Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The guilty spend.

I only buy J Crew hair clips. They are $10 dollars. Each. For plastic.

If my mother knew, she would kick my ass.

But they are worth it. I have thin-ish hair and they have perfect grip, have a certain weight to them that makes them feel more like an accessory than some Rite-Aid emergency hair gripper.

I also felt a deperate need for diamonds recently (ok... for a WHILE now). And even though we are all supposed to be saving, I bought a ring. Maybe it's that last-gasp before the belt tightening.

And even with belt-tightening, my shoe problem is still a problem. I tried to buy a sub-$100 pair of heels recently, and had to return them. Something about a plastic sole sucks the life out of me.

So there you have it. I still spend like an asshole. My mother would not be proud. She sent me an email recently imploring me to "stock up at Win-Co" and "think like a Pioneer." (Only an Oregon mom would say that.)

What is your guilty spend? What dumb thing do you insist on buying... something that would shame your depression-era grandparents? Have you tried to give something up? Is it working?

Spill it.

61 comments:

mappingkat said...

I am just the same. Seriously, I just placed an order for a freaking custom diamond ring. I have wanted it for years and have found a way to justify with my 35th this month.
Shoes too.

I think I am saving though by not buying the middle of the road cheap crap that only gets worn once. Actually now, I'm more or less buying only nice, quality things. WTF I say as my 401k loses half. Sweet priorites.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand. Every time I've tried to be "sensible" and buy a discount pair of shoes, I end up limping in agony and nursing blisters. Also, they look like crap after just a couple of wearings. I'd rather save on eating out and get a pair of shoes I'll love.

Anonymous said...

I say we live like the French, only buying tip top of the line stuff, just waaaay less of it. That's the step where I get all confused, and American, again...

*jen ~ Fifty-Cent Head said...

Great. Now I have to go spend way too much on a hair clip, because a) I am easily led and b) I am a spender, too.

Thanks a lot, Decorno. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

I am guilty of buying jewelry recently. At first I felt terrible about it, but now that I have worn the piece a few times, I realize it is a classic that I will wear forever. So I don't feel as bad. That said, my husband still doesn't know about it and he is absolved from buying me a Christmas/birthday/anniversary present for the next year. I like to think I did the work for him.

Melissa said...

I feel a little guilty... just got engaged Sunday evening. It's a beautiful diamond three stone ring, princess cut. Though I wanted my fiance to save his money I love the ring. We're planning on buying a house soon too. Spending lots? Yup. Worth it? Hell, I hope so. Happy? Oh yeah

the quarter rat said...

I've limited my trips to the little coffee place across the street to weekends and make my own at home - using their beans, though. I've also stopped buying wine by the case - if people want to come and swill wine on my balcony, they can bring their own bottles of wine. (I rarely drink on school nights, but that's more for health than economic reasons)

I'm still looking at a pair of Edward Greens for my Xmas present to myself.

Anonymous said...

ok, I have taken the practical road when it come to a handbags and have carried the same one for 4 years now. Till now I have not been able to spend on a GREAT "it bag" - could not bring myself to. I have mocked those young 20 somethings for walking around with that gorgeous $2,100 Chloe bag or $700 Kooba, knowing damned well they live at home and are in debt up to their eyeballs, (my assumption at least!!). Well I just bought the most fabulous Italian chocolate leather bag at $1560. THere I said it. My Polish depression era grandmother would kill me if she got wind.

Anonymous said...

So it's not just me? Phew.

I have stocked up on Diptyque candles (feu de bois and santal) for the coming long, hard winter ($65 a pop here in Canada). The parents would smack me hard if they knew.

But I've stopped my 'buy random things at Whole Foods and then take a cab home' routine.

My shoe problem is not even worth going into. But as I explained to hubby, black patent Prada slingbacks are not 'new shoes' per se, rather a 'wardrobe staple'. He remained unmoved.

Mitsouko

Mango Gal said...

I refuse to give up on my pricey face wash and face cream. My husband keeps telling me that Walgreens is just as good, whatever. These are the first two face products that haven't allowed me to break out like a teenager in 3 years...I can't bring myself to give them up.

Anonymous said...

I pulled a bunch of money out of my 401k in August and felt so guilty about it. Part of if it was to help a family member. That part - no guilt. But then I went on a spending spree with the rest of it. It was FUN. I seriously had not gone on a spree for over 10 years as I don't use credit for daily purchases (car and house yes, but that's it).

And of course, I felt horribly guilty about it. Until recently! If I hadn't pulled that money out - a big portion of it would have disappeared anyway. Spent it all on clothes, shoes and handbags. How irresponsible - love it!

Anonymous said...

Food. Love to spend obnoxious amounts on great food.

kayduh said...

MangoGal - please share these fabulous face products!

Anonymous said...

I just bought a Valentino bag. Saks had "Friends & Family" week recently so I thought I should lock in the 20% discount. And I've just been shopping overall but feel REALLY really guilty about it. My stocks are getting killed. It must be my way of dealing with panic.

Anonymous said...

Totally there. I just bought an Hermes scarf and some fabulous Jimmy Choo Patent Leather boots. I felt guilty as hell and then said f it. They are classic and I will wear the hell out of them. I will try and cutback on mani's, waxing and Starbucks since these are items purchase for the sake of convenience.

Sarah's Fab Day said...

I CAN NOT give up my haircuts and hair coloring. I've started going gray and there is no way I can handle it.

Also I will shop clearance but I have to dress my kids in cute, non-sensible clothing not from the clearance racks.

Anonymous said...

In the last few months, I have just started buying expensive face cream. Now I'm considering upgrading to the $400 cream.

Two days ago I bought a $1000 cashmere sweater from Stewart Brown, but it was on sale for $400! I think retailers are getting desperate, so now is the time for GREAT deals like that.

My landscaper told me that his irrigation guy is getting desperate and is bidding jobs at cost, just for the work. Now is the time to do home improvement projects too!

Valerie said...

Actually $100 shoes are a splurge for me, but I need comfort so buy heels from Sofft. But I bought an $800 bag this year and I love it.

My mother saw it but probably assumed it was a knockoff.

I've cut back on general clothing shopping since I don't need to dress for work. Jeans and cute tees and flip-flops. And the jeans are Levi's.

Anonymous said...

after reading all those comments I guess I know why America is in so much dept: shop till you drop!

Catherine said...

I love All-Clad Copper Core cookware, but I only buy it on sale. I haven't spent more than $100 for a handbag in 2 years, but I am getting that itch again. Buying shoes and dresses has been a problem area so cut back on food expenses when the going gets rough. It's gonna come out of me sooner or later:-D

Brilliant Asylum said...

I still feel guilty about a Jo Malone candle I bought this summer. I love the way they smell, but feel like a chump for spending that much on wax.

mhgdblog said...

where are these alleged J.Crew hair clips? I feel I must have them and cannot find them online!

I am equally as retarded when it comes to spending. I only buy J.Crew flip-flops. They are $16 a pair and made of rubber. Rubber. But yet, I justify it all the same.

Does it seem to anyone else that it is especially when you are broke that you find that must have pair of shoes, jeans, sweater, or whatever the hell else you really don't need? Damned economy...

AT said...

First I should note that it's totally different to be employed in a bad economy and unemployed in a bad economy. Because then you don't have a choice - you HAVE to cut back.

That said (and after pointing out I'm in the latter category), I was not able to give up 1. cable (any other time of year, sure. But in the fall, I can't. Football. Yes I'm that girl.) and 2. Espresso drinks, which I make at home and buy fancy milk for. It felt silly to be unemployed and still buying three different kinds of milk, but it's my thing. I don't think I'd be able to function without my lattes. Or my football. Well, I could, but it would be too hard to keep the depression away.

Richie Designs said...

I can't do cheap shoes any more. Just can't. You can disguise a Target tshirt but you can't put lipstick on a plastic sole.

I still cringe though that 200-300$ is pretty much the norm for a pair of shoes these days. That use to be the price of a pair of Louboutins.

The boots I want for winter are nearly the price of my rent. My mom would throw up if she even knew I was considering it.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have less of the best than more of the poor! [Quality, that is.]

That goes for everything. I'd rather have a smaller house with better finish work than a McMansion with crappy construction. Same for furniture, jewelry, clothes, shoes, bags, food...

my little apartment said...

booze and roadtrips.

JJ said...

I love you all and your high end shopping! You make me feel great!

Mapping and Melissa, I totally allowed my fiance to buy an extra expensive, kinda ridiculous engagement ring and I don't feel bad about it one little bit.

Decorno, I thought you bought TWO diamonds rings. That's one short of the set. Keep looking...

eric said...

decent booze and american apparel underwear. i pretend that buying a lot of vintage goods counterbalances a $15 pair of bright blue undies. ugh.

stljoie said...

Okay. I have to have major surgery next month and while I have good insurance via husbands employer I work part time so we will lose income we rely on. So my splurge was on some books from Amazon which I will have plenty of time to read.

Stacy said...

I'm redecorating my dining room. It's in the middle of my house, so I see it everyday. Everyday it mocks me. I must teach it who's boss by repainting, wallpapering, and furnishing it. Of course, I've managed to delude myself into thinking it's just a minor project which will requre little money since I'm not replacing the dining room table. Still, it shouldn't get too comfortable. Its day will come.

Annady said...

I just bought two pair of boots. Got them both for under $150 (not bad for Kors and Frye), but that's a ton more than the $60 I normally spend on my shoes.

Oh well... I tell myself that I'm saving tons getting them on sale. Plus, I'm trying hard not to shop for myself until after the New Year to make up for this.

Melissa H said...

My $65 hair conditioner and my $80 face lotion. :) Can't live without it! If I were a pioneer, my face would be fried!

Anonymous said...

-$150 a month on waxing (full leg, eyebrows, brazilian bikini)
-six new pairs of shoes in the last two months (the 40+ pairs in my closet just weren't cutting it.)
-five new dresses.
-insane bartabs/cab fares/gas expenditures/makeup purchases/too much money spent buying drugs (mainly blow) because the freshly waxed, new dress/shoes wearing me must go out and be seen.

I'm having such a blast.

Anonymous said...

What kind of conditioner? I've never seen $65 conditioner.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous 8:23 a.m. - please, please do not get the $400 face cream. It is not worth it (beauty writer here). Really.

Get something with retinol (RoC) if it isn't too harsh for your skin or Olay Regenerist (the micro sculpting cream comes in a pretty jar) and a good sunscreen like La Roche Posay Anthelios with Mexoryl XL or Neutrogena with Helioplex. But with super pricy creams you are paying for the pretty jars, not better technology.

Then you can spend the money you saved on more cashmere sweaters!

Anonymous said...

$500 on a new digital camera. Which I will use to document the things I will buy at my new haunt, Value Village.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Anon 12:07. I was afraid that the only way to know if the $400 cream was worth it would be to try it myself! My esthetician *swears* by it.

Is my $98 cream not worth it either? I wish there was better information out there.

Stephanie said...

Frye Boots.

Everything cashmere (regular wool makes me itch like nothing else.

Good sunscreen.

Good food.

Anonymous said...

Jenny Craig and my gym membership.

I hate my fat clothes, love my skinny clothes. I can't even zip up last year's boots thanks to calves the size of Duraflame fireplace logs. I am not going to buy new clothes or new boots until I can get my fat ass into what I already own. A pricy new bag won't make me as happy as a size 6 ass.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 12:31:

Here's a good skincare story from the New York Times.

Google:Skin Deep; The Cosmetics Restriction Diet
By NATASHA SINGER
Published: January 4, 2007

It's full of great information.

And your esthetician may love that $98 cream, but does she have your cashmere habit? :)

You can definitely go cheaper with skincare and get great quality, whereas cheap cashmere just means pilling or itching. Expensive cashmere all the way, baby!

Good luck!

Holly @ Maison James said...

I buy most of my clothing at Goodwill, but I have to have my La Mer. I'm vain enough to say, it makes everything right in the world. Ditto on Narciso Rodriguez For Her perfume. And custom window treatments - skimping there just bites you on the rear.

melissa said...

I only wear J.Crew headbands. They are around $20...for solid plastic, at least the hair clips have metal clasps! but seriously, they are the only ones that don't give me a headache - and I'm convinced that they mold to your head...but it could be my imagination

Decs said...

YES! ROC is so, so good. And so is Olay Regenerist. I agree with our lurking beauty writer here.

couchseattle.com said...

yo eric,
Try H&M undies. Now that Target went and changed their fantasmagorical merona boxer brief line H&M is the only affordable option in the game. In other news worst purchase I've ever made was a pair of $190 Paul Smith sneakers at "Ian" in Fremont. Those fuckers looked beat to shit in three months. I'm a chucky T man for life now... Though Lacoste has some great white sneaks for $110 and if I could afford the $440 Prada sneaks at Nordies this season to show the extent of my douchery I'd probably spring for'em.

Anonymous said...

omg, you people sure know how to waste money.

marlazz said...

I watched Suze Orman on Oprah and was terrified. Had a few sleepless nights. Badly in need of retail therapy to cure my fears, bought this last weekend:

1) Little black dress to wear during the holidays, from Banana - $185 less 30% disc that my 16yo gets from working at the Gap
2) Spanx full slip to wear under LBD - $90
3) Black Aerosole suede boots - $120 - b/c it will surely snow in Toronto. On sale from $180.
4) Jessica Simpson Hairdo clip on extensions - $120 - b/c my hair is thinning from the stress
5) Still looking for statement necklace to wear with little black dress.


On the other hand,
decided to save the $200 I wanted to spend on 6" open toe patent heels that would look perfect with little black dress. Instead, I'm wearing 4 yo black killer stilettos that I only wore twice b/c even if they're absolutely gorgeous my feet hurt just looking at them. I'm wearing them around the house to break them in.

Instead of getting a manicure, bought OPI 'tickle me francey' polish which is btw the perfect nude shade! saved some money there...

Geez.

Anonymous said...

What is with straight men now saying "undies"?

toile & desire said...

I keep going to Italy every year. And New Orleans. nd NYC. But I will forgo Paris and London until the economic crisis subsides a bit.

Oh and I'm drinking $10-$15 cava and prosecco instead of expensive champagne.

I'm also shopping at regular supermarkets instead of whole foods.

Anonymous said...

Starbucks.

ace said...

I'm college student with only a work study job and I just bought a pair of beautiful Frye boots with my credit card. I haven't been to the grocery store over a month... But none of this matters because according to some, I don't live in "real" America thusly not bothered by this "real" economic crisis.

Anonymous said...

"I haven't been to the grocery store over a month"

So your point is...

You have an eating disorder?

marlazz said...

Williams Sonoma creamy hot chocolate - so comforting. We go through a $20 can every week. Nestle's hot choco won't do. But it's cheaper than going to Starbucks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that NY Times article. Why is it so easy to believe that $400 face cream is worth it? I want to believe!!

David said...

I still buy good clothes, but I rarely pay full retail. Bluefly.com when I know what size I wear, Halls and Mark Shale here in town because everything takes a markdown eventually. The JCrew sale rack is usually good to me too.

I've been looking for the right man bag for 2 years, when I find it I'm buying it, sale or not.

Anonymous said...

A man bag is difficult; sometimes one must pay retail.

Anonymous said...

ugh, 1.5g's on a last minute vacation to san francisco & surrounding areas.
It was so worth it.

Ana said...

I want photod and details!

Recent splurge: gray knee-high boots. Dude...I needed them!

Anonymous said...

I must confess that I don't mind spending a lot of $$$$ on Bedding, Boots and Booze.

Decs said...

The trifecta!

- Decorno

kym said...

i just bought my OWN pilates reformer...so completely un-recession. i was hoping the neighbors did not see the freight truck.

i cannot buy cheap cosmetics. have been splurging since my college days and i think it pays off because people consistently mistake me for being 10-12 years younger than i am. i have not bought the $500 night cream yet. that does sound like an asshole-ish expenditure, but check with me in another 10-12 years.

Down Comforter said...

lovely looking stuff