During this time of the year, it’s hard not to get caught up in the NBA playoffs. I find myself dedicating several hours per week to watching the games and talking about the highs and lows at work with other sports fans. This is the time of year where star athletes cement their names in the history books. This sport has contributed to a billion dollar subculture that has impacted millions of people. That is the area occupied by sneakerheads.
I know this didn’t start out like a traditional Broke On Purpose post, but we can end up at the same destination. I think I could be described as an average sneakerhead though if I were to say this out loud Mrs. Broke on Purpose would probably fall over from rolling her eyes so hard. Growing up in the age of Jordan, it’s hard not to be one. In my youth, I’ve been guilty of being part of the mobs of individuals trying to cop the newest releases. I’m guilty of skipping lunch and enduring the hunger pains to ensure I had enough money to buy my shoes and a matching t-shirt. These actions seemed almost normal. These were the sacrifices that had to be made, and I made them willingly. According to Mrs. Broke on Purpose I own more shoes than she does, however, this is something that’s yet to be proven as fact.
Some of those extremes changed once I got to college. My priorities changed, some by choice other by necessity. But like most college students the almighty refund check could allow you to slip back into old ways and still maintain. Keep in mind that during this era you could be fresh with an all white tall t-shirt and a fitted cap.
Fast-forward to grad school and the start of my career and things change sharply. I still loved shoes…but I refused to be one of those people with the newest shoes but sleeping on an air mattress or bumming for a gallon of gas. I’ve seen people who allowed their need for consumer goods to dictate every aspect of their life. The need to work overtime just to make rent because they had to have the newest Jordans or had to go to the club on first Friday. Or the need to borrow a few dollars until the first of the month just because an unexpected expense popped up. Recently on social media, there was a story of a young lady that was in being evicted because she used her rent money for concert tickets. She gave up her home in exchange for the ability to say she had an experience. Granted, this situation is extreme, but it’s a normalcy in the lives of people all over.
Now living Broke On Purpose, I’ve found myself working to get out of debt and at the same time trying to build wealth. Now I’m more inclined to purchase Nike stock with the money I would have used to buy the newest, limited edition shoes especially now that the price of sneakers has risen well above $200 for a standard pair of even $500-$800 for ones that are celebrity designed. The goal, at least in my mind, is to become an owner and not just a consumer a borrower and not a lender. Plus the next “must have” shoe will be released in 2 weeks time starting the cycle all over again. Let’s think about it. How many of us own sneakers that we’ve only worn once of twice? Mrs. Broke on Purpose is into designer shoes, but before she purchases she breaks down how much wear she’ll get out of the shoe and comes up with a monetary sum. The lower the sum, the more likely it is that she’ll buy the shoe. However, unlike females men can’t find classic sneakers on a clearance rack. In hindsight, I’m pretty sure the money I spent on the shoes I’ve only worn one of two times could have been spent on something more useful. What’s the point in ballin’ out or looking the part if you still have debt? Just to be completely honest, I don’t live like a monk without any worldly possessions. Though I haven’t purchased a pair of sneakers since 2014, I still believe that it’s okay to treat myself, but I’m more inclined to do it in a responsible manner that doesn’t involve going into debt.