Spring Forward

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Check out these new spring covers with SJP, Michelle Obama, Grace Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow and Freida Pinto styling on Vogue India. These ladies are fierce and the covers represent great art.

I love Spring. It represents the natural evolution from darkness to light. How refreshing! And  as a woman whose lived on the East Coast her whole life, it is so nice to move away from the frigid cold! This Spring is going to be big for me. I will finally  graduate from Drexel University (96 days and counting), I hopefully will be starting a new job, I get to work with a new round of rambunctious teenagers, and I will be launching an official Miss New Money promotional campaign!

With the turning of a new season I look forward to shedding the old and welcoming in the new. I’ll paint a wall in my cozy flat in Philly to breathe in new life and reflect the glowing sun. Rearranging the furniture always resuscitates my living quarters and how I feel about them. I get bored with arrangments quickly and by simply moving the couch and lighting lamps, I feel like I’m in a whole new place.

Digging the Color Scheme

Digging the Color Scheme - I think I'll try to recreate this for my place

I also like to give my whole house a good, thorough, scrub down. I wash from base board to ceiling fan, vacuum and sweep every crevice.

What I save for the last is the closet. I like to look for things were it’s apparent that I no longer need to to hold on to them. Maybe when I packed them up last year, I was a little nostalgic about all the good times had over the season, but will the love still be the same for the season coming up?

If the answer is no, it can go into one of three piles:

$ Salvation Army

$ Buffalo Exchange

$ Ebay

Now the first one, I am simply donating to a long standing org that benefits many people. I also must not forget to ask for a receipt. Donations are tax deductible and that’s money I get to keep in my purse. SO MONEY!

At Buffalo Exchange I can sell my items to the store. They in turn give you cash or store credit for future purchases. Once again, that’s money in my purse. SO MONEY!

And the ultimate barter exchange, Ebay, where, need I say it ?

While it’s not hard packing away winter sweaters and, dare I say it, long janes, the tough decisions come when you have to decide what to do with all of last year’s Spring and Summer items.  You will be surprised what you find, what you don’t need, and how much you can make off of it from Ebay. Sites such as Amazon are great for selling old books.

To sell her old designer clothes this finanshionista in hiding made her Manhattan studio apartment feel like a plush boutique
To sell her old designer clothes this finanshionista in hiding made her Manhattan studio apartment feel like a plush boutique

Some savvy ladies around the countries have actually been turning their closets into mini boutiques. An article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted females who once relished in their designer duds and now scrambled to sell them for cash. “$5 Ann Taylor pants to $30 Miu Miu sweaters and $100 studded 7 For All Mankind jeans” are just a taste of what one women was offering. Another made it an experience worth paying for by proving wine and champagne and tasty treats.

If you find that you can’t part with some of your favorite items how about breathing new life into them for less. Revamping old shoes and old clothes is easier than one may think. Need a new night slip? Take a pair of scissors to a stained shirt or re-use your fitted work shirts as a sexy alternative. New pair of shoes? If you wanted to be funky, you could re-sole your shoes in a flashy, bright color. Louie V ain’t the only one with that privilege!

Ask your local shoe maker to make your shoes new again

Ask your local shoe maker to make your shoes new again

Try a new style. Vintage will always be in. The best way to tailor your closet is to look for inspiration from current runways or past Even art books detailing the looks of the past can be great tools and will help you decide what to keep and what to dump.

Cleaning out your closet can be a spiritual cleansing. In 2009 the goal is to remove any excess and to get back to our core values of your life.

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One Woman’s Junk is Another Woman’s Junk?

Hopefully all is well and you  had a fabulous weekend, despite the remnants of Tropical Storm Hannah rolling through the East Coast. While Saturday was the indoor Sex & the City, Chicago, Dreamgirls, Across the Universe, Chick-Flick Marathon, Sunday was an absolutely lovely day. And what a perfect day for a Hamilton Street Yard Sale!

My lovely new “NYC in Philly Flat” (that’s the cool name for ‘apartment’)is located on Hamilton Street and in such a welcoming neighborhood that holds yearly block long sales. Now when I say block, I really mean ten. All of Hamilton St was closed off with budding entrepreneurs )and junk salesman).

"Yea. I'm rich b***h"

The tactics ranged from minimal eye contact to actually physically touching me. One lady shouted the whole day “Make me an offer I can’t refuse”. Among others, there was the “the salesman is always right” salesman. And the snooty, “no one can afford my prices” salesman. I like to call those the “Pretty Woman” types, based off the film.

Just walking the block, seeing the value that people place on their items and the value that I placed on those same items, it got me to thinking about the relationships that people have with their possessions and their money. What kind of relationship would you like to have with your money? What role would you like it to play?

Would you like it to play the role of the indicator: “flashy, flashy, I obviously have money” Or, the role of the provider: “regardless of what I wear, or where I eat, I can afford all expenses, even the unexpected ones”. That role is based off the reclaimed book “The Millionaire Next Door” , where the authors Thomas J Stanley and William Danko discuss living on one third of your income.

I personally want my money to play the role of the employee and the opportunist. Meaning, I want my money to work for me and not the other way around and provide me the flexibility and ability to make more money through various investment opportunities. Remember Mailbox Money?

I think everyone has a very different relationship with their money currently. Look at the US Government as an example. Now I’m not one to get too deep into political issues, but I read. The US deficit (pay me my money!) is swiftly approaching $10 Trillion! What kind of relationship do you think that is? “Big baller, shot caller”. And unfortunately look at what has trickled down to the American people. We are a nation of wannabe big ballers. Pretty soon the US is going to be dodging the phone in fear of bill collectors.

Think about it.

Finanshionistas Unite!

The other day I introduced a term to be added to every females vocab: ‘finanshionista‘. Now I apologize for all of those who were lost at first but have no fear. A finanshionsista (pronounced fi-nan-shun-knee-sta) is a female ( or male, why not?) that possesses the following qualities:

1) Unique personal style that many emulate but few capture the essence that is you

2) Frugally fashionable. Ladies we are taking back this word ‘frugal’. It is nothing to be ashamed of. It has gotten a bad connotation attached to it over the years but frugal can mean something so chic like ‘I never pay full price for anything’. Full price does not equal fashionable. But I digress…

3) Just as concerned as you are with your wardrobe you are even more concerned with your money, honey.

4) You believe that you can have it all: Manolos and mutual funds.

5) You love the character Carrie from Sex & the City, but secretly think she is ‘wildin’ for living way out of her means to afford it. Living paycheck to paycheck, in reality, is not that glamorous.

6) In line with #5, new money (and a new pair of “Oh my lordy!” shoes) makes you say: “Hello Lover….” (Am I alone on this one?)

7) You are passionate about creating what I like to call ‘mailbox money’. It’s the checks that you pick up from the mailbox along with Falls Victoria’s Secret catalog (who by the way has stepped up their game this Fall).

The list is a work in progress. For now, all of my aspiring finanshionistas, this is a good start. The combination of finance and fashion just encompasses the love I have for both. Finance has this connotation of being uptight, older females in stiff pant suits and a corporate cubicle. While fashion is exciting, new and ever changing. Well I work to make the two co-exist. My two loves can play nice together and help each other improve. Don’t ya think so?

Splurge or Save??

Nine West Gordon, Boutique 9

Stunning, T-Strap sling back pump on hidden platform sole with leather bottom. 4 1/2″ heel

As of yet, this is the first very expensive shoe that I am even contemplating on buying.

Influences

Ok, so the purpose of these posts is to be completely honest as to what is compelling you to purchase the item. Therefore, I have to admit, that when I first saw these shoes and fell in love it was fresh off the Sex and the City premiere. What also did not help was that a review posted on Zappos was from a woman who wore these shoes to the premier and got tons of attention. I love attention. Especially if it’s on my clothing.

Why this item?

At first glance, I thought the shoe to be unique, eye popping and very fashionable. I love the t-strap and the old flapper feeling the shoe exudes. In addition, I do not have any purple shoes and I’ve become much more welcoming to this color. Did I mention it was unique? And I love have different items, clothes and accessories that others do not.

And you need this because…

I can be honest: I do not need these shoes. This is purely an extreme want.

What are my Options?

Charging the cost of these shoes is not an option so I will essentially be paying with cash. Now, instead of buying these shoes I could:

(1) Transfer the money to my TD Ameritrade Investment Account. There I could buy about twelve shares of a speculative stock, stocks that are priced relatively low and are of high risk, I have been eying. Due to the nature of the stock, it could really pay off in the future. If the stock reaches its estimated target price I would gain about $6.00 in profit per share. SO, I could turn 140 bucks into $212. That’s a 51% return, found by taking the difference between the original and future price and dividing it by the original price. But the stock has is classified correctly for a reason, it’s all speculative.

(2) Add to my Emergency Fund. Your emergency fund is something that should consists of at least three months of living expenses. I have my fund in an online savings account with Amtrust Bank. Unfortunately I have been tapping into my reserve depleting it down to $600. Adding $140 would help boost my fund and increase my interest payments from the bank once again making money off of the starting $140.

(3) Pay down credit cards. Because I am sitting on about $2K in credit card debt, paying off $140 isn’t the most enticing or pressing issue. However, its a step in the right direction nonetheless. I am not being charged finance costs, because I am still on a promotional offer, so I wouldn’t be saving anything there.

(4) Add to my Roth IRA. I have an individual retirement account (IRA) with Vanguard. Currently it has about $1,900. I have been adding to it monthly since Summer 2005. This money would round it off to a nice $2,000. If I’m not going to sped it today, why not save it for tomorrow?

Splurge or Save?

Save. I’ve decided NOT to purchase the shoes. There will be others. Better ones. Things I have to tell myself to help the healing process. Also, I need an accounting and statistics textbook that just so happen to total up to the same amount of the shoes. It was fate.

Being a financially fit woman or attaining financial fabulousity is all about checks and balances. When faced with an item that you feel ‘speaks to you’ it is often quite difficult to make a rational decision. Taking the time to compare what else that money could be spent on also gives you the opportunity to get back on track with your financial goals and removes buyers remorse.

Do you have an item that you’re considering splurging on? Email me at somoney@missnewmoney.com with all of the details. Don’t forget to include a picture!

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