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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.
As 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!