All Articles Tagged "shopping"

I Regularly Blew $500-$1,000 Shopping Every Week To Feel Good About Myself

January 27th, 2016 - By Tracey Lloyd
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Conditions like bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder can trigger behaviors like binge spending.

Source: Shutterstock

It’s no secret that my money is funny right now. I had to quit a job with a six-figure salary because my disease prevented me from working. And I couldn’t work for almost two years because of my bipolar depression. However, my financial and emotional situation of the past is not unlike that of my current situation. That’s because when I was working, my bipolar disorder triggered bouts of binge shopping.

When I talk about binge spending I don’t mean the occasional overindulgence at the mall, or even a bloated credit card bill when Nordstrom has that Half Yearly Sale. No, I’m talking about regular — possibly weekly — spending sprees totaling $500 – $1,000, all for the purpose of feeling good.

I could shop for anything: housewares, clothes, cosmetics, luggage, even groceries. My binge spending patterns were caused in part by my undiagnosed bipolar disorder, and in part by a condition called borderline personality disorder, which sometimes accompanies bipolar.

Before my doctors figured out that I had bipolar, I was on antidepressants but not mood stabilizers. Mostly, these drugs kept me from getting too depressed — meaning they kept me in the office and off my sofa, for the most part. But there were times that I felt a little down, or a little uneasy, or a little anxious. I couldn’t handle those times: they all made me want to jump out of my skin. My inability to manage my feelings or their resulting moods was a symptom of borderline personality disorder.

Instead of having moods and feelings pass without judgement, people with borderline personality disorder let those moods marinate, and usually get down on themselves for whatever happens. If someone cuts you off in traffic, it’s because you’re a bad driver. If you get looked over for an assignment at work, then obviously you’re unqualified for your job. When these bad feelings pile up, there needs to be a release. Some people drink. Some people gamble. My release was shopping.

Binge shopping was like a drug for me. The more I shopped, the better I felt. Any negative thoughts I had melted away while I was signing the cash register receipt. It wasn’t about the items I bought, but rather the act of buying itself. I felt good about myself when I walked through the mall with multiple shopping bags. Buying three pairs of shoes at a time was a triumph. If I couldn’t find anything I wanted to buy, I was anxious.

I realized that I had a problem when I took a leave of absence from my job and I didn’t have as much money to spend. I would go shopping and collapse into tears because I couldn’t afford to buy anything. I also noticed that I’d let a few bills go unpaid at times — like my car note and my electric bill — so that I’d have more cash to spend while shopping. Without my fix, I really noticed that I was depressed and had some unresolved emotional issues.

Thankfully, I was diagnosed with both bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder at the same time. Not only did I get mood stabilizers to even out my mood swings, but I also learned emotion regulation techniques that would help me release the stress of having negative feelings.

Now that I don’t have any extra money, I don’t have the ability to go binge shopping. But I also find that I don’t need it because I have the tools to manage anxiety or burgeoning depression without resorting to overspending.

Bet You Didn’t Know: The Most Toxic Products At The Dollar Store

January 15th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Every bargain lover knows that getting good finds at the dollar store can be a big hit or a major miss. But a new report on dollar store products found that there are some products you should always skip — because they’re toxic.

Score Big: The Ultimate Black Friday Apps

November 26th, 2015 - By Najwa Moses
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

We know you’re gearing up for the holiday shopping madness. Download these uber handy ultimate Black Friday apps and snatch the hottest deals as soon as they are made public. As a bonus we added a great app to help you keep track of all of those incoming packages that you’re going to order on Cyber Monday.

Sources: BGR, Phone Arena, App Advice

 

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BuyVia (Free on iTunes)

So you can crush it out the gate with BuyVia which basically culls together the best deals across all apps under broad stroke categories like nearby deals,Black Friday deals, Cyber Monday deals, etc before narrowing them down further. But what we love is that you can scan coupons on your phone camera, set up alerts for price deals near you or when things go on sale and you can automatically enter store logins with 1Password digital wallet Integration.

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Leaked Black Friday  (iTunes, FREE)

This is another must have app just because it’s so slick and quick when it comes to putting up the latest deals pretty much instantaneously. It basically scans the web for deals the minute they are out and adds them to the app. You can grab door busters, grab coupons or make a wish list.

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 BlackFriday.com (iTunes, FREE)
As the most famous site dedicated solely to Black Friday it totally makes sense to have this app in your pocket. Not only does it deliver deals piping hot but you can make a wish list, pin deals to Pinterest and other “save” boards and what we love best: you can categorized based not only on category but your desired PRICE RANGE. Hello!
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The Christmas List ($1.99, iTunes)

When shopping online, it can be a bit harder to keep track of what you purchased and for whom. This handy app lets you create a list of people you want to buy for, your itemized budget per person and even customize the list with their photo. Organization and bookkeeping on a whole ‘nother level.

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Cyber Monday 2015 (iTunes, FREE)

This app is also courtesy of the BuyVia family. Just like the Buy Via app you can search locally and online for the best deals, set up price drop alerts and create various wish lists and snatch coupons. They also have “experts” on standby who can shop the best deal for you

 
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Deliveries ($4.99, iTunes)

With all those packages being shipped to you, this fantastic and shopper-friendly app lets you keep track of all of your incoming deliveries. You simply copy any order  link or number to your clipboard and Deliveries can automatically add it.  It even provides you with a Notification Center widget so you can view your package progress in just a swipe, as well as send you push notifications for any change in status.

Are You A Brand Worshipper? Companies People Probably Couldn’t Make It Without

November 12th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Could you live without your favorite brands? Living a full life is possible without the products and services these companies provide, but it definitely wouldn’t be as nice. Did we miss any of your picks?

From Victoria’s Secret To Ikea: Did You Know These Products Were Made By Prisoners?

September 25th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Cutting labor costs is part of doing business. But did you know that some of these companies used low-priced prison labor to make some of their products?

Sweater Weather: Fall Wardrobe Pieces Every Mom Needs

September 21st, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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hm fall 2015

HM.com

The official shift in seasons means we can now swap out our breezy dresses and maxis, cotton cutoffs and strappy sandals for more weather-appropriate gear: Tweed blazers, cozy knits, yummy turtlenecks and over-the-knee suede boots are all essential parts of our strategy for combatting the impeding chill.

Here, we’ve corralled a complete wish list of fall wardrobe pieces–cuddly separates–sure to keep you toasty and totally on-trend throughout the colder months. We did one-stop shopping at H&M since they’re ever so stylish and budget friendly…and you can order online.

Fitted Coat, $70

This fitted coat in felted fabric with imitation leather details is perfect for the start of cool temperatures. The narrow tie belt defines your waist.

hm fine knit dress

Sweater dress, $30

A cozy dress that can be dressed up with ankle boots or down with sneakers on the weekend, this is a great alternative to jeans.

hm short jacket

Jacket, $40

This short jacket is a mirror of the fitted coat above and looks great with jeans.

hm ankle boot

Boots, $50

There’s no need for heels. These stylish jodhpur boots can be worn for almost any occasion.

scarf bag hm

Scarf, $25

A color block scarf is perfect for grabbing when you’re making a quick trip to the store and adds a little flair to your jeans and sweater outfit.

hm chunky sweater

Chunky Sweater, $50

Your mind may have been on coats or boots, but you can’t deny that it eventually landed on that perfect chunky cable-knit.

hm hat

Hat, $35

A wool hat hides a bad hair day while keeping your head warm. It also polishes off an outfit, hot mama.

Bra Problems Every Woman Has (And What You Can Do About Them)

September 17th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

The idea of a having a bra that fits perfectly can sometimes feel like a pipe dream, but your bra doesn’t have to be your enemy. Whether your back is aching, or your bra is too tight, these quick fixes for bra problems will save the day.

Sure You’re Saving Money? “Cheap” Purchases That Cost You More In The Long Run

August 28th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Buying in bulk and when things are “on sale” isn’t always the best way to save. To shop smart, know when to invest and when cheap purchases will actually cost you more.

Honesty Hour: How Do You Justify A Splurge To Yourself?

August 7th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

In less than 24 hours, I turn 25.

Shout out to Big God and Baby Jesus from whom all blessings flow.

While I’m not much of a partier, I’m looking forward to celebrating my 25th year with my closest relatives and loved ones. I’m also anticipating gifting myself with a big-ticket item, considering the occasion and all. I rarely go all out for my birthday, but I’m hellbent on making 25 a memorable year.

Chanel

Chanel

Since I was 16 years old, I’ve been in love with the Chanel 2.55 quilted double flap shoulder bag. At the time, I knew that there was no way in hell that I could afford (or manage to convince my parents) to shell out thousands of dollars on a purse. Nearly 10 years later, I’m still obsessed with the luxury pocketbook. As I began to ponder what my gift to myself should be, this well-crafted piece came to mind. I initially considered purchasing a used bag, which would run me about $2,000 to $2,500. However, as I began to think about it, the more I realized that if I were going to pay more than $1,000 for a bag, I should buy it from the source. This way, I’ll have the confidence of knowing that should I ever experience any problems down the road, I’d be covered. It would also provide reassurance that I’m receiving an authentic Chanel bag, as opposed to a well-made knockoff. Problem is, walking into a Chanel store and walking out with this purse would cost me $4,700 before taxes, and I’m definitely not willing to leave my savings account in shambles over this bag, so I’ve been considering using my one of my newer credit cards, which will not begin accruing interest for a year.

Every woman has her weakness, and nice purses happen to be mine, but when it comes to making this purchase, I’m torn. On one hand, I feel that this is a time in my life where I’m allowed to be selfish and slightly reckless. I’m not married just yet, and I don’t have any children to cater to. I have two degrees under my belt, a well-paying job, my finances are in order, my car is almost paid off and I save regularly.

“Live a little,” the voice in my head whispers over and over. “You only turn 25 once and 10 years from now, you’ll wish you’d done it.”

I’ve even managed to convince myself that buying this bag is an investment. Over the past five years, its value has appreciated by nearly $2,000. In addition to that, it’s a classic that is unlikely to go out of style.

On the other hand, the thought of paying down a credit card bill of this magnitude drives me crazy. It makes me anxious that something could possibly go wrong, and my good credit might be compromised. When I asked my coworkers, what they think I should do, many of them were surprisingly encouraging of the decision. They agree that this is a time in my life where I’m allowed to do wild and crazy things like blowing $4,700 on a handbag. They’re also confident that I’ll be responsible enough to pay it off within a reasonable span of time. A few, however, feel that this is a lot of money to drop on a purse and that I should consider treating myself to a nice bag with a less ridiculous price tag.

So here I am, with a decision to make.

P.S. I have not had this conversation with my mama, who would likely blow a gasket if she knew that I was even considering spending this much money on a handbag.

How do you justify treating yourself to a pricey item? Do you usually talk yourself out of it?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Keep Your Cash!: The Best Coupon Sites For Moms

August 6th, 2015 - By Rich
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Lets face it, kids are expensive and whether you have one child or five, finding ways to save money can always help out. Online coupons can become a parents best friend if you know where to find the ones that actually work. The world of online couponing is so vast and can become overwhelming for some. There are two types of “Online Coupons”: “Code-Based Coupons” and “Link-Based Coupons.” Code-based coupons are where the consumer enters the coupon code at checkout to redeem the coupon and link-based coupons are where the consumer clicks through to the retailer using the link and the discount is applied at checkout. Check out these best coupon sites for parents…

Couponcabin.com
With over 170,00 coupons and deals, CouponCabin helps you save at all the stores you love – and at the stores you didn’t know you could. For over ten years, they’ve been working with their merchant partners and scouring the web to create a true one-stop shop for savings. Whether you’re looking for an online coupon code, a printable coupon, a grocery coupon or a free sample, they have it.

Thekrazykouponlady.com
What started out as two eager young women shouting deals from their home computers has grown into a national phenomenon. Heather and Joanie have appeared on the Today Show, The Early Show, TLC, The Nate Berkus Show, and Fox & Friends. The two friends now run a highly successful company of people who work tirelessly to uncover the best deals in every category so that families everywhere can afford to live well.  They continue to live by the mantra that “You’d be krazy not to be one of us!”

Hip2save.com
Hip 2 Save is run by Collin Morgan, who started the site when her first kid was born. Hip 2 Save offers loads of money-saving tips, online freebies and deals, in-store bargains. You can sign up for the free Hip 2 Save app for iPhones, Android and Kindle devices. In addition to bringing you all the latest deals, coupons and freebies, the Hip2Save app offers lots of extras like a budgeting tool, weekly contest, store coupon policies at your finger tips, restaurant deals tab and more.

Passionforsavings.com
Heather Schisler is the founder of PassionForSavings.com. The wife and mother of two loves saving money and is passionate about teaching others to do the same. She says on her site “I’m a firm believer that Saving Money is about more than using coupons. Yes, I often claim a few extreme couponing tendencies but for me saving money is about being in control of my money and being able to afford not just what my family needs but a few of those things we want as well. I love saving money on everything from Toothpaste to Designer Jeans so I hope to find and post something for everyone regardless of where you are on your money saving journey!”

Shesaved.com
Keri Lyn is the founder of Shesaved.com and says she is a quirky artist chic who loves to shop, save and share ideas. The full-time wife and mommy says  “I can hardly stand to pay full price for anything, however, I am also a brand loyalist, and will take quality over quantity any day of the week. I think that consumers should be informed and involved and that you have every right to get the best bang for your buck. I also believe in playing fair and playing by the rules. That is what makes life fun! I believe in recycling, using what you can, and donating what you can’t use to those in need.”

Retailmenot.com
RetailMeNot is a marketplace platform that helps retailers and brands connect with millions of active shoppers anytime, anywhere to drive engagement and sales. With more than 600,000 coupons and offers for 70,000 retailers, they operate the world’s largest marketplace for digital offers.