I’ve worked since I was about 15, starting my working life making friends with local builders as a waitress of a local cafe, before moving into child care (essentially playing on the beach all summer!) at a local kids summer club and finally moving into office work in my first summer holidays back from uni. After graduating from Bournemouth with a degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications I moved back to my home island of Guernsey and took up a Marketing Assistant position.
Having been working for a number of years it was still a huge excitement to receive my very first ‘proper’ pay cheque and I knew that as this was quite a big milestone I would have to make sure I spent the money wisely. Note the emphasis on actually spending the money, and not doing the more mature thing of saving it! Living at home meant that I was fortunate enough to have a rather large proportion of this first pay cheque that was disposable income, but what to do with it?
Like a lot of girls I am a mahoosive fan of the classic Channel quilted lambskin bag, but with a price range in the thousands this was definitely out of reach for a humble Marketing Assistant. So instead, whilst on a trip to London my best friend and I headed to Selfridges in search of a bag that was just as timeless and excellent quality but not quite as expensive as the Chanel. As a shopping experience, it was the best and worst I’ve ever had, mainly because we were a couple of 21 years old in the designer bag section of Selfridges which encouraged the usual shop assistant looks down the nose and patronising questions of ‘can I help you?’
After looking around for a while, I eventually settled on a quilted Marc Jacobs number, which is similar in style to the Chanel but at £500 was a lot cheaper than its Parisian counterpart. When making the final decision about which bag to invest in, it was between this and another Marc Jacobs number and so I asked the shop assistant what the price of each bag was, her reply of ‘these are both very expensive’ let me know exactly what she thought of me as a potential Selfridges customer. So I persevered and asked again, ‘Yes I am aware of that, but can you please tell me how much each of these two particular bags are?’, at which point she responded ‘The grey one is £475, and the black is £500’ with such a tone of smugness that I couldn’t help but absolutely relish being able to answer her with a great big smile on my face and say ‘I’ll take the black’.
Walking out onto Oxford Street with the famous yellow and black shopping bag under my arm I almost felt like I had just stolen my Marc Jacobs as I certainly couldn’t believe I had just spent that much money on it! It now stays in its dust bag and is brought out for special occasions and is most definitely never taken out clubbing! As sad as it may sound, nearly five years later it is my best purchase as I know not only will it never go out of fashion but it will always remind me of the very first time I was able to spend money on something and say ‘I earned that’.
What did you spend your first pay cheque on?