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Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Consumerific

It seems that the second I pledge to become a responsible spender, I think of all sorts of things that I want. Not simply the frou frou sinfully expensive, never gonna happen kinds of things like a chanel handbag or a Mini convertible, but practical things sort of within my financial reach. A couple of days ago, I pledged to invest less of my money on eating and drinking out in order to apply more of my income to paying down my credit card debt. It suddenly struck me as dumb that I live in a crappy old house for dirt cheap and I still have credit card debt from my years of too-high rent and not much of a savings account to speak of. My problem is that I earn just enough that I have fun in the city without paying much attention to my bank balances. I squeak by, sometimes slowing down to buy a couple of new sweaters or a pair of shoes, but I live in denial of the amount of cash I throw away at whim. So this week, I decided to be better.

1.) I paid an outstanding credit card bill.
2.) I realized that I had a card with zero balance so I transferred part of the other, higher interest card to that one where it will live as I dutifully pay it down.
3.) I transferred a little money to savings.
4.) I set up automatic payments for my cell phone bill.
5.) I walked to the grocery store at lunch and stocked up on food I could easily keep at work--balance bars, bread, sandwich supplies, yogurt and the like.

But then of course I felt obliged to start obsessing about my not particularly chic wardrobe (it has its moments but I spend far too much time in jeans and tees and Dansko clogs) and now of course I am preoccupied once again with materialistic girlie longings. Repetto flats, a scarf for my hair, new sunglasses because I lost the three pairs I bought this summer, a pretty coat from Zara with a peter pan collar, boots, a preppy monogrammed Lands End crewneck simply because it reminds me of my New England homeland. Damn, damn damn.

How can a girl possibly live within a budget when there are all sorts of wonderful chic baubles out there to be had? I think my new method is to spend more mindfully, to buy less, and to possibly spend a little more per item. As I approach thirty and wave hello to all sorts of new milestones I value the wisdom of owning fewer, better items. And, I am rediscovering my love of vintage and consignment items. My new hobby? Trolling used clothing stores on Saturday afternoons. If I can't beat back my materialism, I might as well embrace it wisely.

7 Comments:

Blogger Kristin said...

Yeah... I just spent a couple of hundred dollars on Amazon while participating on a conference call. I "need" the stuff for my upcoming trip. Read: I could have gotten by without two additional memory cards, backup batteries and a converter.

I continue to move toward fiscal responsibility one step at a time.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Ryane said...

I am also trolling towards fiscal responsibility...another good place to look for deals is Nieman'ss Last Call, out at Arundel Mills.

Can you say, Manolo's for $95???

=-) Happy Budgeting!!

Seriously, I have learned a lot of good tricks to save money listening to Dave Ramsey. Also, the book, 'The Millionaire Next Door' is a great resource. I sometimes wonder how anyone saves money in this city--it's crazy to think that EFFICIENCIES are costing upwards of $1K a month to rent...

1:57 AM  
Blogger Irish Red said...

i'm with ya, sistah. it's trolling the consignment shops on saturday for me as well. Hey - were YOU the one who stole that great pair of jeans from me in Dupont last week!?

jk :)

2:25 AM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

It's crazy how expensive efficiencies have become. Several years ago I paid 875 for a 600 sq foot one and that seemed too expensive. Now it sounds like a bargain!

Will check out those books.

And Red, it wasn't me who took the jeans, but if you were eyeing a pair of black wool BR trousers at Secondi, I was def the one who took them!

2:13 PM  
Blogger Lickety Split said...

Can't go wrong with quality HP. I used to buy any ol' dress shirt that was on sale at the mall only to find the quality lacking. Then my best friend advised me to just break down and spend the extra $ on a high-quality dress shirt. I was not disappointed. As a matter of fact, they need replacing less often which likely makes up for the difference in cost. (Plus ladies I have never seen before now hold the door for ME at work);)

2:22 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

I pay 1100 for 425sqft =p I'm so ready to move into a bigger place I say!

2:23 PM  
Blogger Brunch Bird said...

I feel your pain. I get all motivated to not spend money and halfway through the day I walk by a store and it's like a butterfly passing in front of a kitten. One rule that helps me a bit: Don't buy any item of clothing, or any accessory, that I don't love as much as the item I love the most that's already in my closet.

6:10 PM  

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