Pinching Pennies

Today I only have Two Questions..

What do you value when spending your money?


What's your spending personality?

Reading O magazine this week I realized my spending personality has evolved so dramatically that I am puffing out my chest a little bit. I mentioned to someone the other day, I haven't purchased a new pair of shoes in a year, maybe even longer than that, closer to 2 years.

Part of it is probably because I'm so picky when it comes to my shoes, hence the reason I am forging to design my own and secondly because I realize the things I had been spending my money on, lost their value compared to the way I viewed them a few years ago.

In my early 20's like the woman in the O magazine article, my spending style was, "I see, I like, I buy!"

No negotiating,

No is this the best deal for this item,

No is this product really worth the price tag.

I've always loved sales and the feeling of spending $500 on 10 items, rather than $500 on 1 item, however I never walked into a store with a budget. It was open range, if I like it and have enough in my checking account I throw it in the bag!

Now after perusing my closet and seeing how many of these items are now out of style, out of my age range, or just plain out of service, I'm no longer interested in just shopping to shop!

Do I value looking good, yes, but at any cost? No, at least not anymore.

For a long time I struggled in the midst of 2 distinct worlds.

In one world I valued memorable experiences and was willing to spend any amount of money on them, travel, concerts, museums, memories that would last a lifetime..

In the other world I liked when other people admired my style and wardrobe and especially when  I was making a classic, pretty, preppy, yet exclusive statement!

I think my direct dive mentally towards permanently living in the WORLD happened a few weeks ago, I was talking with my Director of PR, Alysia H. and she told me that in the first Pretty World Inc seminar, after I chastised her and made a mockery of her $200 Burberry Umbrella.... repeatedly... It made her realize that the umbrella had no power and never did. Her need to buy it was completely centered on other feelings!

Feelings that we all struggle with, wanting to fit in, feeling like you've arrived and deserve this item, feeling unable to compete before and now you can buy the stake to status that we all crave when you've never had anything more expensive than Alexanders your whole life!

By now most of you have heard me talk about my LV bag. The one that I waited years to buy, never felt I had earned the right to own one, because I hate seeing people who live in a facade of status items like LV when they have no real STATUS at all and I didn't want to be one of them. So last year I finally took the plunge and bought one.. walking out of the store with my brown bag I felt great..

Ivy league grad, 28 years old, making well above the median income for a family of 4 as just a single person, owned a house, with tenants for residual income... whew I was feeling myself,  then by the 10th day, the luster of the bag just left.

I realized the bag didn't really change anything, and the novelty had already worn off in less than 2 weeks! It wasn't really something I wanted because I wanted it, its something I bought because society subconsciously made me believe when you get to this level, THIS IS JUST WHAT YOU DO!

Alysia spoke about the time she saw me walk into a room to teach a seminar dropping the LV bag on the floor next to the podium. She was surprised as probably most people. I didn't even notice cause that's what I do with all my bags when they are too heavy.. *shrug* she realized at that moment that I did not value the bag for what it was supposed to represent, to me it was just another bag, and it holds absolutely no power over me!

Of course I like it cause its big and roomy, and of course I use it often cause shoot it cost too much for me to just let it sit in a closet, but the chance of me buying another one based on status? Slim to none..
Buying one for durability, function, and the lifetime warranty??? You betcha

In my new world I still value experience more than anything and am still willing to spend on that before anything else! Travel, concerts, cultural events, especially for my kids!!! And will search to find a discount on all of those things before I drop a dime, email me if want to know how I get cheap flights and FREE hotel stays across the US!

But now, I also recognize that my style, is not really measured by what brand I'm wearing or who admires it, but in the way I feel and the confidence I exude with it. That in my opinion is totally PRICELESS!

Does this juxtaposition of mentality help me spend less frivolously? YES
Does it help me save exponentially better than I ever have? YES
Do I feel deprived at all? NO

The best thing it does is make me think about the opportunity costs of every single purchase!!!

Every lunch I cook and carry from home to work, means another $50 saved a week...for my daughters ballet classes!

And that new LV bag, will make me miss out on 3 mini weekend vacations to PR, DR and VA which to me is surely NOT WORTH IT!!!

Carrie Pink
Pretty World Inc
Modern Day Supergirl

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