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A Day (or two) with No Cell Phones

February 1st, 2007 at 02:39 pm

I am on my parents' Family Plan for mobile service. They recently chose to upgrade all our phones, so my "old" but awesome phone (caller ID and no frills, that's all I ask for) no longer works (except to dial 911). I have been cellphone-free since Tuesday and I can't say I mind terribly.

I'm one who actually doesn't like talking on the phone. Most of my conversations are short and just for confirming plans I'd made with friends via email. Long distance friends, well, it's sometimes easier to contact them via IM or just keep in touch by sending them photos. If my parents had not been so generous, I most likely would have gone onto a plan for less minutes, or even purchased a pay-as-you-go phone.

I won't vilify cell phones entirely. In an emergency situation, they are a handy, quick way to get help. As a single female who is terrible with car repairs, I have the constant worry that I'll be stuck in a situation where my car breaks down in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. That's one of the main reasons I feel I need to have a phone.

But that over-reliance that some people seem to have for their mobile phones- the people who always seem to have a phone glued to their ear in the car- that's just not me. So these past few days of being without a cellphone have not exactly been eye-opening or torture, but rather affirmation that yes, I don't need a cell phone.

It's beginning to feel a lot like....

October 19th, 2006 at 11:50 pm

I've decided pretty much against buying the aforementioned "lust item" $600 handbag. Mainly because it is getting close to the holiday season and I would feel a lot of guilt and anguish knowing that, on top of the gift-spending, I blew a huge chunk of money on a totally non-essential item.

Anyway, my goal this year is to be one of those people who finish their Christmas shopping early...or at least start early enough so I can keep my eye out for some good, early online deals. At least then I'll have time to cmpare prices for things.

Handbag Lust

October 18th, 2006 at 02:00 pm

I'm actually very surprised at myself, this has never happened before, but I'm actually finding myself drooling over a dumb handbag. It is a nice burgundy/purple color, which is something I've been looking for, it is large enough to be a work bag. It is a Celine bag that retails at $1150 or thereabouts, but I have the opportunity to buy it for about $550 (consignment). I love discounts but damn! this is $550 we're talking about. Money that could be spent on so many other things, such as the following list:

-Plane ticket to wedding that I must attend + travel expenses that will inevitably pop up
-Bridesmaid gown for aforesaid wedding
-Shoes and all that crap bride insists her bridesmaids wear so we all look alike
-Bridal shower stuff for the bridal shower that I have no idea how to coordinate and throw
-And in non-wedding related stuff, the inevitable Christmas holiday gift season is upon us...and I have too many brandname-happy family members to consider =(

Sigh. Sometimes I just want to be able to spend on ME...

My Savings Theory

September 23rd, 2006 at 10:31 pm

I love shopping but friends always make fun of how I never buy things when shopping in groups. And the main reason I prefer shopping alone is because I like being frugal and analyzing the intrinsic worth of my potential purchases with my weird algorithms (nerd!). I love being told I "look like a million bucks" when I only spent about $20 for the entire outfit.

Whenever I go shopping, one thing I do is use the "TALK" test when contemplating purchases. Not the most creative of names, but I've found this applies to almost all those past purchases where I've regretted spending so much for an awful item. TALK is an acronym where I ask myself if I'm feeling any of the following emotions as I shop:

Tired - Contrary to what some may think, when I am tired I tend to want to grab those items I've been hedging about and just pay and leave. Many times at the end of a long day of shopping, if I haven't made any purchases, I want to just go ahead and buy something, to justify this long, fruitless day at the mall/thrift store/garage sales. But don't give in to lax judgement! If you're tired, put everything down and GO HOME AND SLEEP!

Angry - I have coworkers who call this "retail therapy." Me, I don't tend to buy clothes when I am angry, but I do end up making other wasteful purchases of the food variety. Best cure is to go home and go running instead.

Lonely - This is my biggest downfall emotion. It does sometimes strike me that here I am, in New York City, surrounded by millions of people, yet I still feel alone. So, clothes become my dearest friends; they flatter me, they make me look good, and they always hang around (Ha ha!) with me. It has taken me years to curb this impulsive buying, which included forcing myself to take different routes while walking in the city (to avoid certain stores), to leave my credit cards and cash at home so I would have no money on me, but I have a long ways to go in fighting this.

"Keeping up with the Joneses" - From having once lived in a rather affluent area, I've noticed people who are particularly "brand name" happy. And no offense, but many times the logo is there, but the design and style is- whew! But people have to have it. Especially with handbags, I have heard women just go up to a salesperson and say, "I HAVE to buy a handbag today. I don't care how much it is, what is your most recent style?" Seeing people throw their money away on expensive items has made me even more aware of my own spending. I've learned, just from going through the broke grad student phase, that I shouldn't live above my means- especially when I can't afford it! Spending money for "image" is just wrong in my book.

So there's one of my shopping theories. If it sounds odd to you that I have such a system, well, yes I tend to be a nerd, but in the end, I'm saving money =)