Do you wanna know what my birthday gift to myself is? A wallet. Do you wanna know what I asked the hubby for his birthday present to me? Another wallet. Why would I need two wallets, you might ask. My answer is…why not? One for weekdays, one for weekends. End of story.
But wait, I’m in the mood for a wallet story, so here it is. Growing up in the province, I always saw the contents of Mame’s wallet. I always knew when she still had money or when she was running out of it. When I knew she had extra money, I’d ask her to buy me the few fancy things I liked. When I knew she had very little money, I kept my mouth shut and never bothered her for anything that would have the potential of burning a hole in her pocket.
As early as my elementary years, I knew that Mame wasn’t good at managing money. I never saw her setting up a budget. She was street smart, though. She had many friends from whom she borrowed money easily. She was also hardworking and had a great sense of humor and a gift of gab which made her a good reseller. You know those peddlers na “laway lang ang puhunan?” Mame was one of them. Her side job of selling small goods allowed us to enjoy little luxuries in life every now and then. You see, Daddy was working in a cement plant in Tanay, Rizal and only went home twice a month to remit his salary to Mame and be with us for a night (or two sometimes).
Mame’s wallet would be full of PHP1,000, PHP500, and PHP100 bills whenever Daddy came home. After paying her creditors, however, only a few of these bills would be left in it. And the cycle repeated itself for many years until Daddy lost his job in 1999 (and I adapted to the situation by introducing myself to the concept of frugality). Mame has taught me a lot about money without her knowing it. Her money knowledge (or the lack of it) has somehow alerted me to act differently if I wanted to secure a bright future for our family. But I digress.
I remember Mame would only replace her wallet only when it was worn-out already. She never used a big wallet then, by the way, just a big coin purse made of synthetic leather. Or at least, that’s what I recalled seeing most of the time. Even if she was a spendthrift, Mame practiced simplicity in her own ways. I observed the same practice in her clothing wherein she would take good care of her new clothes and wear them occasionally that her friends would think, the next time she wore them, that they were new even if they weren’t. She would also buy new clothes for us only during Christmas season and occasionally when my rich relatives in Manila would send money over for me and my siblings.
I embraced the same practice with my own wallets, but not so much with my clothes. When I started earning a living, I got myself just one big wallet that housed my bills, coins, and some IDs/cards. If you’re familiar with the brand Marithe + Francois Girbaud, that was where I purchased my first decent wallet. It was on sale at under PHP1,000. I only discarded it when it was worn-out already. You know, when the synthetic leather started to peel off on the edges.
Then at one point, I also experimented with cheaper wallets like those sold in Divisoria for PHP100 to PHP200. Tipid-tipid din pag may time! I just stayed away from fake-looking ones such as those dotted with monograms of famous designer brands. I also went for sturdy-looking ones in plain colors and simple designs. After some time, I got back to using branded but affordable wallets again such as those from Charles & Keith and Guess (this one was just gifted to me) and only three years ago, Parfois.
I got my Parfois wallet from its SM Southmall branch for under PHP1,000. It was a double tri-fold wallet, errr, I’m not sure if I’m describing it correctly so just please look at the photo below:
I super loved this wallet! It was very useful to me. I liked its unique polka-dot print and the many pockets both inside and outside. I found it cool that it looked filled with contents already even if there was nothing inside yet. And how it got heavy and bulky whenever I filled it with bills, coins, and tons of receipts.
This wallet has seen better days. It has served me for three long years. It has witnessed the highs and lows of my financial life. It was also my sort of dependable partner when I started getting serious about my finances. I almost didn’t wanna give it up even if the edges were peeling off and the material itself were starting to break apart already. (In fairness, all of its zippers and compartments are still intact until now!) But I guess it’s time to let it go. It’s time for it to rest as it has served its purpose well. Goodbye my friend, and thank you for everything! 🙂
Now, back to my two new wallets. One is a Fino tri-fold wallet in alligator embossed leather. It’s my birthday gift to myself.
The other one, which is the hubby’s birthday present to me, is a Cath Kidston (CK) embossed zip wallet in lovely Norfolk rose print. For the record, it’s also my first CK accessory and I intentionally requested for this wallet because I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about CK from the CK sisterhood (and my blogger friends) Leah, Diane, and The Pseudo Shrink. (Go check out their blogs if you’d like to see more CK items from their personal collection.)
Both wallets are priced under PHP3,000. I got the Fino on sale at 15% off while the Cath Kidston was on regular price. It’s too early to tell if they’re worth every peso we paid but the reputation of the two brands leaves very little room for doubt.
The Fino wallet is for weekdays and the Cath Kidston one, for weekends. Medyo na-overwhelm ako ng slight nung isang gabi kasi hindi ako sanay na dalawa na ang wallet na ginagamit ko. Pero naisip ko, masaya rin nga naman na iba ang wallet na dala ko sa work at iba rin pag namamasyal tuwing weekend. And since I use two different wallets, I guess they’re bound to last longer. They both look sturdy and can hold a lot of stuff. I actually plan to take good care of them just like what I did to my past wallets. And hopefully, just like the wallets I’ve used before, they’ll serve their purpose well.
Oh, and before I end this story, here’s a wallet-related superstitious belief that my MIL shared with me. In buying a wallet and making sure that it’s going to be “lucky,” she always performs this magic spell which I’d like to call “Pera, Wala.” She does this by positioning her two thumbs horizontally and then alternately going over the entire length of the wallet from end to end. She starts with “pera” using her right thumb and “wala” using her left thumb and vice versa until she reaches the other end of the wallet. The wallet is considered lucky and worthy of buying if the measurement ends with the “pera” thumb and unlucky if it’s the opposite “wala” thumb. (I hope you understand how I explained it.) It never fails according to her! Wala naman mawawala kaya sinusunod ko na rin. I’m happy to report that my two new wallets are both “lucky.” Hahaha.
And that’s it, friends! I hope you like my wallet story as much as I enjoyed writing it. 🙂
May you choose happiness always,