Simple Tips to Combat the Urge to Splurge

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This holiday season is especially unique to finanshionistas this year. It has been almost seven years since we experienced deals of this nature. And let me tell you, I am losing my mind! While prices haven’t hit the bottom (yet!), they have come down pretty low and it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and purchase items that may have been out of your reach before.  Or to buy shit you don’t need (yea I said it)!

I’ve come up with a few quick tips that can save you from overdoing it or simply reduce some of your costs this season:

Tips on Saving Fabulously

$ Unsubscribe to store emails

These emails flood my inbox daily. “20% Off Entire Order (Victorias Secret)”, “Free Shipping (Express Fashion)”, “25% Off Everything in Your Bag (Old Navy)”, “Holiday Wardrobe Essentials (Diamonds)”, etc. They just keep coming and everytime they do, I stop what I’m doing and visit the site. Usually putting a few items in my cart and proceeding to checkout. They got me!

Unsubscribing from these things will eliminate that sporadic thought that you need something from this store. You need to keep your money!

$ Cancel magazine subscriptions

These publications are designed to make you feel that you are missing out on the latest “it” products. So not only do they get you from the front end by committing to a One Year Subscription for a low price of $12.99 (“that’s 24 issues for free!”) but they get you monthly too for making you feel as though you are inadequate and without the necessary tools to be successful in life.

Girl, you better learn to speed read! The checkout line is the perfect time for me to catch up on what I’m missing.  If, after my breeze through, I’m still intrigued, I’ll go online or to my school library (where they allow non-school affiliated patrons) and read a lot of the articles for free. Now I do support a few mags like Black Enterprise (watch for me to land the cover one day), Essence and Ebony, but these are my exceptions to the rule. I still do not purchase them every month.  

$ Cancel cable tv

AHHHHHHHHhhhhhhh!!!! I know. I know. This may be your life line. Honey, if it is, please get a new life. Or at least find a new way of living. TV is the number one subconscious excuse as to why you are not accomplishing what it is that you want to. It is easily a mind distractor. While I’m admittedly lenient with myself when it comes to tv watching, a habit I am def in the process of breaking, cable tv opens up a whole ‘nother realm of distractions. Multi-lingual distractions. Distractions about things you would otherwise not be interested in. Save yourself the money (especially if you live alone).

If you still need the entertainment and variety that cable tv provides, look into Netflix. You can rent up to (at least) four DVDs at a time for low cost. They also have instant tv/dvd online for their subscribers. Best part, you can cancel anytime or even put your account on hold.  I tried it using a free trial period (it was actually free–no hidden fees) and loved it. So don’t sign up unless you do the free trial first.

$ Don’t buy anything without first doing a Google search

Yes coupons are fashionable. Before purchasing anything online (or at all), I do a Google search for that store and any corresponding coupons. I’ve saved hundreds from doing this. It can’t hurt to look.

$ Make edible gifts for the holidays

Recently, I volunteered to bring Chocolate Covered Strawberries to a networking event I was involved with. I had never done this before and it turned out to be a profitable venture. I churned some business out of the process. But your giftee will love the gift and eat it all up. Food is always welcomed at holiday parties too. Just buy the ingredients and express the holiday spirit through your creativity and by giving the gift of food.

Let’s remember what the holidays are about: family, food and thankfulness. Coupons, deals and steals are not listed. It is not all about how much you spend but rather who you spend your time with.

What’s In a Name?

nameLate night public access tv: the best thing to put a brain in overdrive, to sleep. I was watching Miss Suze Orman deliver the keys to success for an enterprising woman and her last tip, the most poignant one, was to “Say Your Name”. She argues that a man doesn’t have to worry about his formal title, while a female often hesitates to address another as Miss, Mrs, or Ms. On top of that, a woman’s name, a married woman’s name, is often lost to her husbands: Mrs Anthony Hamilton, for example.

I have to admit that saying my name is often something that I rush through or mumble over. I don’t savor the moment or deliver my name with a level of positive energy that lets people know what I am all about. Ladies, say your name today. Say it with pride and with distinction.

As I lay there after the program was over, I thought about why it is that women struggle to relish in their accomplishments or embrace their intellectual power. A few weeks ago I was asked to write a personal biography and only came up with about four sentences (and that’s on the high end!). If I can’t write about myself, then how will someone else?

There is something deeper here, ladies. Deeply rooted psychological concerns where women place themselves second and feel as though they do not deserve the credit that is due to them. I’m reading and researching now articles about personal branding, the idea that people and their careers are marked by a ‘brand’. What I have discovered is that personal branding goes hand in hand with finding out who you are as a person. Once you do that or are introduced to the “true you”, you can create a ‘brand’ for yourself and increase your chances of success.

It’s not self-improvement, it’s self-packaging and it will make you a successful enterprising woman.

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