Frugal $200 Pair of Sunglasses

expensive frugal sunglasses

I just purchased a $200 pair of sunglasses. While many people would consider this an unnecessary splurge, I consider it to be a frugal purchase. Some of you are undoubtedly assuming that I have lost my senses, but I’m able to make this statement with confidence because I know myself well.

I rarely buy things because I am homeless and have no place to put them, and because there really isn’t a whole lot that I need to make me happy. The $200 I spent on sunglasses will exceed what I pay for all the rest of my clothing for the rest of the year. So why was I willing to pay $200 for a pair of sunglasses and also consider it a frugal move?

First and foremost, I had the money in my budget to do so. I am not going into debt with the purchase of the sunglasses and I don’t have to give up anything else that I had planned to purchase in order to get them. I also need sunglasses. When I travel, I do a lot of hiking in the sun. This in itself makes the purchase acceptable in my book, but I have also indicated that it was a frugal purchase.

About three years I lost my favorite pair of sunglasses. They had cost just over $100 and I had them for close to 5 years before I lost them. To my great disappointment, they no longer make the style. In the three years since I lost them, I have purchased about 10 pairs of sunglasses all between $10 and $40 each. While there is no excuse of me not taking better care of these purchases, the big issue with all these sunglasses was that, while acceptable for me to wear, I had purchased each of them because I needed sunglasses to wear, not because I really liked them. I never had a vested interest to take really good care of them like my previous favorite pair. The result was that they were lost or broken and I needed to replace them.

I must admit that I initially balked when I first saw the price tag on the sunglasses I purchased. $200 is a lot more than I spend on most purchases I make. When I quickly ran the numbers in my head, I realised that I had paid this much for sunglasses that I didn’t particularly like in the past few years. Since I really like these sunglasses (and knowing how much I paid for them), I know that I will take good care of them. Since I have a vested interest in these sunglasses, I’ll hopefully have them much longer than 3 years. Ultimately, I estimate that I should end up paying far less for these sunglasses over the long run than if I continued to buy them as I had been. This makes these sunglasses a frugal purchase for me even at their price.

To make sure that I feel that any purchase that I make for myself is worthwhile, I have also put in place a reality check to test my commitment of truly wanting the items I purchase. Many people do this by waiting a week to see if they still want the item, but I take it a step further. When I make a big purchase for myself, I make a commitment to donate double what I spend to charities of my choice. That means that deciding to purchase the sunglasses also costs me $400 in donations to charity making $600 the total cost of the sunglasses to my budget.

Would such a choice make sense for everyone? Of course not. It makes sense for me because my finances are already in order and I spend in such a way that I have extra money available which allows me to make decisions like this. If I were still in debt, I’m sure that I would have been much less careless with the sunglasses I had purchased in the past, and I would have held off on this purchase until I was out of debt. That being said, one of the main reasons I make sure my finances are in order is so that I can make purchases like this when they make sense for me.

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6 Responses to Frugal $200 Pair of Sunglasses

  1. krantcents says:

    There are certain things that are worth the money! Sunglasses is one of them! I wear prescription glasses and the higher quality frames hold up better.Anyway my vision plan subsidizes the purchase.

  2. devin says:

    Rationalizing your purchase does not make it frugal. Frugal would have been taking care of your $10 pair of sunglasses which you said were perfectly acceptable so they lasted 5 years. It’s this type of rationalizing that keeps people deep in debt.

  3. Lisa Hallman says:

    Although the article rationalizes his purchase. Frugality is about knowing when to splurge for a better pair. What “devin” is referring to is more like being cheap. There is a reason a $5 pair of sunglasses are $5. They are cheap, don’t offer the same protection, don’t fit well, break easily and usually look like crap. I think maintaining frugality, is about buying a $300 knife that will last you the rest of your life AND you can be proud of what you own. Those $5 sunglasses, also made him more wasteful, so if you purchase a more expensive set of sunglasses, he is now less wasteful to the earth.

  4. leonil gonzales says:

    Typical example of justifying a bad purchase.the donation to the charity makes it even worse,you don’t have to buy something extravagant and feel good about it because you donate a double of the amount to a charity.
    If you finances permits it,your heart should dictate the goods,services or financial assistance that you give to church or charity.

  5. Natalie says:

    I sincerely hope you never sit on those glasses sir.

  6. Gail says:

    Not necessarily what I would consider frugal, I’ve been wearing the same pair of prescription glasses for years now and need to replace them. But you didn’t go into debt for them, they were something you wanted, and you don’t have to justify what you spend to anyone. I’m sure any of the negative remarks here are by people who have spent a lot more than $200 combined on frivolous purchases themselves.

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