Tag Archives: shopping

I Need a Makeover. Stat.

Before you judge me and my piles of clothes on the floor and my “nothing to wear” conundrum, hear this — my wardrobe says more “college student who hasn’t slept” than “marketing director.” Every day, I wake up, look in my closet, and on my floor, and find there’s few items that reflect my position, and the rest of my life’s aesthetics aren’t supporting the cause (case in point, my busted car with Styrofoam instead of half a bumper.)

There have been times over the past few years when I went through this “makeover” shopping splurge, which usually lead to buying too much overpriced, dry clean only clothes at Banana Republic that don’t even look good on me and end up getting wrecked a few times after I wear them. The purchases I’ve made at Express, despite being more suited for “just out of college” than my professional status, at least last me. But that leaves me with a closet of “Editor” stretch pants in black and a few short sleeve, button down shirts in various cheap materials that still look young and unpolished. Hey, at least they’re machine washable.

But what’s a girl to do? When the interns dress better than you do, it’s a reality check. As more and more employees of the female species join our company, I’m quickly becoming the worst dressed. And I don’t want to be on that list. But I also don’t want to spend a fortune on outfits that will inevitably make it into the share pile quicker than you can say “how on earth did I gain five pounds?”

My closet, however, is just not cutting it. I’m tempted to do the Banana and/or Anne Klein splurge — find some clothes that manage to be trendy and hip enough for the startup culture, but formal enough to put me at the head of the figurative class. It’s a tough splurge to swallow, since I’m determine to LOOSE those five pounds, plus another 30, in the coming months.

Beyond clothes, i’m questioning my hair style (it’s now long, layered, but hard to manage) and just tinted with a “glaze” — somehow expensive highlights make people seem more put together and worth more. Marketing is 10% product and 90% sales. Sales is polish. And on that spectrum I’m always leaning towards scruff. Clean, but lacking in the shine that can take a girl places.

Tonight, I’m tempted to toss all my old clothes for good, and start from near scratch. But what will that cost me? Seems like such a waste of money, as I’m getting on with my Express clothes just fine, and the Banana clothes I do own are sitting in my dry clean only bag collecting dust.

How often do you buy new work clothes and where do you shop?

Not Even Money Can Buy My Happiness

Let me go on record by saying that I have no right to be depressed. There are thousands who have lost their houses or lives in Japan, civil wars killing people daily in Libya, the Ivory Coast, and around the world. Meanwhile, I have a job with pay that comfortably puts me in the upper middle class. I’m healthier than most, and all-in-all leading a good life.

But I still feel empty. My problem is largely cognitive. It is feeling both that I am completely out of control of my life, that time is flying by too fast, and too slow, and that I have no purpose, no place I’m headed towards, just lots of time to waste until I get older and eventually die.

Ok, so if that’s the way I think, no wonder I’m depressed. I really want to change my thoughts — to be grateful for all I have, the priceless moments, unexpected, that make it worth living another day. This is not to say I’m suicidal — I’m not. I’m just wondering how to take my life from watching the days go by to making the days matter.

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Shopping Update

Spent $450 at Ann Taylor yesterday after 4 hours trying on just about everything in the store. Why must every single top have some weird ruffle on it this season? Not only do they look ridiculous, in the rare cases they didn’t, I just thought what that poor ruffle would look like after being through the wash once or twice. Or even hand wash. I don’t like to do dry clean only for my tops.

Showed my boyfriend my $350 worth of Theory purchases and while he liked my sweater jacket thing, he disliked the dress (I don’t really like it either) so that’s going back to the store. $150 return. Cha ching. As for the Ann Taylor stuff, I got a grey pencil skirt that fit nice (but may wrinkle too much… why must things wrinkle?), a pair of size 12 petite black pants that are a little bit too big (the 10s looked like i was going clubbing the way they hugged my ass, so I opted for the larger size), a kind of pretty navy blue shirt with short sleeves, and a pair of patent leather shoes that don’t fit at all… they are going back to the store too. So my $450 trip will be a $300 trip and my $350 trip will be a $150 trip once I make all my returns.

I’m forcing my boyfriend to come shopping with me tonight. I don’t agree with his taste in everything, but he did help me go through some of my clothes in my closet last night, and we discovered that while I own a lot of “slutty” clothes as he likes to call them (I call them thin-strapped tank tops, not work appropriate) I don’t have much when it comes to work wear. I’m throwing something together for today that I’m not 100% happy with. Really, the most important thing I need to get are shoes. I own one pair of shoes that will work for today but they’re so worn out on the heal that they make me walk crooked. They were great while they lasted.

Her Makeover Attempt: Clothes for Work

This weekend, I have frantically been scouring department store after department store (and smaller shops) to find the perfect outfits for my first week at work. While back in my high school days I’d have trouble narrowing down my piles of “loves” on shopping trips, these days I can’t find things I even remotely like. Partially, as my body ages I’ve developed curves in places clothing designers are terrified of admitting existence, so few things I try on even fit. Then, there’s the question of – what does a 26 year old wear when trying to dress older and more professional but not too old or too professional to a job that interfaces with many different types of people… in an informal left coast city?

The other thing is, I really don’t want to spend my entire paycheck on a new wardrobe before it’s even deposited in my banking account. I will if I have to, but that seems really silly. I do have expensive tastes, but in the past my purchases were more often sale rack than full retail, even in nicer stores. But in this role I really feel like I need to look expensive. Does this mean my clothes need to be?

Some days, I wish I was a guy. Men have it so easy. Wear a pair of slacks, a button-down shirt, slick your hair, wear nice shoes, and you’re done. Being a women… there are way too many variables for the professional world. What hair style do I wear? Up or down? Should I wear a skirt, pants, or a dress? Long sleeves or short sleeves? Or a jacket over a tank? Can I take the jacket off at work if I get hot? What shoes do I wear? Closed toe? Peep toe? Should I wear heels or can I get away with flats? Yikes.

Yesterday, I spent the morning shopping at Bloomingdales because they are having a 20% off sale and I also had a $25 off coupon expiring in April. Figured it was worth a look. The whole shopping experience there infuriated me. First off, finding my size… or anything close to my size… in items I liked was fairly impossible, with the exception of when items were “small, medium, large” — I’m somewhere between a 10 and a 14 depending how the designer cuts the clothes. Petite only in my inseam but everything else is, well, average to large. 31″ waist last time I measured. Probably bigger than that now. I have big hips, a protruding behind, and thighs that don’t look like they belong on legs with a 27.5″ inseam. Thanks mom.

Even when I found a few things I liked that seemed to fit I had to stop and ask myself — does this make me look too young? Can I be taken seriously in this? There is one skirt there by Marc Jacobs that I’ve been eying for months and I was surprised they still have it. It’s a $200 a-line black skirt in a thick fabric that just feels really nice on. Size medium was a little too tight, but I almost bought it because I have a habit of buying black skirts knowing I’ll wear them. Then I looked at the skirt again. It was flattering, covering my belly bulge with the exception of where it was slightly cutting into my stomach (must exercise), but it just didn’t make me look older. In fact, the whole outfit made me look younger. I tried the skirt on with the sleeveless shirt and sweater they were showing it with on the rack. The shirt, which looked like something I’d wear when I was 5, was a sleeveless with hearts on it and these gaudy gold buttons. The sweater was grey and preppy but oversized, and only available in a large or extra small. I grabbed the large and headed into the dressing room to try out the look. And, yes, I looked like I was 5.

Who wears this stuff, I constantly asked myself browsing all the expensive options by designer labels… half of the collections at the store look like they’re designed for people in high school or maybe college, and the other half (ralph lauren, eileen fischer, etc) look to be designed for women in their 40s. What do professional 20/30 year old women wear?

I’ve always found myself drawn to certain brands which seem to come close to what I’m looking for. Theory, one of my favorite brands in terms of style, had a few options. But at $200-$300 an item, I stop to wonder, can’t I find this style some place cheaper? Do I need to spend $250 on a pair of pants to earn the respect of my colleagues and move up the corporate business chain? And even if I do, is Theory the right brand to get me there? Surely, it’s a better option than anything offered by Marc Jacobs (really – WHO WEARS THIS STUFF?) but with each outfit costing $700-$1000, it’s tough to splurge without it being perfect. And nothing was perfect.

I found a nice grey half-sleeve sweater that I instantly knew would become a classic in my closet, so I felt that was worth the $200 price tag. There was a blue sleeveless cotton dress with ruffles on the neck which I could see looking nice under the grey sweater if I had a brown leather belt to tie it all together. So I bought that, the sweater, and a t-shirt length black turtleneck, all by Theory. Total cost after discount: $355. And really, I don’t have much of an outfit there. I still need shoes and a belt and handbag to make the dress/sweater look complete. The $75 black turtleneck feels like heaven and will be worn, but I’m not sure what bottoms to put it with.
So today I’m still looking for what to wear tomorrow. I really want to look like a million bucks without spending anything near that much money. But how? Sure, I could buy a suit at Macys for $99, but a suit really isn’t right for this environment. It’s too formal, especially for my role. Funny how it costs much more to do business casual than true-blue business. At least for women. I could definitely find a nice suit outfit for under $200 on sale. But to really look slick, slightly trendy but also professional, that’s where the money starts to become an issue.
The other thing I realized is… I don’t have much of a life outside of work. I mean, maybe all the clothes they sell at Bloomingdales are for women who dress up to go out at night and on the weekends. But I don’t go anywhere. On occasion my boyfriend and I go to dinner but I don’t really need to buy new outfits for that. I have plenty of dresses and things that work for my non-professional life. I have no reason to spend $1000 on an outfit that I wouldn’t be wearing to work. So I never would. I like to spend my money on nice clothes for the office because I’d end up wearing them most of my life. And it’s the only opportunity I have to dress up and look nice in my life. Even with my potential $100k salary, I live a $40k life. And I’m ok with that. I just like to dress up sometimes and where else am I going to do it other than the office?

Are New Restricted Shopping Sites Worth the Splurge?

Sales aren’t for cheapskates anymore. With the economy still in a state of despair, sales are the new black. Sites like Bluefly and Overstock have long offered last season’s designer goods at steep discounts, but those just don’t feel exclusive and urgent enough to get buyers to to splurge right here, right now.

Enter “restricted” shopping sites. These sites claim to limit entry to friends of people already on the site (which means they are restricted for about a day and then everyone gets in.) But their real sell is that they offer designer goods at steep discounts for a very limited time. It’s the buy now or forever hold your cash philosophy. And it apparently works. People love to think they’re getting a good deal. Sites like Gilt, Ideeli, Rue La La, OneKingsLane and others are making bank convincing shoppers if they don’t get in on a sale they’re going to be miserable forever.
I’ve long believed that a sale is only as valuable as whether or not you actually need what you buy. In my previous life, I was guilty of shopping the sale rack and feeling pride leaving a store when I got a “steal.” And that “steal” often ended up in the back of my closet, never to be worn.
Designer goods tend to either be beautiful or just plan odd. Trends don’t last. There is a reason an item is on sale. If you’re going to shop a sale, whether that be at the mall or on a restricted shopping site, know what you are looking for “before going in.” This way you won’t end up with credit card debt from buying a whole bunch of “great deals.” These sites are probably best shopping for gifts since you can spend less for more expensive goods. But in shopping for yourself, don’t get caught by the lure of the sale.
For more about these sites, check out the latest post by the Cranky Consumer on The Wall Street Journal.

170k Miles and 4 Years of Used Car Ownership

In 2006, I bought my first car. While my parents, at the time, had a new car-only buying policy, my financial situation led me straight to the used car salesman. The purchase would be the largest buy I had made in my life, and every second of the process I was nervous and unsure of myself. All I knew was that I wanted to buy a used car, that I wanted to buy a “good” used car, and that I didn’t want to spend more than… $8,000 on my car. Though less would be better.

I spent a lot of time at used car dealerships. I almost bought a lot of cars that I’m glad I didn’t end up with. Certified used vehicles are the biggest waste of my money in my (current) opinion, but maybe that opinion will change after I buy a dud one day. My trip to the Chevrolet store had me sitting in a certified car that I thought I wanted. It was way more than $8k, but it was only one year old… a rental that was ready to be sold. It was shiny and new-ish. It was a red Chevy Aveo. I didn’t really love driving it, but at 22 and getting ready to buy my first car, I figured I’d grow into it. I was literally sitting down at the bargaining table when I started to negotiate terms, and I realized this car was just going to cost me more than I was comfortable spending. I wanted to pay for my car outright, and that wouldn’t be possible with this car (unfortunately I can’t remember its price tag, but I think it was around $13k). I’m very glad I walked out of the dealership that day.

Later in my search, I drove a used Saab that I fell in love with, despite the whole hatchback style not being me at all. I really fell in love with the idea of owning a “luxury” car when the pricetag was comparable to the crappy Aveo I almost bought. In fact, I think the Saab I was looking at was around $9k. But then I read up on Saabs and discovered that despite their top-notch performance in crashes, the cost to repair the beast would be ridiculous. I moved on to the Toyota dealership, when I knew I was closer to what I’d ultimately buy.

At Toyota the certified cars were expensive. I test drove one that was sporty and too low to the ground. Apparently I need a car that’s slightly higher up to feel safe. I test drove a Camry and really liked it but due to the price tag it was a no go. I started to consider if I should buy a more expensive car and just pay per month like most people do. That’s when I turned to Craigslist.

More nervous then ever, I scoured the Craigslist postings for a Honda or Toyota in my price range. I’m not sure when I first saw the older Toyota Solara model, but I fell in love with its sleek design minus the huge pricetag. I never thought I’d buy a two-door car, but I realized that I didn’t know anyone in the area, and chances were I’d basically be schlepping myself around with maybe one other passenger. Four doors just weren’t necessary.

The Solara I found for sale was around $7k. It was a 1999, which seemed old but not necessarily too old… (it was 2005 at the time, so it was 6 years old). The almost dealbreaker was the mileage on the car… 130k miles. Now, maybe it was a mistake to buy the car with that many miles, but I haven’t had any issues yet. The most important thing to me was figuring out WHY the seller was trying to get rid of the car. He had a reasonable story — he had a baby, he loved the car (which was always owned by his family) but needed a four door and planned to buy the four door Camry version of the model.

He agreed to get the car inspected so I brought the car to a guy who was supposedly a Toyota specialist and paid $100 or something to get the car checked out. The guy ran through a few small problems with the car but told me it was in really good operating order for so many miles and the year it was sold. And I was sold. I needed a car and I was tired of looking. I paid $7,000 via check and watched the money wipe from my bank account. But it wasn’t that scary, I still had some savings left, and I really was excited to buy my first car.

Since then, my car has been running fine. Knock on wood. 2006 – 2010 makes my car at least a four year purchase, or about $2,000 per year plus gas and insurance. I’ve had to replace the breaks and tires, but otherwise it’s doing ok.

I’m glad I didn’t spend money on a new or newer car… being as this is my first car, I’ve dinged it up a bit, mostly driving into inanimate objects. I wish I hadn’t, but I’m a better driver now and know how to avoid most scratches (at least ones I cause) if I get a nicer car down the road. I love my car for its sunroof, it’s design, it’s cost (even though I could have gone cheaper.) I love my car for keeping me safe during one accident and somehow not even getting too much damage from it (I didn’t hit anything, I just had a really bad day and was exhausted and spun off the road into a ditch by accident.)

My car now has over 170k miles on it, so I’ve put on about 10k miles per year. I’m not sure if that’s considered a lot. I don’t drive much but I generally take one or two longer road trips per year (longer being like 5-6 hour drives) so that’s adding up and undoubtedly wearing on my car. Since my boyfriend drives a really old clunker which can’t accelerate well, we always take my car. I wish he had a better car so we could trade off car-driving duties, but at least when I use my car I can drive… I doubt he’d let me drive his car if he had one he liked!

Now I’m wondering how long my car will really last me. I’d like it to last to 200k miles, which would be 3 more years, I guess. I don’t know how I could sell the beast, it’s too dinged up to be worth much now, unfortunately. So I plan to run it into the ground, figuratively speaking. I’d love my next car to be a Prius but those things are damned expensive, even used. Heck, I may buy another Solara (though a newer model) because I’ve been happy with Toyota quality and my car. It’s not fancy, it’s not a show car, it’s just a car that’s a little nice to get me where I need to go.

How much did you spend on your current car? How long do you expect it to last you?

Say Yes to the Dress — Why I’m Going to Try to Say No…

My reality TV obsession as of late is TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress.” Now that I’m 26, I’m like (almost) every other girl in the world who (isn’t married yet) is thinking about being a bride and all that goes with it. Hey, I’ve been with my bf 3.5 years, so it’s not like marriage is so far off I shouldn’t be thinking about such things. (Right… right?)

Watching the show has me fiscally horrified, especially the episodes featuring women who have no budget and can buy a dress that costs $6k or more. As a kid, I would have been certain that my wedding dress would be on par with the dresses shown on SYTTD, and that I’d have money flowing from every possible bank account to fund my dream wedding. Nowadays, I’m a lot smarter than that. And thinking about the cost of my one-day wedding makes me almost violently ill.

When I was 12, my family threw a huge Bat Mitzvah party for me. It was ridiculous. I don’t know how much it cost but I think it was around $13k. For a Bat Mitzvah. It was the fault of my parents as much as it was mine. My party was probably on the higher end of what my peers spent in my temple, but certainly not the highest. I wanted to have the reception at one venue that my parents deemed too expensive. Where’d all the money go? The venue and food, the DJ / band (yes I had a DJ AND Band at my Bat Mitzvah), the professional photographer, professional videographer, the outfit (though my dress wasn’t really that expensive compared to anything else), the party favors (I needed three colors on the custom t-shirts so that cost extra), the party planner, and who knows what else. With such a big family on both sides, a lot of people were invited, and many came. I didn’t know half the people at my party, but it was a party, and I enjoyed it (as much as an atheist girl can when she is celebrating the end of years of religious study.) 

Looking forward to my wedding day (even though I’m not even engaged yet), I know that I want to be frugal when it comes to the big day. But I’m also the type of girl that believes in going all out or not going at all. And I’m tempted not to go. At least when I was a kid at my Bat Mitzvah I was so ignorant. While that was awful for my parent’s finances, at least I could ENJOY the celebration, for what that’s worth. Knowing how much my wedding costs will make it tough for me to enjoy any of it. I’d elope except my mom would shoot me, so it looks like I’ll be forced to have a wedding.

According to I Will Teach You to Be Rich and the Wall Street Journal, the average wedding cost is $28,000. That’s the AVERAGE, people. I’m not surprised knowing how much parties cost, but I can’t imagine how so many people spend this much, especially when the majority of them are in debt.

When I watch Say Yes to the Dress, I’m amazed by how the lower-end buyers are looking for dresses that cost around $3,000. First of all, if I ever spend $3,000 on a dress it will NOT be white because God knows a white dress won’t be able to be worn twice (and a bridal gown can’t be worn twice anyway, unless you manage to have the Project Runway contestants makeover your dress into a modern frock.)

How can anyone spend $3,000 or more on a dress to be worn one day? I dream of finding a used designer gown that’s still in perfect condition so at least I’ll get a decent price on a nice gown, but really, I know designer gowns still cost more than what I’d like to spend on a dress. The most I’ve ever spent on a garment is $460, which was my $600 leather jacket on sale. And I wear that basically every day.

I’ve been eying the designer Maggie Sottero who has some lovely dresses that I could see wearing on my wedding day. I’m short and pear-apple shaped, so finding a dress that is flattering will be beyond difficult (I can’t pull off strapless unless I go on a serious diet)… I wish I could pull off a dress like this but with my waist that would just not look good. From what I can tell, this designer’s gowns run more like $1k – $2k, which is still more than I’d like to spend. Honestly, do I even need a wedding gown? Can’t I just get a nice prom dress and call it a day?

How much did you spend (or expect to spend) on your wedding dress (or wife’s wedding dress)? Was it in your budget, or did you spend more (or less) than you wanted to? Did you get your dress on sale, or full price? Were you happy with your purchase?

Shop Till You Drop: My Shopping Addiction

I was a bad girl yesterday. The worst thing is that I chose to go to Lensecrafters for my eye exam instead of my normal place because I don’t have vision insurance and their exams were cheaper. Of course, Lensecrafters is in the mall.

I stopped in Macy’s just to see if they had anything new. Sometimes I like to try things on and not buy them. But then I fell in love with a pair of designer jeans and all went to shit from there.

Granted, I just found out I saved an extra $10k last year (I saved half my income for taxes, but I’m only going to end up owing part of that) so I wanted to reward myself. I found these jeans and a really nice top from Velvet Brand that I was in love with. $300 right there. But last year I made the decision that if I was going to splurge on something, it has to be something I’ll wear for years to come. I know how I work. I used to buy lots of things on sale that I didn’t really like, and wear them once or twice. I’d have a lot of clothes and nothing to wear. As an adult, I’m tired of that syndrome.

So I do spend a lot on my clothes. I probably shouldn’t. I don’t really need more clothes. But I got a little fatter and my clothes aren’t fitting as well as I’d like them to. And it’s spring/summer and I like buying things because it makes me feel secure. (The truth comes out.)

When I went to make my 2-item purchase the sales lady was SO ANNOYING and pressured me into signing up for a Macy’s account. I didn’t want to, but she wouldn’t shut up so finally I agreed so I could leave. (This was the same lady who spent about 7 minutes complaining about the color name’s on clothes when she was helping the customer before me in a longish line.) So I signed up for a Macy’s account. This way I could avoid all salespeople asking me to sign up in the future. And that would be a good thing.

The second I sign up she says “you get 15% off any purchase today and tomorrow. Go to the cosmetics counter first!” — like I was going to buy more clothes because I got a whopping 15% off. But… then I thought about things I wanted to buy. Like a new pair of shoes. For spring. Sandals. Something cute. To go with my new designer jeans. My closed-toe winter Nine West heels weren’t quite working for me. And they are getting kind of grungey. So I went to the shoe department. And spent another $100 on shoes. Damage thus far: $400 + 15% back when the bill comes. Whoppie.

At that point I knew I had to leave the store before I spent all the money I saved last year. I made one final stop at Express, where I had planned to pick up a slew of tank tops (which are way cheaper than anything I’d buy at Macy’s) that were on sale. I ended up buying about 10 shirts. But – hear me out – 6 of them were “bra tanks” which I need – I realize I more often wear camisoles with sweater jackets than anything else. Then there were some other cute tank tops on sale (buy one get one 50% off) and – being as they were all SO MUCH CHEAPER than what I had previously bought at Macy’s I couldn’t help myself.

I’m starting to think I should rename my blog “Confessions of a Shopaholic.”

Shopping gives me great pleasure. I don’t take lavish vacations. I left my studio apartment to live with two other girls and my rent is $600 a month (not bad for northern cali.) So I feel like I deserve some of this shopping pleasure. I work at a place I can dress casual everyday, so I feel a little more justified spending money on my nicer scrubs (aka designer jeans) — it’s not like I can only wear them on weekends.

That said, I’m making a grande effort today to get rid of shit. Yes, all of those clothes I bought on sale years ago that I have trouble giving away… even though I never wear them. It’s kind of like a stock loss though, it’s only a paper loss until it’s gone. I could one day wear them again and fall in love with the garments. But, no, that won’t happen. So they’re going to charity. For real.

Before you all start hating on my $600 clothing splurge, remember I did save $10k last year. And… so I am a shopaholic, but I also am a save-a-holic. I’m just trying to balance the two out. Meanwhile, the cost of grad school or buying a house seems to be SO BIG that I can’t image ever paying for either. Clothes, even $200 designer jeans, are so much more obtainable. I should know. They’re in my closet.

Eating Addicitions vs. Spending Addictions

There are many similarities between a shopping addiction and eating addiction, or any other addiction for that matter. Mostly, you are ashamed of your addiction. You want to do it alone. You feel some sort of power in that you’re doing it alone, that you have control over this one thing in your life, despite it being so out of control.

I feel very fortunate to not have any “other” addictions beyond eating and shopping – those are enough to handle on their own. I’m also very fortunate to not have a gene where my weight balloons regardless of how much I eat. My eating addition shows, but at 150lbs I’m more unhealthy inside than out.

For shopping, it’s my credit card bill that gets “fat.” I purposefully lost my credit card last month to stop myself. It’s not that I spend and spend, it’s just that the idea of having a credit card is that you can pay for something later. That little psychological switch makes rationality hard to grasp. It’s easy to buy something here and something else there, and before you know it you owe quite a bit of money. You need financial weight watchers.

This year, I really want to focus on getting healthy in both of these areas. Last night, I was bad. I came home and ate an entire box of bagel bites. Alone, those 500 calories would not be the end of the world, I probably hadn’t eaten more than 1000 calories earlier in the day. But then my roommate offered me a box of Oreos. I never buy Oreos for myself, and I love them so much, and I couldn’t resist.

One thing I’m looking forward to in life is moving in with my boyfriend. While we both have an eating addiction, we both realize that the worst thing to do is have food like that in the house. I’m excited about splitting the grocery bill and cooking for both of us when we live together.

How do you evade temptation?

Amazon Just Saved Me $30 (and then I spent it)

I picked up some books at the local Borders this evening… that’d be two computer books totaling $86 after tax. When I got home, I checked out their reviews and prices on Amazon, and found that I could get them for $55 w/ free shipping.

So what did I do next? Ordered them on Amazon, and added one more book in. So, I still spent $86. Well, I spent $160, but I plan on returning the books I purchased within the week so I don’t own costly duplicates.

How often do you buy books and return them? I know bookstores aren’t libraries, but their return policy (w/ a receipt within 30 days) can easily be followed if you want to get a quick read in, or buy now and buy cheaper later. I feel guilty doing that and don’t do it often, but in this case the Amazon price is so much cheaper, and I haven’t really read the books yet. Of course, the people at the store don’t know that, and I always feel so foolish when I return my entire purchase a few days later.

Plenty of people sit in Borders and read books, so I don’t see a huge difference in taking it home to review and returning it. I rarely do this, though, because I like to write in my books and keep them. The only reason I’m going to return these is because I bought the same ones for cheaper online.