it’s like, although sometimes he needs a little reminder which is why I leave for at least 4 hours every weekend and at least one night or two a week, I leave for 2 hours to destress.

It has helped both us, and Baby Bun, because now he doesn’t sob like his heart is breaking when I go out. It is so much better now.

He doesn’t want me to go at first obviously, he says: ‘No Mommy Go Out‘ but I explain to him that ‘Mommy needs a break and I will be back when it is ____ time‘, showing him the clock and he nods, smiles, and then goes to play with his father.

Once I go back to work this year, he may have to take back more of the household laundry chores I suspect, because I won’t have that “free” time during the day to do it and will have to spend my weekends and weeknights doing all of that instead.

So it’s a long-winded answer to your question, but I hope it helps!

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question using the form here or entering a comment in a form on my blog sidebar, and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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6 Comments

  1. X
    Xin

    I have the same experience with PC vs. Mac laptops. I went through three different PC laptops from different manufacturers in college, and each one was having serious hardware issues or nearly non functional by the one-year mark (mostly lower-end models, but more expensive than your basic Dell at the time). My first Macbook pro (purchased in early 2011) wasn’t great, and I had to visit Applecare for a new motherboard four times in three years before Applecare expired, only to have it break down completely a few months after Applecare run out, but even then that was a much better track record than any PC.

    My current Macbook pro may have been a slightly excessive expenditure when I bought it in law school, given how little I use it when I’m working at a firm, but it’s doing much better, and I haven’t needed Applecare yet in the last two and a half years.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I haven’t used AppleCare often either except for when my motherboard went and it was fully paid even out of warranty

      Reply
  2. r
    raluca

    Your 50/50 split looks really cool. I might have to pinch it from you when we have kids :).

    Reply
  3. Alexis

    Thanks, Sherry! Great answers.

    I also love the outfit you put together for the young gramma. I want it!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      That’s what I wear!!! I’d wear that when I’m 90.

      Reply

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