To Buy Or Not To Buy – That Is The Question

It’s that time of year again. My boot’s have had their annual make-over. Last Spring it was new soles at a cost of £12.50. This year new insoles at a cost of £2.99. The heels will soon need replacing adding a further cost of £7-£10.

Not bad for a pair of boots that I originally bought off eBay 3 years ago second-hand for £35.

This will be the second year that I’ve debated whether to replace. They were nearly a ‘goner’ last May when a spanking new pair of shiny Dune boots arrived by courier. Then were returned. I couldn’t do it.

It’s becoming a matter of principle or maybe loyalty, I’m not sure.

Even my very frugal Mom commented ‘Why not get a new pair?’. Indeed why not? I’m asking myself that very question. But it’s getting harder to make that purchase. I most certainly have the ‘make do and mend’ bug.

13 months ago now I guest posted about how I consciously spend. A year later, if I’m in any doubt at all I don’t make the purchase. Previously if I was unsure, I’d have made the purchase, just in case.

So why don’t I replace them?

There is a tipping balance in everything’s life that to maintain is harder work and/or costs more, than to start over. Anyone who has owned a gradually deteriorating car knows this. When the annual service and repair bills increase year-on-year, it makes economic sense at some point to call it a day.

But I don’t think I’m there just yet. It’s not because I’m a die-hard superscrimper. Oh no, I don’t mind spending money, but I hate wasting money. I reckon there’s life in these old boots yet!

The sorry soles before shot 

After a bit of elbow grease

What would you do? Please share…

p.s. – If you haven’t had enough boot talk today then check out The Frugal Girl’s very own boot purchase. Looking good!

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{ 36 comments… add one }
  • sharron March 15, 2012, 10:42 am

    Hmmmm….. I go with replace them. Easier said than done, i am a very picky about my clothes and shoes and i usually search for ever for the right piece and make them part of the family once i purchase them lol, i’m guessing your a little like that too? If you purchase this year you will have them for years, i see it as only putting off the inevitable, and will they make it through the whole of next winter?

    I would make the most of the spring and the fact that boots are heavily discounted and that they go for buttons on ebay. I think i have told you this but i won my boots on ebay on a hot august day for £15 including postage, they are duo boots so very expensive they have just had their 3rd winter 🙂 My ugg boots (love em or hate em) have to be retired this year as they have a hole in the toe i wore them continuesly for 3 years then not so much the last two years so i’m in debate weather to get some more for next year.

    Hope my ramble helps….. in some way…
    Sharron x

    • simplybeingmum March 15, 2012, 8:48 pm

      The buying now to make a saving certainly makes sense. in fact there are a pair of walking boots that I’ve been eyeing up, but I’m waiting to see whether I *need* them. Jury out.
      Regarding Ugg boots, I bought a pair off ebay about 5 years ago. And did wear them day in day out. They were great initially for me as I have Raynauds Syndrome and my toes can get very cold! However I found that I had to stop wearing them as they aged because they were giving me problems. I ‘over-pronate’ when I walk – a term I learnt when starting to run. The Uggs weren’t giving me enough support through the ankle, and I find I’ve had to give up on that type of boot – whether they give me toasty toes or not!
      ps – your ramble (as you call it :-)) always helps!

  • sharron March 15, 2012, 10:42 am

    Hmmmm….. I go with replace them. Easier said than done, i am a very picky about my clothes and shoes and i usually search for ever for the right piece and make them part of the family once i purchase them lol, i’m guessing your a little like that too? If you purchase this year you will have them for years, i see it as only putting off the inevitable, and will they make it through the whole of next winter?

    I would make the most of the spring and the fact that boots are heavily discounted and that they go for buttons on ebay. I think i have told you this but i won my boots on ebay on a hot august day for £15 including postage, they are duo boots so very expensive they have just had their 3rd winter 🙂 My ugg boots (love em or hate em) have to be retired this year as they have a hole in the toe i wore them continuesly for 3 years then not so much the last two years so i’m in debate weather to get some more for next year.

    Hope my ramble helps….. in some way…
    Sharron x

    • simplybeingmum March 15, 2012, 8:48 pm

      The buying now to make a saving certainly makes sense. in fact there are a pair of walking boots that I’ve been eyeing up, but I’m waiting to see whether I *need* them. Jury out.
      Regarding Ugg boots, I bought a pair off ebay about 5 years ago. And did wear them day in day out. They were great initially for me as I have Raynauds Syndrome and my toes can get very cold! However I found that I had to stop wearing them as they aged because they were giving me problems. I ‘over-pronate’ when I walk – a term I learnt when starting to run. The Uggs weren’t giving me enough support through the ankle, and I find I’ve had to give up on that type of boot – whether they give me toasty toes or not!
      ps – your ramble (as you call it :-)) always helps!

  • anexactinglife March 15, 2012, 12:20 pm

    You did a great job on refurbishing them! But I’m with Sharron – I would be looking for a deal over the next few months. It would feel nice not to have to replace them at the beginning of the new winter season when everything is full price. Just my two cents/pence worth!

    • simplybeingmum March 15, 2012, 8:50 pm

      Yep definitely with you Guys on the money-saving. In fact we have a winter holiday planned back end of this year, and I will be hitting the shops at the end of this ski season to try and get us kitted out. It’s been 5 years since I had a holiday on the slopes, and much has been sold. And of course the Kids grow so fast!

      • anexactinglife March 16, 2012, 1:34 am

        Wow, replacing sporting gear for the family, now that is a financial challenge! (and worth being frugal in other areas so you can do it)

  • anexactinglife March 15, 2012, 12:20 pm

    You did a great job on refurbishing them! But I’m with Sharron – I would be looking for a deal over the next few months. It would feel nice not to have to replace them at the beginning of the new winter season when everything is full price. Just my two cents/pence worth!

    • simplybeingmum March 15, 2012, 8:50 pm

      Yep definitely with you Guys on the money-saving. In fact we have a winter holiday planned back end of this year, and I will be hitting the shops at the end of this ski season to try and get us kitted out. It’s been 5 years since I had a holiday on the slopes, and much has been sold. And of course the Kids grow so fast!

      • anexactinglife March 16, 2012, 1:34 am

        Wow, replacing sporting gear for the family, now that is a financial challenge! (and worth being frugal in other areas so you can do it)

  • Lauren March 15, 2012, 12:59 pm

    I’m going against the grain and saying keep them. I have odd size feet so when I find a comfortable pair of shoes, I will wear them until they literally fall apart and cannot be saved. That doesn’t take as long as I would like though, London is so hard on footwear!

    Going to be searching eBay for Duo boots this summer after Sharron’s post though. 😉

    • simplybeingmum March 15, 2012, 8:51 pm

      My boots are very comfy – so that is part of the appeal without a doubt. I reckon there’s some life in them yet. But like you regrading Sharron’s comment, there are some different boots that I may *need* so now may be the time to look!

  • Lauren March 15, 2012, 12:59 pm

    I’m going against the grain and saying keep them. I have odd size feet so when I find a comfortable pair of shoes, I will wear them until they literally fall apart and cannot be saved. That doesn’t take as long as I would like though, London is so hard on footwear!

    Going to be searching eBay for Duo boots this summer after Sharron’s post though. 😉

    • simplybeingmum March 15, 2012, 8:51 pm

      My boots are very comfy – so that is part of the appeal without a doubt. I reckon there’s some life in them yet. But like you regrading Sharron’s comment, there are some different boots that I may *need* so now may be the time to look!

  • Jane March 15, 2012, 2:43 pm

    Keep em! Unless the soles are shot.
    I gotta say, my husband & I figured out awhile back that if we didn’t spend money – we kept money. We do owe anyone except our home mortgage & we should have that paid off in a few years. Anyways, we do splurge in that we go to the Florida Keys a lot & are now actively looking to buy a home there too.
    But my point is, we get to take these vacation liberties & even consider buying another home as we have not spent money when we don’t have to in other areas. We’ve got friends who are lucky if they get only 1 vacation in a year. Right before their vacation, they run out and start buying everything they can – new swimsuits, tunics, sandals, sundresses, sunscreen, hats, etc when they have closets slam full of those very items. They go into debt for a vacation when we have our trips paid off before we even get there. I too used to be like that until we took a closer look at our spending habits & realized what fools we had been.
    By extending the wearability of our current wardrobe & questioning just about any purchase beyond basic necessities (food, pet stuff) we can keep money in the bank, take vacations, consider buying a 2nd home in the Keys & are pretty happy go lucky as we don’t fear that we are 1 paycheck away from financial ruin.
    It just baffles the hell outta me when gals proclaim they saved $34 off their grocery bills by using coupons, but then run right out & buy 3 new tank tops, gingham shorts, a new skirt, etc on sale for the upcoming summer. They have closets full of those very same items – now they have more of those very same items, but what they don’t have is the money anymore. Big deal if they saved money couponing – they are still blowing it elsewhere.
    So yeah, I say keep the boots & by default you keep your cash!

    • simplybeingmum March 15, 2012, 8:55 pm

      Jane, we have an awful lot in common. We too like our holidays. We too don’t splurge beforehand, nor whilst there – which means that we can take more holidays in the long run?
      I’m not a couponer either. I don’t get it. To me it’s pushing you in the direction of unnecessary purchases. I know that’s not how it always works, but just because you can get something cheaper doesn’t mean you need it.
      I reckon I’ve got another year left in the boots – in fact it’s getting a bit of a mission to prolong their life!

      (p.s – we went to the Keys a few years back – fantastic holiday! Loved it – Key Largo was very wet but still lovely and Key west was like walking around on a film set)

      • Jane March 16, 2012, 9:34 pm

        Funny you mention that couponing can push you into the direction of unnecessary products. Back when I tried couponing – that’s exactly what I found to be the case. I ended up coming home with things I not only did not need but felt terribly guilty for having bought – even at a discount. I ended up returning more than a few items to the grocery store for refund after realizing I really didn’t need nor want the items. Yeah it was embarrassing & more than a hassle to return them, but lesson learned hard.

        • simplybeingmum March 16, 2012, 9:42 pm

          If there is one thing that can stop me making a purchase it’s the thought of taking it back! One of my biggest pet-hates ever. I took back an item to a UK retailer, who told me that they didn’t accept returns on that day (middle of their big sale!) and that I’d have to come back the following day as they were only taking payments. Oh my! Not one of my finest moments ever, but they did the refund!

  • Jane March 15, 2012, 2:43 pm

    Keep em! Unless the soles are shot.
    I gotta say, my husband & I figured out awhile back that if we didn’t spend money – we kept money. We do owe anyone except our home mortgage & we should have that paid off in a few years. Anyways, we do splurge in that we go to the Florida Keys a lot & are now actively looking to buy a home there too.
    But my point is, we get to take these vacation liberties & even consider buying another home as we have not spent money when we don’t have to in other areas. We’ve got friends who are lucky if they get only 1 vacation in a year. Right before their vacation, they run out and start buying everything they can – new swimsuits, tunics, sandals, sundresses, sunscreen, hats, etc when they have closets slam full of those very items. They go into debt for a vacation when we have our trips paid off before we even get there. I too used to be like that until we took a closer look at our spending habits & realized what fools we had been.
    By extending the wearability of our current wardrobe & questioning just about any purchase beyond basic necessities (food, pet stuff) we can keep money in the bank, take vacations, consider buying a 2nd home in the Keys & are pretty happy go lucky as we don’t fear that we are 1 paycheck away from financial ruin.
    It just baffles the hell outta me when gals proclaim they saved $34 off their grocery bills by using coupons, but then run right out & buy 3 new tank tops, gingham shorts, a new skirt, etc on sale for the upcoming summer. They have closets full of those very same items – now they have more of those very same items, but what they don’t have is the money anymore. Big deal if they saved money couponing – they are still blowing it elsewhere.
    So yeah, I say keep the boots & by default you keep your cash!

    • simplybeingmum March 15, 2012, 8:55 pm

      Jane, we have an awful lot in common. We too like our holidays. We too don’t splurge beforehand, nor whilst there – which means that we can take more holidays in the long run?
      I’m not a couponer either. I don’t get it. To me it’s pushing you in the direction of unnecessary purchases. I know that’s not how it always works, but just because you can get something cheaper doesn’t mean you need it.
      I reckon I’ve got another year left in the boots – in fact it’s getting a bit of a mission to prolong their life!

      (p.s – we went to the Keys a few years back – fantastic holiday! Loved it – Key Largo was very wet but still lovely and Key west was like walking around on a film set)

      • Jane March 16, 2012, 9:34 pm

        Funny you mention that couponing can push you into the direction of unnecessary products. Back when I tried couponing – that’s exactly what I found to be the case. I ended up coming home with things I not only did not need but felt terribly guilty for having bought – even at a discount. I ended up returning more than a few items to the grocery store for refund after realizing I really didn’t need nor want the items. Yeah it was embarrassing & more than a hassle to return them, but lesson learned hard.

        • simplybeingmum March 16, 2012, 9:42 pm

          If there is one thing that can stop me making a purchase it’s the thought of taking it back! One of my biggest pet-hates ever. I took back an item to a UK retailer, who told me that they didn’t accept returns on that day (middle of their big sale!) and that I’d have to come back the following day as they were only taking payments. Oh my! Not one of my finest moments ever, but they did the refund!

  • Rachel March 15, 2012, 5:49 pm

    Keep the boots. Until the uppers are worn through they are still good and insoles, heels and soles can always be replaced. I’ve had only one pair of boots (bought on steep discount from $300 to $75) for the past four years. I wear them everywhere doing everything nearly all winter. I retire them come spring, send them to a cobbler for a tune up and pull them back out in the fall. I have more compliments on this one wardrobe piece than any other. It’s become a signature, to the point where I heard a friend say, “Talk to the woman in the fabulous boots.” I plan on keeping them for as long as I can. Once you find a great piece you love and works for you it may be tempting after the third or fourth year to upgrade for the sake of “something fresh” but why spend the money to fix something that isn’t broken?

    • simplybeingmum March 15, 2012, 8:57 pm

      I want to be known as ‘The woman in the fabulous boots’ too! 🙂
      What a saving you had, at that price I expect the quality was second to none, hence the durability. My boots are Zara, and the quality is okay, but maybe one more year will see the end of them – but who knows? they’ve come this far!

  • Rachel March 15, 2012, 5:49 pm

    Keep the boots. Until the uppers are worn through they are still good and insoles, heels and soles can always be replaced. I’ve had only one pair of boots (bought on steep discount from $300 to $75) for the past four years. I wear them everywhere doing everything nearly all winter. I retire them come spring, send them to a cobbler for a tune up and pull them back out in the fall. I have more compliments on this one wardrobe piece than any other. It’s become a signature, to the point where I heard a friend say, “Talk to the woman in the fabulous boots.” I plan on keeping them for as long as I can. Once you find a great piece you love and works for you it may be tempting after the third or fourth year to upgrade for the sake of “something fresh” but why spend the money to fix something that isn’t broken?

    • simplybeingmum March 15, 2012, 8:57 pm

      I want to be known as ‘The woman in the fabulous boots’ too! 🙂
      What a saving you had, at that price I expect the quality was second to none, hence the durability. My boots are Zara, and the quality is okay, but maybe one more year will see the end of them – but who knows? they’ve come this far!

  • Jo H. March 16, 2012, 6:40 pm

    You did a wonderful job spiffing up your boots! You know best what you want versus need. Personally I keep footwear as long as I can because I don’t like to waste money, plus I have feet that are hard to fit and with structural issues – so once I find something comfy I wear them as long as they are still supportive and comfortable 🙂

    • simplybeingmum March 16, 2012, 9:43 pm

      I agree Jo – I’m going to try and prolong their life for a while yet. Thanks!

  • Jo H. March 16, 2012, 6:40 pm

    You did a wonderful job spiffing up your boots! You know best what you want versus need. Personally I keep footwear as long as I can because I don’t like to waste money, plus I have feet that are hard to fit and with structural issues – so once I find something comfy I wear them as long as they are still supportive and comfortable 🙂

    • simplybeingmum March 16, 2012, 9:43 pm

      I agree Jo – I’m going to try and prolong their life for a while yet. Thanks!

  • Suze March 16, 2012, 7:42 pm

    This is a tough one. I have horrible feet and as soon as shoes lose their ability to support my feet I am in pain. So my shoes are “sensible” and often expensive. However I think the best course is to be on the lookout for another pair but do not buy unless you are satisfied that the new pair will last and can be repaired.

    • simplybeingmum March 16, 2012, 9:44 pm

      I also agree with you Suze, I’m keeping the boots but keeping an eye out for replacments going forward. The best deals are to be had out of season, and I’m too long in the tooth for my feet to grow any more, so I’m pretty sure they’ll fit once Autumn hits!

  • Suze March 16, 2012, 7:42 pm

    This is a tough one. I have horrible feet and as soon as shoes lose their ability to support my feet I am in pain. So my shoes are “sensible” and often expensive. However I think the best course is to be on the lookout for another pair but do not buy unless you are satisfied that the new pair will last and can be repaired.

    • simplybeingmum March 16, 2012, 9:44 pm

      I also agree with you Suze, I’m keeping the boots but keeping an eye out for replacments going forward. The best deals are to be had out of season, and I’m too long in the tooth for my feet to grow any more, so I’m pretty sure they’ll fit once Autumn hits!

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