Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The first thing I turn to in my daily list of reads are the blogs in my Personal Finance folder. I learn a lot - demystifying investing, thoughts on the economy, what others are doing to get out of debt or build up their savings, (anonymous) people's budgets and net worth. It helps to keep me on track, makes me give more thought to needs vs wants, and ideas on living a well-balanced life while putting off immediate satisfaction today for a comfortable (and hopefully early) retirement. I thought I'd share some interesting things I've found lately on the blogosphere:

It's the Economy, Stupid! An easy-to-read, high-level view of the history of the US economy. Go edumacate yourself.

FruGal posts on Frugal: So hot right now I have been made fun of in the past for my frugal ways (seriously, why pay more than you have to?), but turns out I was just totally ahead of the trend. People are always copying me.

Mrs. Micah writes how Women's Magazines sell Faux Frugality I love indulging in fashion magazines but often walk away feeling a bit down when scanning the prices of the clothes. The article highlights Marie Claire's "Splurge vs Steal" feature, where the "steal" is often a couple hundred dollars but is *such* a bargain in comparison to the splurge at $1500. Sometimes they do have pieces that truly are inexpensive, like a top from H&M, but everything they mix it with is pricey so the outfit is still outrageous. It's the same with home decor and wedding magazines. (Look at these beautiful wedding gowns! This Oscar de la Renta can be yours for $10,000! This Vera Wang is price upon request, but you know you deserve it for YOUR SPECIAL DAY!) Just once I'd like to see truly frugal finds.

I'm usually not tempted by things that are comparative bargains (except maybe once they fall under a certain dollar limit!). I'm a member of both Gilt Groupe and ideeli (let me know if you want an invite to either!), and I haven't come (too) close to buying anything yet. Lots of times the "bargain" is still something I would never spend (this Valentino dress is $2498, down from $10,550),

but I often see things in a range that are what I would normally spend, or are maybe a bit over but still a good deal for a quality piece you will wear for years (like this Valentino skirt for $198 down from $750 - still a little high for me, but a more realistic example)

(On a side note, I don't care how rich you are, I'd be pretty annoyed to buy something for $10k and *maybe* wear it once before it's reduced to $2500 for us commoners to partake.) Unfortunately you can't fully view the sales before they happen to pick something to snatch up, and the best steals quickly sell out. I have a few other tricks up my sleeve when it comes to clothes bargain-hunting that I'll save for a later post.

I mentioned that I do have my weaknesses at a certain dollar point, but Brown Eyed Girl and Money keeps me in check - even if it's only 25 cents and you don't need it, you've spend 25 cents on something that just adds clutter to your life. She recounts her struggle to walk away from a cashmere cardigan that was 50% off of $300 - and then she remembered that it was still $150 and that there will always be more sales.

Finally, check out Get Rich Slowly's review of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. Stuff is just stuff, and you wouldn't even miss it if you didn't know it existed. (That being said, I still check out sales but try to do so with a specific purpose in mind, and am usually successful at exercising restraint.) See how the world wide webs keep me on track?

Watch this video - You saw it - Natalie says that to tough out this economic storm I *need* to get a puppy. I want the furry white guy at 39 seconds.


FruGal said...

Hey, thanks for the mention! I really like your site too, I'm off to have a good look around - love the wedding porn links especially!!

Sarah said...

They also had one on kitties! Love it.