I just got waxed. Everything off. Here’s a picture of Stephanie in action:

getting a brazillian

I love Stephanie because she is fun to talk to if I feel like talking and she leaves me alone if I feel like sending emails on my iPhone while she waxes. Or taking pictures.

I love the feeling of being neat and tidy after waxing. Because I feel like if my body is neat and tidy then my life is neat and tidy. Which is, of course, not true. I’m not sure anyone’s life is neat and tidy. But I like the idea that I can buy the illusion that I have things pulled together.

The problem is that waxing is expensive, and it’s a recurring expense. And I’m working on keeping my expenses very low so that I can start another company. Because a startup is really difficult to keep funded, and if you are supporting a family on a startup salary, it’s very scary.

But I keep feeling I’ve already cut as much as spending as I can. Does everyone feel that way?

But look, I moved from NYC to a farm. There are no stores here so I have to go to eBay at 2am for something to qualify as an impulse buy. There are no avenues for splurging on spoiled children beyond buying an extra dog or donkey. But still I find avenues to extravagances that I hate giving up.

It’s hard to be a grown up. It’s hard to give up stuff I really like buying. I feel like all budgeting advice is like all career advice: Be a grown up and make hard choices. If you want to have a stable income then you can’t launch your own exciting new company every five years. If you want to live in NYC then you have to do a job that earns a lot of money. I accept these tradeoffs very well for careers, and then I bitch to people who don’t do as well as I do in the making-choices department.

But when it comes to buying things, I’m not that good. I bought my son a two-thousand-dollar violin even when I didn’t really have enough money. I wanted him to have a good violin because he works so hard during practice.

In my head the violin is like the waxing. I get fixated on needing it.

Some of you will judge the violin as extravagant. Others of you will say the violin is fine but the $200 knife was absurd. I felt like I had to buy it, though, because I cook meat every day and we don’t have a good knife for slicing.

It’s easy to judge other peoples’ spending because if you don’t have an emotional connection to someone else’s purchase, it looks like a lame obsession. For example, I rarely go out to dinner. Maybe once every three months. So your dinners look extravagant to me.

I’m a girl of action, though. And I like a list of goals. So here are five ideas that have helped me to cut down on my spending:

1. Buying luxury items makes us mean.
When we are thinking about luxury items, we are less likely to be considerate of other peoples’ feelings, according to Roy Chua, from Harvard Business School. He says this research gives companies reason to decrease spending on Jets and high-end client entertainment. I think this research also shows why I actually make my life worse by even considering the $10,000 oven that I’ve coveting. (And to make you a better person, I am not providing a link or a photo of it because it will adversely affect your empathy.)

2. Creating money problems leads to divorce.
A couples therapist told me the top three causes of divorce are money, sex, and in-laws. This makes sense to me. If nothing else, entrepreneurs have a very high rate of divorce, and entrepreneurs have routine money problems, and I know you know that I am not above using a syllogism to prove a point. But there is backstory to those causes of divorce: Really, the cause of divorce, every time, is lack of self-knowledge and self-regulation. The money, sex, in-law stuff are just visible symptoms of the invisible emotional problems. What this tells me is that if I don’t get a handle on the emotions that drive my spending then I will not have a handle on the emotions that keep a marriage together.

3. Catalogs are evil.
When I moved from NYC to Madison, WI, I was shocked that the only billboard ads were for Budweiser. I knew that moving the farm would make me totally out of touch with advertising messages, and, therefore, with American culture. So I spent a day subscribing to all the catalogs I could find. Flash forward to me receiving five catalogs every day: I didn’t know there were cute little lamb butter molds until I saw them in a catalog. Pictured on a dinner table filled with love and good cheer and people who were not fat even though they ate butter. I wanted those butter molds. And everything else in the catalogs. So I throw out catalogs immediately. When I am feeling strong.

4. Spending less is better than earning more.
One reason I fail to curb my spending is that I’m great at earning money. I seem to have an endless ability to dream up one more way to get $10K really fast. But I never have a lot of money. My first tip-off that this is normal is the research from Richard Easterlin that everyone feels like they need to earn 15% more in order to feel financially secure, regardless of how much money they make. But here is more research to quell my earning habits: Sonia Lyubirmisky, psychologist at University of California, writes that the more money we earn the less we are able to enjoy small pleasures of life.

5. Having a lot of stuff is not cool.
The first thing about it not being cool is that we are in an economic meltdown, and even William and Kate are skimping on their honeymoon. Also, the more stuff you have, the more you reveal that you have a problem feeling loved, according to research from Margaret Clark, psychologist at Yale. (Which makes me feel emotionally superior to everyone that I have so few things in my house.)

But also, we know that buying experiences is more meaningful to us than buying things. Which is why I come back to Stephanie, time and again. Because I leave with no physical object, just that feeling that I can conquer the world.

 

 

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  1. Sarah Roberts
    Sarah Roberts says:

    I get gel nails, which is the reoccurring luxury that makes me feel ‘neat and tidy’ …and makes me think I have people fooled because they see a put together version of me. Everything else about this post applies 100% to my life. $2000 violin? Of course you needed that. $200 knife? Tradespeople spend tons of money on their tools, so how is this different? I identify totally …

  2. Brian S Hall
    Brian S Hall says:

    You didn’t answer the most important question: how recurring an expense;-)

    But this post is a bit of a dodge. It’s supposed to be about “decreasing your spending” but is really how we judge the spending of others.

    Expect this ‘problem’ to grow: http://bit.ly/gcTHSM
    (thoughts on how social media and smartphones effectively publicize all our purchases and thus impact how we judge even close friends).

  3. Tzipporah
    Tzipporah says:

    Over the weekend, I learned that stressing all the time about having to be responsible for other people’s well-being (ie., being a grownup) is making me bitchy.

    And that no matter how little responsibility I have, stress in general makes me bitchy.

    So the solution is not to buy less, or earn more, or cut back on work, but to learn how to be happy and not anxious – to really believe that All Is Well. Which, like convincing ourselves that luxuries are not necessities, is easier than it sounds.

    We’ll see how this goes when we’re a very poor grad student family next year sharing 650 square feet in Santa Barbara.

  4. amy l The ParmFarm
    amy l The ParmFarm says:

    Penelope — money is such a great subject!! I am bad at spending it. I am always having buyers remorse. I always ask myself do I ‘need’ it. Of course I don’t. I have tried to get better at buying things I don’t need as a way of nurturing myself — but it hasn’t come easy. I never even had a manicure, let alone a pedicure until a therapist convinced me it would be a good exercise in learning to nurture myself. And even that was kind of short lived. My husband, on the other hand, loves to shop. He always says ‘do you want to go shopping?’ And I say ‘For what?’ … He can usually come up with something…but nothing that we need. I have tried to explain that I was not raised to shop for sport. But I am also trying to meet him half way because he buys me stuff (that I don’t need — but I usually like — but I still want to return) and I feel like it’s just his way of saying ‘I was thinking of you’, which I appreciate.

    I think the beauty of your post, and your wax, is how much it serves you. It’s not just about getting waxed, it’s about how you feel after you have done it. I know people who spend a lot of money on stuff — but never feel better, and people who can’t spend a dime, and don’t feel good about that either.

    So, while the idea of getting waxed ANYWHERE pushes me over the edge, ENJOY!

    Amy Parmenter
    The ParmFarm

    • Brigitte
      Brigitte says:

      It strikes me that you have a very bad therapist. Just because spending gives many people a quick sort of happiness, it certainly isn’t nurturing.

      I’m sure you can find other ways of nurturing yourself and your family, without pushing your household into debt. Cooking, playing a game, taking a walk and talking.

      • Amy Parmenter
        Amy Parmenter says:

        Brigitte: Who said anything about pushing my family into debt? Wow. Huge assumption. And completely off-base. I have always been a fabulous saver. I buy very little and always measure the ‘need’…but apparently do not do well in assessing the simple need to feel deserving of a treat that is not a necessity per se. Oviously my therapist thought — and i think rightly so — that I would do well to ‘treat’ myself occasionally with the same generosity I show others.

        For you to suggest that I don’t understand the simple (and free) pleasures of walking, talking, etc…feels insulting and judgmental.

        We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

        Amy Parmenter
        The ParmFarm

  5. Melissa Breau
    Melissa Breau says:

    If you’re really have trouble finding new ways to cut and really want to (although it sounds here like you’re not sure if you really want to) start tracking your spending. At the end of the month, once the emotional appeal to the things you bought is over, look at the list and ask yourself which items were worth it and which you probably could have done without.

    The items you could have done without? Don’t do those again.

    The other alternative is to look for ways to do the things you like for less. Example, I do my own eyebrows rather than pay someone to wax them on months when I’m feeling guilty about expenses.

    • Lauryn Doll
      Lauryn Doll says:

      Thanks for the “Story of Stuff” link.
      Like you, it wasn’t until I was forced to re-evaluate my attachment to things I owned during a time I had no car and was forced to move from Atlanta to New Mexico after moving from 2x already in the past few years.

      At this point in time, I agree experiences are more important than items… and that the experience of making a big purchase is much more valuable than the purchase itself.

      Back in New York again, I’m an increasingly minimalist person. I think I refer to it as quality minimalism. I just want the best of everything that is essential and am open to becoming less and less attached to things that don’t have much value in the long term anyway.

  6. Andy Cochran
    Andy Cochran says:

    This is an article that all Americans should read. Not because it explains how to actually cut back, but the emotional attachments that we have to feeling as though we ‘need’ something. A great book and 20 minute animation on this subject that could easily change a lot of the lives that are even interested in this topic can be found at: http://www.storyofstuff.com/

    The emotional need that we feel to buy something is the main problem, and there for the justification to buy stuff. I have struggled with this concept and this way of life many times in my life. And until i was poor and had nothing did i only truly know what is was like to ‘need’ something. this changed my entire life. I was happier than i had ever been, and i was more poor than i had ever been. It was because i knew that the only things that mattered, i already had, and everything else was simply a distraction.

    “Having been poor is no shame, being ashamed of it is” Benjamin Franklin

  7. Walt Darson
    Walt Darson says:

    i wouldn’t be surprised if that waxing is a farmer repellent. i find it hard to imagine any farmer or other person with close ties to the natural world who’d dig the results that ultra-urban trend. we have fur right where it belongs, and for reasons…one of which is to hold our natural scents in those regions. you know why? because those scents – yes, the ones corporations continually try to sell us products to eliminate – are natural aphrodisiacs. that’s why our bodies generate them.

    if i didn’t like a woman’s natural fur i imagine i’d either just become a pedophile or ask my partners to put on suits of armor before we climbed in bed. neither of which is really my thing, thank you…

    • Josh
      Josh says:

      Hardly. There is a reason no professional plays on a $100 instrument of any kind. Quality does cost a certain amount of money (at least in this case).

  8. Jordan
    Jordan says:

    $2000 for a violin was indeed a waste. You could have spent $100 for something that is basically the same.

  9. Meg
    Meg says:

    The last one has been the most helpful trick for me in curbing spending. That, and understanding that as long as you’re spending money (that you have, not that your borrow) in line with your priorities, you’re fine. That’s my favorite part of Get Rich Slowly.org and Ramit’s program.

    But number two I think is the most interesting. I realize more all the time just how important knowing yourself to success in everything.

  10. MH Williams
    MH Williams says:

    I grew up with barely anything.As a child I had no bike, one pair of pants, not much food, one doll etc. What I did have though was imagination and books. Thank God for free libraries. Guess what today I have an army of books and am content with very little else. Hmm…

  11. awiz8
    awiz8 says:

    The more things change, the more they stay the same:

    “Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.”

    Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

  12. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    I’d like to add to your list of ideas.
    Five is just too “neat and tidy”.
    I find I am able to decrease my spending by banning all impulse purchases. Procrastinate. Don’t make the purchase until all the research has been completed. Research includes exploring all the reasons why a purchase is necessary in the first place, other options that may be available, purchase price, and supplier. Impulse items are for the most part just plain evil. I can’t say the same for impulse experiences.

  13. Leonie
    Leonie says:

    $2000 for a violin for the reasons she outlined is reasonable. Unless you’ve actually paid attention, there IS a BIG difference between a $100 violin and a $2000 violin. I play the cello and own two cellos, one for practice (carrying it from one place to another, on metros etc) and one for performing, there is a price difference between the two and it shows in the quality of sound. P’s reasons are sound. It will be part of the motivation to continue to play, and to play better and to practice more when the sounds that are produced well…sound better.

  14. Leonie
    Leonie says:

    opps, meant to say IF you’ve actually paid attention….sorry…it’s been a long day already.

  15. Harriet May
    Harriet May says:

    Ok, so my dog cost $1,000. I hate telling people that because I think it’s ridiculous, when they are so many dogs that need homes at the pound. But I had to have her, and if anything is worth $1,000 I would say it is my dog, because she is basically my soulmate.

    Other than that, I think I am pretty good with money. Not great, but ok. The one thing holding me back from financial greatness is my tendency to have an online shopping binge every few months or so. But that’s just me in a nutshell, the fluctuation of extremes: I do it with food, and with exercise, and with things.

  16. Katy
    Katy says:

    I use the 30 day list for impulse purchases. It definitely curbs my spending.

    When I had a corporate job and disposable income I went with services over stuff. I did laser hair removal, facials, pedicures etc. I also had a cleaning person and dined out a lot. I traveled. And I was still paying off student loans. But I felt entitled to my spending because it fit with the lifestyle I had created.

    Currently unemployed I’ve narrowed down the services to eyebrow threading and my hair. You wear your hair everyday. People notice when it looks horrible. Same with eyebrows. I try to now invest in the stuff that I get use out of everyday. I’m finally out of debt and would like to never be back there again. I could easily spend 10k on clothes, shoes, facials and that laser treatment to remove sun damage that only I notice. But I resist. Being debt free feels better than any purchase. I took me 14 years to finally feel that and I’m not going back.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I think just like you do. Splurge on hair and eyebrows. And I have a file drawer filled with stuff I think I want to buy. I file by categories like food, furniture, clothes, toys, etc. And it feels almost like buying it when I file it away because I know that if I still want it in a month, I can have it. Of course, I rarely want it.

      Penelope

  17. Jacq
    Jacq says:

    I think what having too much stuff taught me more than anything was that I didn’t know what to focus on, what was meaningful and what could be let go and was just a passing fancy of a younger self. It also taught me that I sometimes didn’t know how to make decisions or how to let go. Sort of like someone who’s overwhelmed at work but doesn’t delegate anything because they’re afraid of losing something.

    I love the feeling of being neat and tidy after the housecleaners come over. :-)

  18. Jim C.
    Jim C. says:

    “I knew that moving the farm would make me totally out of touch with advertising messages, and, therefore, with American culture.”
    Ugh! If those advertising messages ARE American culture, our country is going down the toilet.
    One of the good things about living in a mostly rural state (Montana) is that I manage to miss most of those messages — especially since I watch maybe three hours of TV a week. You should take advantage of being in rural Wisconsin and shut out the constant blatting of consumer “culture” from your life.

  19. KateNonymous
    KateNonymous says:

    “I knew that moving the farm would make me totally out of touch with advertising messages, and, therefore, with American culture.”

    Well, with an element of it. Culture is more than one thing, unless we’re talking yogurt. (And even then, really.)

  20. Diane b
    Diane b says:

    I grew up poor, made it big in the Corp world, then became my own boss. It was a great ride, and I went from owing nothing to owing 6 figures (personal money) back to owing nothing. There is no better feeling than being out of debt (except maybe being skinny). I can attribute being debt free to TiVo. I know, who would have thought? But not having to watch those commercials (or hear them blaring in the background) really caused that “craving” for all things material to subside. Do consider TiVo (or pick a brand) and consider it an investment in your future savings account. I think moving to the country helps too.

  21. GE Miller
    GE Miller says:

    The #1 money saving tip that works for me is this: I internalize the active of not spending as rebellion against ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.

    When you think about it, our entire economy is driven by impulse spending and creating needs out of wants.

    When you rebel against that system:
    1. You financially are way better off than most (given a decent income). This gives you financial stability.
    2. It becomes part of your lifestyle. You take pride in it. You get scrappy. It becomes you.

    Very effective stuff.

  22. Bridget
    Bridget says:

    I think that somewhere along the way having things became the representation of maturity or adulthood. Like you were an established adult if you had a whole bunch of stuff. A long time ago I gave up TV (I have returned a bit) one of the things I noticed was that I had very few needs for things. Similar to your story of the Budweiser billboards-I didn’t know what I was supposed to be wanting. Therefore I wanted very little. I will be glad if there is a shift that avoiding abundance of things represents maturity. Thanks for your help moving that idea forward.

  23. mara v
    mara v says:

    Great comment from Mark W: I agree that impulse spending is often evil but impulse experiences (motivated by gut instinct) are generally worthwhile. But c’mon, Penelope: Why must everyone from NYC assume Madisonians ALL live on a farm?? I get this every time I visit the Big Apple! Please don’t reinforce this fallacy with your “Budweiser billboard” exclusive comment. You know better than that. Now if your Farmer had you relocate to Fargo, ND…all bets are off. But since things are so slow here in rural America, perhaps you could have provided some better, concrete ways to cut down on spending. I agree that the internet shopping is my demise but your readers provided far more useful ideas.

    • Jim C.
      Jim C. says:

      Internet shopping can be one’s demise if it gets out of control. However, it is just another form of mail-order shopping in most cases, only easier and faster.
      Two examples from my shopping experience (in Helena, Montana, where the choice of stores is somewhat limited): (1) We needed a quality 10 inch cast-iron skillet to replace a deteriorated one that had belonged to my grandmother. I blew a whole lunch hour visiting stores and didn’t find one. (One store carried the one we wanted but was out of stock.) I could have wasted another lunch hour visiting stores and MAYBE found one. Instead I bought one from Amazon for a lower price than I would have paid at the store that theoretically carried them. Made in USA too!
      (2) I needed an item for my job. One of the three stores that used to carry it had gone out of business during our recent economic depression, and the other two didn’t stock it any more. I went to the manufacturer’s web site and bought it.
      Yes, if shopping is too easy it can enable impulse buying. But there is a simple way to get around that. Unless it is a truly needed item, put it on your wish list and force yourself to wait a month.

  24. Nate Klemp
    Nate Klemp says:

    Penelope,

    Very insightful post. Your thoughts on the problems that arise from luxury remind me of one of my favorite passages in Thoreau’s Walden.

    Here’s how he frames the problem: “Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have ever lived a more simple and meager life than the poor.”

    Sounds great in theory, but I’m still working on it in practice.

    Thanks!

  25. Ashley
    Ashley says:

    “I knew that moving the farm would make me totally out of touch with advertising messages, and, therefore, with American culture.”

    Ah Pen, you’re New York colors are showing… New York cultures does not equal American culture… so sorry to remind you.

  26. Kenosi
    Kenosi says:

    I think most people are aware of #5 Having a lot of stuff is not cool. Yet it does not stop us from being sucked into the culture, which is not limited only to America, of spending money on stuff we “want” and don’t need to make us feel cool. Sad really.

  27. rajpfj
    rajpfj says:

    I knew a woman who bought stuff — set of nice china, or expensive area rug, or some chairs, or whatever — and then routinely returned them.

    It appeared to be her only method for feeling a sense of power. Power to buy. More power, when returning.

    Penelope, is your waxing in some way an expression of power? And what about any other impulse purchases?

  28. burcu
    burcu says:

    Try laser instead of waxing, its great cause it hurts much less (when ur used to waxing you laugh at lasering) and the hairs don´t grow back :) I discovered it a few years ago and its the best beauty investment I´ve made!!!!

  29. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    One word. Well, one acronym. IPL. Laser. Awesome. It works. Upfront cost is a bit steep (depending on how furry you are), and you need a top up every so often – I had one last year, coz some of the hair on my knees is stubborn! It has changed my life. I no longer have to worry about the state of my legs before I decide what to wear. When you’ve had the furry legs I’ve had, from adolescence, this is a major life-changer. But hedonic adaption does its work, and so quickly, I adjusted to life sans furry legs, and moved on to wanting the next thing. But I still love it – I wear skirts anytime now!

  30. angie
    angie says:

    I think that the violin is an investment in your son’s future, even if he never becomes a concert musician. Music and the arts in general are wonderful places to develop intellectual curiosity and creativity that he will be able to use his entire life. A quality instrument makes a world of different in the sound you can produce. Then again I am musical, so it doesn’t sound wasteful at all to me. Especially given that the musical development that your son does in younger years can never be replicated in adulthood. Learning music is sort of like learning dance. You can’t start later in life and get the same level of ability. So by all means, yes, if he’s talented and he’s working very hard, then let him have a really good violin so that he can hone his craft. It really is an investment in his future.

  31. CS
    CS says:

    LOVED this post! I always get waxes when I go to Brazil. Way cheaper, faster, all-around better and hurt WAY less.

    I don't have a dream job, at least not yet. I grew up in a cold, shitty, white-trash Midwestern town with a mom full of regrets and trapped in a life she doesn't want. Thus, I have a dream location; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I learned Portuguese and escaped at 24 looking for work there and got fucked out of amnesty by 4 months. Since then I've been unhappy, bouncing back and forth between countries in a crappy economy, taking crappy U.S. jobs, and dating crappy guys. None of it has been the youth I dreamed of when I tried to escape and be different from my mom.

    At 27 I've I finally made the decision to "grow up" and dig my way out of this Midwestern hole sustainably and in to an MBA and a work visa abroad (fingers crossed). But in the adult world there ARE a ton of trade offs and getting what you want is SO fucking hard.

    I related to this post so much 1.) because it is about waxes, which I LOVE and 2.) Because I've found that sometimes when the trade-offs and realities of life get hard buying the little things feels like the ONLY way to get by. The reasoning is "I haven't gotten anything else I want, so why not this?" I wax, do gel nails, buy ridiculous amounts of body washes and creams with the names of trendy fruits on the bottles, and shop online for great books (Fahrenheit 451) and cool documentaries (Wasteland.) Hey, whatever works. Yesterday the guy at Target told me "In all fairness, whatever your problem is, if it can be solved by Body Butter it can't be that bad." I guess I'll take it! And I did.

  32. CS
    CS says:

    I think Penelope’s point equating advertising to American culture is spot on. We are a consumer culture inundated by media and advertising. We live in a plastic, prefabricated, post-modern consumerist matrix. Most people’s personalities are influenced by media figures and their expectations out of life by advertising.

    Not to mention the fact that since most of the spontaneous, organic human interaction has been sucked out of our culture and the family structure has gone to pot, a substantial portion of the human interaction that occurs in this country comes through talking to the person one buys stuff from.

    Our social interactions are very transactional. This bar, at this time, for this purpose. Other countries savor life. We consume it. And we consume because we see advertisements.

    • mysticaltyger
      mysticaltyger says:

      Excellent point, CS. I think your post also demonstrates why we have so much depression in our society. Everything is transactional instead of relational.

      • CS
        CS says:

        Thanks mysticaltyger. I agree. The lack of human interaction causes depression. I think the question is the following: How do we reconstruct “community” and “society” in a culture where it has been greatly lost? I fear that en masse there is not a way.

        Side note: I’ve lived a year in Brazil and have also spent time in the Dominican Republic, the latter of which possesses the most social culture I’ve ever seen. Somehow one’s problems become small when surrounded by friends, family, neighbors, and the local hot dog vendor, all while dancing to tropical music in the sun.

  33. FizzyBlonde
    FizzyBlonde says:

    Rule #4 reminds me very much of what weight loss research is increasingly finding: eating less is more important than exercising more. Thematically they are similar – both require the discipline to restrict consumption. Very hard.

  34. awiz8
    awiz8 says:

    “Whatever you have, spend less.” Samuel Johnson

    “The best way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.”

    Quote attributed to local millionaire

  35. Margarita
    Margarita says:

    I loved this post. As a chronic spendaholic (who purchased a whole professional wax kit so I could wax at home and consequently used once) I understand. I’m getting better. I moved from a city to a small town as well, and online shopping is crazy. Especially when I’m alone at midnight and the laptop. Shoes. And purses. And educational kids stuff, because my daughter needs to have all these wooden toys (that she does not play with) in order to be a modern well-established world-saving kid.

    God help us.

  36. Susan @PYPro
    Susan @PYPro says:

    Really insightful post. Though I’m frugal by nature, I can totally relate to the gratuitous hair expenditures (gotta have my highlights! ;>) We all have our vices, and in a society like ours, it can be especially difficult to avoid the temptation to spend money you just might not have…yep, online shopping is EVILLLL! Ha.

    That being said, sometimes a ‘lil Personal Finance 101 is all it takes to help you keep you decrease your spending and keep your $$$ in check:http://www.prettyyoungprofessional.com/bereal/finance-101.html

  37. hoong yee
    hoong yee says:

    Hi Penelope,
    I thought it would be a great idea for my husband and i to get waxed the other day, you know, a romantic rekindle the romance kind of thing.

    Here’s what he had to say about it:

    “OHMYGOD!! I’M GETTING MASSACRED, HELP – OWWWCHH! GET AWAY FROM ME – AM I BLEEDING? I’M GOING TO DIE, AREN’T I? YOOOWWCHH NOT AGAIN!! HELP ME, THE WORLD IS GETTING DIM…”

    – and then they did his other eyebrow.

    Did this save me money? Yes. The very nice ladies in the salon asked me never to come back again – with him.

    We may have emerged hairless, but with an earful.

    This and other style notes for people who change the world at http://hoongyee.com/

    Loved your post!

  38. Bob
    Bob says:

    Every time I’m about to buy something, I think to myself, “Would I be better off buying this thing, or not having to work x amount of hours in order to afford this thing?”

    The way I figure, in many cases I would rather not have to work so many hours, in exchange for having less ‘things’.

  39. Bob
    Bob says:

    However, I don’t agree that buying experiences is necessarily better than things. I would rather buy a $3,000 computer than go on a $3,000 vacation – the former lasts a long, long time, but the latter only lasts a week or two.

  40. Gerard Fusaro
    Gerard Fusaro says:

    I AGREE 100 PERCENT PENELOPE…
    WHEN I GO GET MY $13.00 HAIR CUT AND SHAVE I FEEL LIKE I CAN DO ANYTHING.
    AND AS FAR AS STUFF GOES,I SAY RISE ABOVE YOUR STUFF!
    LOOK AROUND YOU I’M SURE THERE IS STUFF YOU COULD GIVE AWAY OR SELL! EITHER WAY YOU’LL BE HAPPY IN THE END.

  41. Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot
    Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot says:

    Lol. I hope you emailed me while you were being waxed! Can’t believe you’re starting another business – you crazy lady. Well done. It sounds exciting.

    Anyway, nevermind if this is your last wax ever because apparently big hair (everywhere!) is back:)

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