The Careful Editor

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Save or Splurge? TCE edition May 7, 2010

Filed under: saving — raffydarko @ 4:50 pm
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Personal finance/frugal sites abound with comprehensive lists of the Save vs Splurge variety. I do have some personal guidelines myself and would like to share them – actually, my splurge is not an actual splurge, more like “choose well, buy good brands but find cheap ways to get them”. eBay in this matter is a good friend of mine! No need to ever break the bank.

Do you agree with my “rules”?

cotton tops: save

jeans: splurge – cheap jeans often are a sloppy fit, hems get “wrinkled” soon, the cotton is thin

wool sweaters: splurge – I’m extra-picky about winter sweaters, since I can’t stand itchy wool but also synthetics, also in blends; so I just own a limited number of sweaters and cardigans in cashmere and merinos which are lovely and last years

bra: splurge – small or big, your breasts deserve to be held and shaped by the best bras! A good one really makes the difference even under a simple T-shirt (wink wink)… and lasts long

panties: save

socks: save – hell, some of my best socks were bought at the supermarket

stockings: splurge

shoes: splurge – it’s a given, no? I’ve had my share of hurt, bleeding feet, something that can ruin anybody’s day. Not just flats and heels, but also cheap sneakers can hold bad surprises

makeup brushes: splurge – try applying powders using the softest and thickest brushes and see

hair brushes: save – I don’t think those overpriced, luxury brushes really make the difference. Or do they?

body lotions etc: splurge – no need to explain my cosmetic choices again

scrub: save – or do it yourself with salt and body lotion/oils!

umbrellas: who knows? I’ve had fancy umbrellas which broke soon, fancy umbrellas lasting forever, cheap umbrellas of poor quality, cheap umbrellas which just were indestructible…

eyeglasses: splurge – I’m not fond of designer stuff, but designer frames are just another world, and since eyeglasses have to stay on my face during all my waking hours, they better be the best


Confessions May 4, 2010

Filed under: TCE — raffydarko @ 4:54 pm
Tags: ,

In 2009 I’ve been really good. I spent 400 euros for new clothing, shoes and accessories – totally. Never been so virtuous before, considering that I really like to shop for clothes. In 2010 I’ve been… less good, since I’ve spent more or less 400 euros, again – but it’s only May the 5th! Actually 1/5 of this sum was spent on my new padded jacket alone, which was a great buy and a much needed one also – I found it on sale in an outlet. The rest were mostly tops and a pair of flats ’cause, well, I just needed something nice.

No shopping for now, just swapping – trying to hold on as long as possible. Ah, temptations…


The editor and the gadget fan: a love story April 23, 2010

Filed under: psychology — raffydarko @ 11:09 am
Tags: , , , , ,

You know how [hetero] couples are in the matter of shopping: he likes electronics and covets the new gadgets, she loves to buy things for the home. But what if the same person likes both electronics and home items and it’s him?

In that case, welcome to my life! I live with a wonderful man, who among many qualities, loves to cook, irons his own shirts, knows how to shop for groceries. Sometimes I make fun of him for his “feminine” qualities, but seriously, he’s great, so who am I to complain? I’m with someone who likes to go to Ikea. And yet… I see his love for new shiny gadgets as slightly dangerous. He’s drawn to fancy kitchenware as well as to a complicated scale which calculates BMI; he’d love to get a bigger LCD tv but also a new laundry basket, because, he told me, he realized he doesn’t like that much the one we bought 6 months ago for our new house. Didn’t you like it in the shop?, I asked. The answer was: it was cheap. Now that we have a landline we need a new phone: he’d like to have one upstairs and one downstairs, while to me one downstairs is enough (the house is not very big after all) – in this case he wants a very cool one. I’d settle for a good one.

This can be a bit maddening sometimes, as I’m really trying to save money, since the area where it’s easier to save is the unnecessary purchases – including the things which work fine and don’t need to be substituted yet. If I can’t count on that, I start getting nervous. I hate to be wary, to feel like I’m the one with a “short arm” (translation of an Italian expression, I don’t think I have to explain its meaning), who can’t enjoy shopping for new things every once in a while. It’s not even true – I’m not that kind of person (after all I’m one girly girl who likes to get new clothes and shoes), I just would like the wants not to outweigh the needs.

And honey, if I start saying no to everything I’m afraid I’ll say no to the good ideas (for example you’re a better cook and know better than me what’s useful in the kitchen), and I don’t want that either. So I just say, let’s discuss our purchases without getting immediately too enthusiastic and try to correct each other’s most… devious tendencies. 😉