Tag Archives: Money

A tiny bit of victory against my shopaholic self

I’m a recovering shopaholic, and if we attended meetings (which we might) and earned chips (again, it could happen) like you do in AA, I would have earned my first real chip today.

I tend to spend money I don’t have, on things I can’t afford, namely designer handbags (see: Kate Spade, my one true vice). It started in college as an insatiable need to keep up with my rich peers. Having attended a private (and by private I mean expensive and snobby) university, I was probably one of maybe twenty people in my graduating class who didn’t come from wealth. After leaving my small, sheltered hometown (where I don’t think I even knew household names like Chanel & Dior let alone Michael Kors or Tori Burch), I entered Satan’s playground, otherwise known as Tampa, Florida. Surrounded by snooty classmates and their material things, I felt like I had to have expensive brands to fit in, so I started buying shit I couldn’t really afford but didn’t really feel badly about buying because what the hell else was I supposed to spend my money on as a college kid with no bills to speak of? After a year or so, I finally realized how dumb and “fiscally irresponsible” I was being, so I toned it back a bit. My spending didn’t really stop, it just sort of shrank in dollar amount. In reality, though, I was probably still spending almost the exact same amount, but because I wasn’t just spending it all on one high ticket item, and instead on several cheaper things, somehow I justified it.

Over the years, I tried to be better with my money, but more than ever I was bored and unsatisfied with my life, so to fill the void, I bought crap I didn’t need. I guess I figured if I surrounded myself with enough material things, I wouldn’t crave things that actually matter in life. Which I’ve finally figured out doesn’t actually work, and instead just stressed me out more because, oh hey, I can’t afford the shit I’m surrounding myself with in first place. Amateur move.

$40 bag for the win!

$40 bag for the win!

Finally, at 25, I think I’ve finally gotten to a place where I can distinguish between want and need, and I can make the adult choice about what I’m going to spend my money on and what I’m not, and how to tell myself no sometimes. Like when the PERFECT $200 Kate Spade handbag jumps out at me from the shelf at TJMaxx and I put it back, instead opting for the $40 Steve Madden to replace my current tote that sadly, is falling apart. Now I know some of you may argue that the win would have been if I had purchased NO handbags, and instead had saved my money and not bought useless crap, but you would be wrong and I would punch you in the face, so you should just shut your mouth. Baby steps, here, people.

In all seriousness though, especially in this season of giving, it’s important to remember that what matters most in life are not things at all, but people and the memories you create with them. I’m about to go create some awesome memories in a place I’ve never been with the man I love more than even Felix the cat (and that’s saying a lot, because I love that stupid fur ball, even if she does shit on my floors). I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving tomorrow- lucky me, I get my turkey dinner a day early! Nom nom.

Ok, for real, bye.

Maybe I’ll actually do some real-time writing and report live from New Orleans as cool shit happens? To be continued…

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Filed under Entertainment, Humor, Opinion, Society

3 ways to refresh your wardrobe (without spending any money)

It’s no surprise that we as human beings get bored with our lives every once in awhile. So it should come as no surprise that sometimes we just hate everything in our closet and want to burn it to the ground. Instead of turning to arson, here are a few quick tricks to reviving your wardrobe without spending any money (or doing any jail time).

Decisions, decisions. I may be a pro at this sport, but even I sometimes have a hard time deciding what to toss.

1. Get rid of stuff you don’t wear anymore. It’s important to regularly cleanse your closet of things that are old, don’t fit or are just simply never worn anymore. Once a season usually suffices for this (although I usually do it way more than that because I’m OCD and get bored easily). This is important for two reasons. First, when you begin to accumulate a lot of things, it’s easy for you to forget what you actually have in your closet. Organizing and getting rid of things may help you rediscover those pants you used to wear all the time or that dress you thought you lost. Second, getting rid of the old makes way for any new items you might want to buy later on. If something in your closet hasn’t been worn in over a year, those can be the first to go. Whether you realized it or not, you moved on from these pieces of fashion and they’re doing nothing but collecting dust at the back of your closet, so say your farewells and toss ’em. Also, if there are items in your closet with tags on them that are more than several months old, ask yourself why you haven’t worn them yet. Were they impulse buys you ultimately weren’t happy with and will never wear? If you can return them, get your money back, otherwise toss them on the pile with the others. The easiest (and also the hardest) way to determine if you should part with something is to make sure it still fits. We are all guilty of hanging on to certain favorite clothes with the notion of one day fitting back into them, but they are clogging precious real estate that could be used for things that actually fit. It’s painful, I know- I’ve parted with many a-favorite dresses and shirts that I outgrew or shrank in the dryer (woe is me, I know)- but it must be done. Once you’ve compiled a collection of give-aways, make sure you get rid of them properly (don’t throw them away, like I’ve known some people to do). Give them to a friend, donate them to Goodwill, sell them online. Some stores, like Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor, will even give you cash on the spot for your name brand clothes (which I like to use to buy more clothes, duh). Whatever you decide to do, say a quick goodbye and move on (just think of it like dumping your ex, you don’t want them hanging around forever, so part ways and get the hell out of there).

2. Rearrange your closet. Sometimes we get bored with what we already own simply because we’re tired of looking at it the same way. I’ve found that rearranging the order of my closet can change things up for my style without really having to change anything at all. Maybe you’re one of those people who likes to color-coordinate their closet. Try ROYGBIV-ing, but by type. So, instead of everything being all mashed together, separate your tanks from your tees, your skirts from your shorts, your pants from your dresses. If you don’t color-coordinate, try it. Or simply move things around. If you hang your shirts on the left side of the closet and your pants on the right, try flip-flopping them. Make it easy for yourself to walk in, put together an awesome outfit and walk out- no more of this standing in the closet for 20 minutes staring at everything and sighing, wishing you had all new clothes (which I do about once a day). You’d be surprised how differently you’ll feel with just a simple change.

3. Mix-n-match. The best (and most enjoyable) way to spruce up your wardrobe is to mix things you wouldn’t normally wear together. Get out of that routine of wearing the same shirt with only that one pair of pants. Mix colors and patterns. Take an extra five minutes every day to go through your jewelry box and accessorize (that’s why you bought all that crap anyway, right?). You don’t have to be a fashionista to look good. The most important thing is to have fun with it. After all, that’s what fashion is all about. Well, that, and avoiding nakedness.

And just remember, if none of these things work for you, you have issues and should default to retail therapy immediately.

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Filed under Entertainment, Humor, Society, Uncategorized

Why I will never use eBay again

eBay sucks.

I used to think eBay was the only way to buy and sell crap on the internet (besides the ever-reliable Craigslist. HAH). And I hated eBay for monopolizing the trade. With all their seller fees (I rarely buy; always selling my shee-at), including the fees they tack on to set a fixed price (who wants to wait for the bidding wars to conclude?), it was basically impossible to make a decent profit. Plus it was just super annoying to have to pay them for doing nothing except letting me post my shit. I’d rather go to Craigslist, a thank you.

But then, one day, one of my friends opened my eyes to an incredible new way to buy and sell. A way that didn’t require me to pay stupid fees just to unload my junk onto someone else. A way that allowed me to break free from the traditional auction-style selling I’d come to hate with eBay.

What was this magical new world?

Yardsellr.

And what an appropriately catchy company name.

I’ll admit, there are still some areas they can improve on, but they remain miniscule areas in the larger picture.

UM, hi. Look how much I’ve racked up in the last few months and half dozen or so items I’ve sold. Thank you.

The fact is, I can post my items, with as many pictures as I want (no fees to add more than one, EBAY), set my price, set a shipping fee, choose how I want to get paid (check or PayPal) and monitor activity on the item. Oh, not to mention I can tweet the item and post to Facebook right from the same screen.

Yardsellr is also very much about convenience. I didn’t have to jump through 20 hoops to enter my account information or sign my life away swearing to adhere to ridiculous guidelines. I simply logged in with my Facebook account and started selling.

The coolest part about this nifty new site is that they don’t charge the seller any fees whatsoever. Did I mention the seller pays nothing? The way they make this possible is by charging the buyer (small) fees and in return, are generous enough to dish out “Photons” (basically, dolla dollas) in exchange for paying buyer fees, which can later be used towards future purchases.

So it’s a win-win for everyone involved, and it’s way simpler and more user-friendly than eBay will ever be.

So there.

I am never going back to eBay again. In fact, I should probably close my account so I can stop getting charged stupid fees every month just for having it active. Unless you want to buy it from me. I hear people will pay a pretty penny for an active, valid eBay account. Just saying.

 

UPDATE: Unfortunately Yardsellr no longer exists (wahhh) but I’ve recently discovered Tradesy as my new go-to for selling the clutter in my closet. Enjoy.

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Filed under Consumerism, Entertainment, yard sale

Thou shalt not pay retail

I’m officially obsessed with the most ridiculous show on TV (and I’ve seen a lot of them).

TLC’s ‘Extreme Couponing’ proves that people will stop at nothing to get a bargain, but at what point does this lifestyle become addictive?

How about when you’re 1,000 tubes of toothpaste in. Or when you have enough diapers for a year- and you don’t even have kids.

I could understand stockpiling specific items, like toilet paper and paper towels. Things you will always need and you don’t have to worry about expiring or going bad.

But when you’re buying 30 bottles of mustard just because you can, I think it’s safe to consider yourself an addict.

I will hand it to one extreme couponer; though his personal stockpile is out-of-control, he spent $27.04 for almost $900 worth of items to send to U.S. troops abroad.

But aside from this one exception, most couponers seem to be in it just to prove how much money they can save.

The amount of time and calculation required to be a dedicated couponer (one mother spends 20 hours/week to plan her 4 weekly shopping trips) almost leaves no time to have any other hobbies- and I use the term ‘hobby’ loosely for this obsession. It’s hard to imagine they don’t become all-consumed by it.

I will admit, though, I’m envious of the savings these couponers are able to earn. The most jaw-dropping amount I’ve seen to-date was one family of six’s single food shopping trip of $2,756.94.

They paid $187.69.

I’d be interested to learn how many of the items bought in bulk by these obsessive couponers actually see use. The way they stock up on perishable goods makes me wonder if most of their savings end up in the garbage.

Tune in for the season premiere tonight at 10pm and let me know what you think.

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Filed under bargains, Couponing, Money, obsessions, Savings, shopping