I'm trying trying trying to start saving SOME money and stop myself from impulse buying, but the urge is so great it's like standing 'neath a waterfall and trying to stay dry using only a Kleenex. Wah.
Anyway, Kara Kurcz of Solas Fashion and ClosetKarma has helpfully laid out the 5 Cs of the recessionista -- those are: Crafty, Careful, Charismatic, and Cash Conscious.
And she's also prescribed five tips for living the thrifty yet stylish life. Her tips include being CRAFTY and shopping your closet, shopping CAREFULLY and not buying stuff that will fall apart (seriously, those cheapie buys add up) exuding CHARISMA -- asking for $$ off at the register (my mom always did this, and as a kid it HORRIFIED me, but now I realize it's just plain smart, and I do it, and it works), bartering, and having clothing swap parties -- fun, but I try to avoid them since I often want to get rid of stuff; they're a great idea though if you want new stuff. Plus, it's a fun excuse to get drunk.
Finally, her fifth tip is being CASH CONSCIOUS, and she's helpfully laid out five steps to sticking with your budget:
1.) DO NOT BUDGE ON YOUR BUDGET. Create a budget for yourself and stick to it. Some great websites for budget making are betterbudgeting.com and mint.com. Both are free and Mint actually sends you alerts when you’ve gone over BUDGET!
2.) 5% OF EVERYTHING YOU DO SHOULD BE FOR YOU! No matter how bad it gets set aside a little money for you. If you do not do this every week, it will back fire. You will either feel bad about yourself, or binge shop later.
3.) NO IMPULSE BUYING! Just like you don’t go to the grocery store hungry, do not shop without a clear idea of what you need, want, and are willing to buy.
4.) MINUS THE MULTIPLES: A Recessionista knows no matter how good the deal, she doesn’t need 4 of them! Unless you are giving the rest away as gifts... no need for 2 or 3 of the same shirt in different colors. I took a poll once and discovered more than half of the women who got suckered into “multiple sales” rarely wear all the items they purchased.
5.) VIVA LA DIVA! No matter what.... there are cash conscience ways to improve your life. If you can not afford a new suit for that interview? Buy a hot new color lipstick to make you feel new. Get up an hour early to set your hair like you’re going to the inauguration ball! There is a reason make up sales sore in times of trouble... just a little lipstick can go a long way!
Point three -- no impulse buying -- is sort of like making pasta from scratch -- a great thought in theory but it's simply not realistic in practice. However, you can't argue with the idea of having a clear idea of what you really need.
Now... if only she'd post about how the FUCK one can separate needs from wants.
... Kay... back to Windows shopping/ browsing.