A Life of Style: The Recessionista Files


Disposable Income...Where Art Thou?

I used to have disposable income after payday but lately that extra money is becoming harder to hold on to and I fear it’s bordering on urban legend status. Everything is so expensive! There was a time I was able to treat myself to a new outfit or a MAC e/s on a very regular basis, sadly that is no longer the case. I must accept the fact that I am a Recessionista.

As much as I like designer bags, Via Spiga shoes, and department store makeup, I must resign myself to only buying when there is a sale. Last week I was at the Gap and saw this sweater, it hurt my heart to have to leave it at the store but I just couldn’t make that investment. Once it goes on sale I’ll buy it but for $68 or $74.97 which it would cost once Chicago’s 10.25% sales tax is added - it will look cute hanging on the rack.
My last grocery bill was $64.19 and I barely had any food. When I put everything away I was literally looking at a refrigerator that still needed more food. I left the store with three bags. I could kick myself for leaving my coupon caddy at home. Yes I’m clipping coupons and watching my pennies closely.

On Friday I went to Nordstrom and wanted to cry as I passed by the MAC counter, okay, maybe crying is an extreme but I definitely felt a pang in my heart. You don’t even want to know how bad I was feeling when I walked by the Bobbi Brown counter. I just headed upstairs to the cafĂ© and ordered my salad because there was no sense in torturing myself. Although I have to give myself props for not even looking at any makeup. One look and my credit card would have been leaping out my wallet making a purchase.

Luckily my product junkie cravings can still be fulfilled with the constant BOGOs at CVS and Walgreens and drugstore brands Cover Girl, Maybelline, L’Oreal, and Revlon have coupons in the Sunday paper. As a recessionista I'm now finding creative ways to afford small luxuries so I brown bag lunch at least twice a week so that I can have the opportunity to go out for drinks a couple of times a month. I still get my biweekly mani/pedi and using the concierge in my building I found an esthetician who only charges $12 for eyebrow waxing (she's amazing too!!!!!), and my weekly hair appointment is non-negotiable. I’m on a budget and no amount of crazy economy will have me rocking Ugly Betty brows, jacked up hair or ragged hands and feet.

Have you discovered that you are a Recessionista? How are you coping?


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