Wreckless Spending

7 Dec

There’s a lot of wisdom in the old saying, “Tis better to give than to receieve.”  Secretly, I wonder if the person who first said it never received a great gift.  Yet as I mature, I have to admit giving a thoughtful, clever, and crafty present gets me as giddy as a child who downed a box of candy canes.

However, sometimes I wonder if my knitted scarves, hats, and now socks are good enough.  I mean, how many scarves can I give someone Christmas after Christmas before it starts to get old?  Sure, I save a lot of money, try to use quality yarn (Lion Brand Home Spun), and consider colorful combinations that will suit the individual receiving the present.  And I can always fall back on making beaded jewelry or framing my photographs.  These are great gifts, right?  Of course (I think).   But I want to give more.

There’s something about a sale that makes me want to find a great item at a bargain price.  I’m not talking about some of those phony department store “sales” where the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) is ridiculously high, so a sale is just paying normal prices for overpriced stuff.  I’m talking about real sales where you can get real stuff for ridiculously low prices.  My inclination is to “stock up” on $1 wrapping paper at Joann’s (better than the Dollar Store stuff, and you get more paper for your money) and $10 pajama pants at Fashion Bug and $8 Christmas pillows at Boscov’s.  What if I need an impromptu gift?  What if I run out of pajama pants and have to sleep naked?  If Santa needs a nap on Christmas Eve, shouldn’t he get to lie down on my couch and rest his head on some quality holiday pillows? Or…what if all the shopping centers in the area simultaneously explode and I have to get a last-minute item?  See, it’s better to be prepared for all holiday emergencies.

$12.99 at Target

This “stock-up for savings” mentality, I’ve found, can lead to wreckless spending.  For example, yesterday I was at Target to get two items for my best friend and a hand vac.  I found everything I needed and was making a mad dash for the check-out when I stumbled upon the cutest pair of slippers I never knew I always needed–sock monkey slippers by Nick & Nora.  Are they not adorable?  After looking at the $12.99 price tag (that’s a deal, right?) I stood there considering whether or not I needed these slippers (yes!).  I have slippers at home and I could save my $12.99 + tax to get important things like gas for the car or you know, food.  I chewed on my fingernail in utter anguish; I wanted these slippers more than anything in the world, at least at that moment.  I fought the temptation, ran to the check-out, and didn’t look back.  See you later, sock monkey slippers!  And I left Target with a heavy heart.

I should have been proud of myself, right?  I didn’t spend wrecklessly.  I didn’t purchase something for me, especially while getting presents for someone else.  Still, I can’t get those affordably priced slippers out of my head.  It happened again last night.  I was innocently wading through all the e-mails from my favorite retailers telling me about their great deals.  I curiously clicked on Overstock.com’s “Free Shipping” offer and found a beautiful two-tone Fender acoustic guitar for just under $100.  I MUST HAVE IT!  I even went so far as to start to order it (for Sarah, of course…uh, right) when sanity took hold of my impulsivity and I cancelled the order.

And I don’t just want stuff for me, I want to buy presents for everyone.  Thirty second infomercials are the worst.  So far, I’ve decided that my loved ones need–a ProCaulk caulking set (it makes caulking look fun!), Snuggies (with a book clip light), a Big City Slider to make mini-burgers, ShamWow!, and PediPaws.  As you can see, the situation is clearly out of control.

I’m standing firm against retailers who are battling for my heart, mind, and debit card.  Buying something a little extra once in a while is OK, but wreckless spending only leads to huge credit card bills, higher interest rates, and actually paying $40 for that $12.99 pair of sock monkey slippers.  I’m saying NO to wreckless spending this holiday season…who’s with me?  Scream it with me while you’re decking the malls, “I am saying NO to wreckless spending.”  With one loud and clear voice, we can get our spending under control…as long as we can avoid the sock monkey slippers.

Addendum::  Since I first wrote this post, the sock monkey slippers went on sale for $9.99…I thought, what the heck and bought ’em? 🙂

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No Responses to “Wreckless Spending”

  1. MYALOU December 8, 2008 at 1:24 PM #

    ACTUALLY, NOW THAT YOU BROUGHT IT UP, I REALLY LIKED THOSE SNUGGIES WITH THE BOOK CLIP LIGHT!

  2. Amy December 8, 2008 at 1:33 PM #

    Like mother, like daughter! 🙂

    My favorite thing about the Snuggies is that you get one for $19.95 with a free booklight AND you get one Snuggie free…BUT you have to pay a separate shipping and handling fee of $7.95. Uhh…$15.90 for shipping…are they for real?

  3. chris wilson December 9, 2008 at 8:48 AM #

    Okay Amy,

    You and every other female in the world need to learn the discipline and ‘trick’ that is guy shopping. Its simple, it redefines the whole shopping experiance. If your cold, you walk in the store and buy a coat, you walk out and your not cold anymore. Thats guy shopping. We know what we are after due to simple inputs, we are cold, we know how to fix it, get a coat, we exicute simple plan. We do not go look for ‘other’ items such as a purse to match our new coat. The purse doesnt make us not cold, the coat does. The premise is simple, if you do not look, you do not buy and thus are not tempted into irrational impulse spending. Hmm, maybe I can turn this idea into a blog post of my own, HT to Amy.

    Chris

  4. Robot Dancers December 10, 2008 at 9:38 AM #

    AMY!!!!

    How do you do lady?
    I am with you on the no wreckless spending tip.
    The adults in my family are not even exchanging gifts.
    Good thing for me because wrapping up fondue pots and martini shakers just ain’t my thang.

  5. vincent January 8, 2009 at 6:07 PM #

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