Is a big shoe collection financially smart?

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Last night I was accused of being "womanly" by a friend who thought my shoe collection was excessive. The point of this post is not to call my friend a misogynist pig but rather, I want to offer my defense.

First, my shoe collection isn't that bad -- I probably have about 8 pairs of shoes, all of which I wear regularly. So Imelda Marcos I am not. I also almost never pay more than $30 for a pair of shoes. I buy them at stores like TJMaxx, generally off the clearance rack. I've gotten several pairs of Pumas for $20 this way.

Not only is my shoe collection harmless but I would argue that it's financially savvy as well. In his great book A Million Bucks by 30, cheapskate-savant Alan Corey offers this tip: "Buy one pair of multipurpose shoes a year. Don't buy any others."

I respectfully disagree. First, unless you live in a brand new condo and never venture outside, your shoes will look pretty ragged after wearing them every day for a year. Second, this won't really save you any money because one pair of shoes worn every day lasts just as long as one paid of shoes worn once every five days. I own a lot of shoes for a guy, but they're all in great shape and I'll have them for a while because I don't wear them every day.

In the long run, I won't end up spending any more money on shoes than someone who buys them less frequently and I'll actually save money because I buy them opportunistically -- not by running into the first store I can find after my current ones fall apart.

And mixing it up in the footwear department makes you at least seem classy.
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