The sexiest thing you can own – Yourself

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It’s hard when the various blog awards come out – I don’t know whether to participate because there never seems to be an appropriate category. I am not a beauty blog – yes I’ll write about it but I am not one to go gaga over the new MAC line or Marc Jacobs perfume. As for fashion… well I think I may be the only blogger left on the East Coast who is NOT at New York Fashion Week today. When it comes to shopping… well I do suggest items and ways to update a wardrobe with purchasing new pieces, but I personally don’t enjoy shopping too much, and I don’t believe in living outside your means.

I don’t believe in purchasing something purely for the name it is associated with, that some magazine tells me it is the “must have” of the season, or to impress others. I really do think that with purchasing less, but higher quality items you can have an amazing wardrobe and be stylishly set for whatever live throws at you… no matter your income.

split refunds imageAs many of you fellow Americans know, we all should be receiving rebate checks from the government in an attempt to stimulate the economy with our manic shopping. I know many friends who are already salivating over the “It Bag” or PS3 of their dreams, ready to cash that check pronto. I have had fellow bloggers recently ask me what I plan to do with my rebate… shall I go on a Sephora shopping spree? Get a new designer purse for spring? Buy 50 more short little shift dresses and pairs of wide-calf boots from Duo?

Nope, nope and nope.

I don’t think the way to solve our country’s economy is to go shopping. Heck, the majority of items we all desire are ones we really don’t need in the first place and can very well be produced in another country (therefore not doing as much good for America as the government would wish). I also feel that what I do with this money should help not just the economy, but the country or world as a whole.

I am a subscriber to The Simple Living Network; an e-newsletter that offers easy tips on making your life simpler and environmentally friendly. They have started a Don’t Buy It campaign that encourages everyone to use their rebate for good. From their website, a few ideas on how to spend that check:

Do your part; let the politicians and special interests know you are not going to take it any more. Show them a band-aid on a broken system will not fix it. Put your rebate to work in ways they do not expect.

Here are several ways to use your rebate to make REAL CHANGE . . .
• Pay down high interest credit cards or other debts.
• Put your rebate in a savings account.
• Donate your rebate to those working to end poverty, promote environmental responsibility, peace, justice, or equal rights for all.
• If you must buy something, purchase goods and services that support your local economy or save money, energy and resources in the end:
• Locally grown fruits and vegetables
• Fluorescent light bulbs
• Water heater blankets
• Water saving showerheads
• Insulation (and a local, self-employed contractor to install it)

If you are like many I know, this rebate will be a great way just to get out of the hole and be in the black. If that is you, I am thrilled to know this money is coming your way. For those who have budgeted this year and are okay without the money… I encourage you to consider one of the options above.

I am a recovered shopaholic. I believe I have mentioned this before on this blog, and did discuss it recently in an interview for Budget Savvy Magazine. Though I have lived the past several years within my means, saving up for items and searching for sales I still carry some debt from my Must Have Now past. I hate being in debt, paying interest on items I bought a decade before and usually no longer own. It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I think of all the clothes I had purchased and since donated or even tossed, the shoes that stretched out or became dated, the little tsochkes I purchased to jazz up my first post-college apartment and now have in the attic or given away to friends.

It’s awesome to have a new purse, a fabulous pair of shoes or a lipstick from the new Clarins line; however it is far more chic and sexy to own yourself. It’s amazing what reduced or no debt can do for a woman – her skin is radiant from a good night’s sleep, she has better posture, a beautiful engaging smile for all. She cheerily answers her phone on the first ring instead of checking Caller ID for collectors, and she looks forward to the mail every day because it may bring a favorite periodical or card from a friend, not a Second Notice or Past Due statement.

Whatever you do, be chic with your rebate – as with any purchase, think before you spend and make that item be worth your time and money!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Totally agree with you. Only found your site today, just love it. So refreshing to find someone who realises that being a larger size doesn’t have to mean you are either frumpy or pining to be thinner. Keep up the good work!

  2. “Do your part; let the politicians and special interests know you are not going to take it any more. Show them a band-aid on a broken system will not fix it. Put your rebate to work in ways they do not expect.”

    I couldn’t agree more, Allie. Great post!

  3. Very good post. My husband and I have been living “bad debt free” for the past three years–we have one credit card that we keep encased in a bag of ice in the freezer for absolute, dire emergencies, and have been making large payments on our student loans. It really does make you feel good. Even when I buy something impulsive (like my fabu new boots I’m wearing), I know that I can afford it and that they are truly “mine.” It’s an awesome feeling.

  4. Like everyone else, I am so impressed with this post, and with your article for Budget Savvy magazine. Aside from the excellent advice (for which you will probably get an FBI file for being subversive), your writing is very engaging and easy to read… any signs of a book deal?!

    Off to check out the Simple Living Network.

  5. Ditto to all the great post comments.

    I will be using my rebate primarily to pay down debt.

    Except that I might have to buy a few items of clothing due to a change in eating habits that has an extra perk of some weight loss. When I purchase clothes, I will definitely use the “less is more” philosophy and go for long-term value.

  6. I have only recently started to read your blogs! I love them!
    In the last two years I was forced to live within my means and repay my debts! My wardrobe (and all of my other possesions) mean so much more to me now, as I truly own them all!

  7. What a great post! One of the reasons I read your blog is b/c you’re encouraging women to get away from the vicious cycle of following fashion trends and just be themselves; wearing what flatters and fits instead of what’s trendy.

    I love the title of this post, especially as I came to realize what was truly meant by it as I continued to read. Three cheers for Allie!

    p.s. I am almost done paying off credit cards and other bills; hopefully by next month!

  8. Allie: Agreed! I have chosen to save my rebate in my savings account.

    A few years ago, I just started buying, buying, buying. I wasted a lot of money and I’m still getting rid of things that were impulse purchases.

    My goal for the past six months or so: make a little go a long way. Your blog inspires me to continue toward my goal as does this post. Thanks!

  9. That is one of the best posts I’ve read!

    I’m a 20something who has a penchant for nice shoes (and sweaters, and skirts…), but I’ve recently went on a 6-month clothing hiatus because I’ve realized that buying more and more stuff doesn’t really add to my quality of life all that much.

    Now I’m trying to save more money for goals and experiences.

  10. Great article, Allie. I’ve nearly always lived within my means and it’s very reassuring to know that all the bills can be paid on time with a little extra in the bank in case of emergencies.

    About Fashion Week, I was surprised to read how many invites other bloggers have received — I understand it counts as cheap publicity, but I didn’t realize that everyday bloggers would be taken as seriously as big-money media.

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