The Road to Financial Independence – The Thrill of $9 Dollar Jeans


I was determined to get a deal though. The deal bug was now crawling up my leg, looking for a nice juicy piece of flesh to clamp down on.


Up until about four weeks ago, I wasn’t even aware of the entire Financial Independence movement. I may have heard the term thrown around on a post here or there, but overall the overall concept was about as foreign to me as people who don’t eat peanut butter on their hamburger. (You should seriously try it.)

As I started to understand what FI meant, I’m going to be honest that I went through some growing pains in my understanding of the effort. My initial thought was, “These just sound like a bunch of uptight tightwads that replace toilet paper with their read newspapers to save a buck.”

Slowly I began to realize though that my perception was skewed via the Facebook groups I was reading. The collection of posts all cumulated into a belief that every person on the group was cutting every possible corner that they could to save a buck, and I frankly didn’t like the sounds of that at all.

What in fact was happening was that each person on the group was making the money saving changes that made sense for them. Some were switching to LED lightbulbs in their homes, some were buying used cars to reduce loan length and cost, others were probably using newspapers on their backsides.

So I started to settle into this mindset instead. What were the things that made sense for me? I was frankly already doing a lot of things out of shear necessity, given our financial situation, but very quickly I got bitten by “the bug.”

We all know “the bug” I’m referring to. The bug is that thing that you kind of hate doing at first, but then it becomes a challenge, then kind of fun, and then an activity or action you extract great satisfaction from.

I got bit by the gym bug many years ago. At first, I hated the gym. I f*cking DESPISED the gym. Yet I kept going, and slowly started to enjoy it. Eventually I flipped the script and got to the point where I get really bummed if I don’t make it to the gym on a scheduled day.

With FI and frankly just being more frugal with my dollar, I was not a fan. I hated the fact that I had to actually start looking at price tags on things, and comparing, and shopping for the best deals. IT WAS A LOT OF WORK! I just wanted to grab the brand that I knew because it was familiar and walk out with it, even if it meant paying more because it had a “Swoosh” or similar well-know symbol stuck all over it.

And yet this past week I think I had a breakthrough!

In high school I used to play in cover band in all of the local bars in my area. I chronicled a good portion of this in my post regarding me attempting to fight an entire bar full of drunk cowboys.

This Saturday, the members of that that band (including me) are playing a reunion show in our hometown, and it will be the first time we’ve shared a stage together in over 4 years.

From a cost standpoint, this gig already has the potential to be a losing proposition. We’ll make a few hundred bucks collectively, but when you split it four ways and factor in gas and food (the show is 3 hours away from where I live now), I’ll be lucky to break even.

So I was already eyeballing my finances to begin with, and then I realized that I would probably need something to wear on stage. Don’t get me wrong, this is a t-shirt and jeans kind of gig without a doubt, but I’ve lost close to 100lbs, and my jeans don’t fit anymore.

I talked with my wife and explained I was going to go buy a pair of jeans, but that I was pretty sure I could find some for under $20 bucks at Target. She was more than supportive saying, “Don’t worry about the cost. You wear your jeans for a minimum of 5 years. Just get some that you like.”

I was determined to get a deal though. The deal bug was now crawling up my leg, looking for a nice juicy piece of flesh to clamp down on.

I’ll spare you the details of me trying pants on, because I’m pretty sure you know how it works. What I will say is that I walked out of target with a pair of jeans that didn’t cost me $50 bucks, or $30 bucks, or even $10 bucks. I got a new pair of jeans for $9.88.

I was ecstatic.

Not only had I beat my goal of jeans for under $20 bucks, but I had blown my goal clear out of the water. The bug had not only bitten me, but it had actually climbed in and was running around like the scarabs on that one dude in “The Mummy.”

[Thanks! I thought it was a timely reference too! Tune in tomorrow when I’ll reference a line from “Encino Man.”]

The point of all of this is that I feel like I have turned a corner in my journey to financial independence. I now work to find the solution that makes the most financial sense, and I take pride in knowing that I made good choices, whether they be on large ticket items, or when it comes to getting a pair of jeans for $9 bucks. I’m not going so far as to make myself miserable or forcing me to second-guess every purchase that I make, and in fact it’s quite the opposite in that I actually feel a certain amount of pride that I’m not making these types of financial choices to help my family with our future.

So get out there and find your $9 dollar jeans! Or wipe your butt with USA Today.

It’s really your call.


What hot deals have you found? What money saving techniques do you derive the most pleasure from? Let me know in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “The Road to Financial Independence – The Thrill of $9 Dollar Jeans

  1. You could’ve bought two pairs and still come in under your target budget… nice find. And wiping your backside with USA Today is a far better use for it than actually reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My wife said the exact same thing. I then explained that it took close to an hour of digging through piles of jeans in the clearance rack to find the one, and I just didn’t have the energy to dive back in for a second pair.

      Liked by 1 person

    • True Story: My plan was to hit Walmart, but there happens to be a Target on my drive home. I figured I’d try there first, and then hit Walmart as my backup. The God of denim and zippers was smiling on me that day, my friend!


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