i got a boob jobThe question: What's your biggest splurge ever?
The girl:
Susan Combs
Age: 30
What she spent: $8,500

What do you do when you're athletic and muscular and, well, small-chested? If you're 30-year-old Susan Combs, you sock money away. "I started a 'boob fund,'" says Combs, who lives in New York City. "I own my own business, and I said to myself, when I get enough money, that's going to be my executive bonus for the year. I'm just going to do it."

And do it she did. It took her two years of squirreling away cash, but then, a year-and-a-half ago, the balance in the account hit $12,000 -- more than enough for a new set of girls. Here are Susan's answers to the questions you're dying to ask her:

Lemondrop: Why get implants?
Combs: I just got so tired of not filling out my shirts. This was something I really wanted to do for myself.

He didn't pay a penny. It was 100 percent my money. He said, "I love you no matter what, and if you want to do this, you're doing it for you."

How much did it cost?
For the average person it probably would've cost about $10,000, but I paid slightly less because the surgeon is a friend of mine. I kind of got a friends-and-family discount. I met him in a bar in 2001, and I said, "You're going to be my friend in case I ever mess up my face or get breast implants."

How'd you find the cash?
I own an insurance brokerage firm, and, with my business, it's 100 percent commission. With some of my clients I get monthly commission checks, but there will be times when I'll do a big deal, and I'll say, "OK, that money goes to the fund." There was actually a big client I was working on, and I'd said that if I got that account, I was going to have the surgery done. And I ended up getting the account.

How big did you go?
I was basically a 38A and went to a 38C. I didn't want to go porn-star crazy or anything.

How do they look?
I had an excellent surgeon, and they look completely real. You see some girls and they look fake because the implants are on top of the muscle. Mine were done partially underneath and partially on top, so they have the gradual, natural look to them. They bounce, too.

Saline or silicon?
I opted for saline, since I play so many sports. If I have a rupture I want to know about it. If I ever get hit and rupture, my boob just deflates, and I know it immediately. With the new silicon implants you have to have an MRI every couple of years. But what if you have an MRI and a week later you have an injury and a rupture and you don't know about it until your next MRI? I didn't want that risk, for my own peace of mind.

How was the recovery?
I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. I only took Vicodin for two days, then I was popping Tylenol. I was working from home on the third day. I think the surgeon makes a big difference, and I think the person makes a difference, but I was back in the gym that week. I was cautious -- I knew I couldn't run, but I definitely rode the stationary bike.

What do your friends think?
The thing that surprised me the most was my girlfriends' reactions. Every single one of them, from my 16-year-old cousin to my friend in her 60s, all said, "Good for you, congrats, you're doing something for yourself."

What do you think?
It's the best thing I've ever done for myself. As women, when it's our money, we'll do without. We'll buy other people things before we ever splurge on ourselves. We'll get manicures that are six bucks a pop, but when it comes to a really big investment, we don't do that as much. It's the one thing that I felt was missing from my appearance, and now I have it.

Breast investment: Was Susan's biggest splurge worth it? And, what would you do if you had $10,000 lying around?

Kate Ashford is a freelance journalist who writes about personal finance and health (and other things). Without online shopping, she wouldn't own anything. Her work has appeared in Money, Health and Glamour. For more, check out HerTwoCents.com.

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