amy does budgeting

okay, so a few years ago, ken looked at my collection of shoes in the closet and said: “wow, hon, maybe we can re-fi your louboutins!”

it was a joke, obviously, but…


not unlike many, many, many women i know, shoes were a lover. and yes, i did buy & wear louboutins & prada & blahniks & on occassion, j.p. tods.

i also lived in nyc, and wore ‘real clothes,’ unlike the clothes i wear living in the country. i wear sweatpants & tee-shirts & big girl panties. in the summer i wear one of two of my favorite rubber thongs, and in the winter, i wear my reliable old frye boots.

but none of this is really the point of this blog.

ken & i are on a budget now. and truthfully, honestly, at first i went/said to ken: “oh good god no. you wanna save and scrimp, and hoard pennies…go fuckin’ ahead. but not me. i’m gonna get my mani’s & pedi’s & fancy schmancy haircuts & go to barney’s NY for the everything 70% off sale… you wanna budget, go ahead.”

well, i gotta say, color me shocked, when saving, and reeling back, and saying ‘no’ has become a very powerful experience. saying no to going out to expensive restaurants once a week; saying no to buying more shoes that i don’t need in the first place, saying no to hundred dollar haircuts and yes to a $35.00 one. saying yes to eating in four nights a week, and one of those nights is a romantic meal with candles and flowers and yes oh god yes a romantic romp in the bedroom … saying no to whole foods and yes to price chopper. saying no to ReVive and yes to Olay. saying yes to kohls and no to kiehls.

just the other day, i went to tj maxx and bought a few fall pieces – a sweater, a skirt and a swell v-neck tee – all for 75 bucks. all max mara. if i had gone to nyc and went into the max mara store, i woulda spent at least 350 bucks.

cool, huh?
you bet!

you couldn’t catch me at tj maxx two years ago if you put a gun to my head. ca-ca.

because truthfully, honestly, i gotta say, being on a budget – thinking about budgeting – made me feel ashamed. it made me feel small & tiny & a little bit leaning toward embarrassed. like i had & was much less. but what i’m realizing, seeing with both eyes wide open, we live in a time where being frivolous is grossly overrated. having so much is not cool. so many have so little, and continue having less. less IS more. big is not better. having closets full of clothing is truly an embarrassment of riches when others don’t own a winter coat.

we live in a time where role models are few & far between. just watch TV. snooky & the kardashians, & all housewives from new jersey to hell. girls have gone wild & bad…
and some girls even consider – think of – a blow-job as employment.

the dumbing down of america.

ken is retired and we’re trying this brand new thing called BUDGETING. while i kicked and screamed and begged, “Please, ken, no, no… oh god no … not that…”

it has proven to be sexy & swell & yes, a challenge.

it makes me deeply appreciate everything i own. from shoes to old worn tee-shirts. it made me realize the value, the tremendous value of taking care of the things that i love and treasure. it makes me understand the value of re-cycling. if my shoes are worn, instead of going out and spending a small fortune on new flats, i will re-soul/sole (no pun intended) them. after all, now they feel so comfy and just right.

i don’t need to buy, or spend a fortune on every anti-aging cream out there. i need to feel the joy of living! as goofy as it seems, happiness does make you younger. and yes, they’re called laugh lines. it’s true. and for the record, there is very little difference between ReVive “feel younger look younger” moisturizer than say Olay. Cross my heart. no difference at all.

and for the record, i’m not & probably never will be a clipping coupon girl. unless of course, barney’s ny starts that kinda campaign:


Category: Uncategorized 8 comments »

8 Responses to “amy does budgeting”

  1. madgew

    Loved this today. I am not a collector of clothes or shoes as you know. TJ Maxx’s Homegoods is one of my favorite stores for everything but clothes although sometimes I do find something that works for me. Homegoods is another bargain place for everything household and so fun to go up and down the aisles. Just this past Sat I found treasures for Halloween to add to my collection. I tend to now buy art pieces for my house. Glad you are adjusting to a budget. And when you play hits Broadway maybe you can spend a little more. Love you girlfriend.

  2. kristine

    Oh, how I love thee…let me count the ways!
    1. our husbands…habits and all!
    2. our mood stabilizing vitamins!
    3. our dreams of a brighter future and awareness of a glorious present.
    4. the treasures to be found at the Goodwill and all it’s counterparts.
    5. the art of forgiveness
    6. our 3rd degree burns, self inflicted and ouchy.
    7. Oil of Old Lady (olay)
    and then there is 8, 9, 10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29,30…and I am always discovering MORE…

  3. Kristine

    I forgot to mention the 2 Max Mara sweaters I found at the Goodwill with the Nordstroms tags still on them…each one originally 450.00 and I got them for 6.99 each. Like an Easter Egg hunt! The deal makes them all the more enjoyable. Now when I drip pizza juice down the front, I don’t have to panic…sweet!

  4. Hollye Dexter

    I so agree with you. The only difference being, we’re musicians with a family of six, so I’ve always been on a budget. I’ve always scrimped and saved and found designer close outs at Ross, and have been incredibly fortunate to have worked in the haircare and skin care biz so I’m always stocked up on the best products. (But Olay Regenerist is the very best skincare I’ve found, and I buy it at Rite Aid.) I’ve never thought if it as “sexy”, but I do get a little rush from buying Guess jeans for $25 at Ross.
    I’m just so happy the whole world is beginning to see life through a different lens- that bigger is not better, more is just more, and less can be very zen and calming.
    And so is putting that shoe money in an IRA. : )

  5. Julie Farrar

    So glad to finally make my way here from SW. I clipped my last coupon the day before we bought our first house. I decided not to look at the rest of my life as “budgeting” but as setting priorities. To my kids’ dismay I decided multiple updated electronic gadgets was not a priority. On the other hand, trips to France (and other travels) are. So that fits into my budgeting process, too. Did you know if you went to France in July the entire country is one massive 70% off sale? The clothes may not have big name labels, but they don’t look like anything in the Midwest so I fill my suitcase before heading home. I spend money on quality and things I know I’ll have for a long time, like washing machines and leather purses. Anything I know will be gone in 2 years I buy on the cheap. Life is too short to be a constant bargain-hunter.

  6. Maxee

    My married life has been a virtual roller coaster ride financially, so grateful I learned very early, (was taught by my depression period parents), to always ‘save for a rainy day’ and always seek out bargains when possible. I’ve never ever bought fancy labeled clothing, never felt the need to. Funny thing though, my Mom never accepted hand me downs from family or friends and never shopped in 2nd hand stores. She always bought us new things, just inexpensive. She had too much pride for that.
    I, on the other hand, while in college and even sometimes now LOVE to wander through the 2nd hand stores and see if I can find any hidden treasures.
    Love this Blog Amy, and LOVE you! Mwah!

  7. Susan

    Great Blog Amy (although I had to read it twice when big girl panties was followed closely by rubber thongs).

    I love budgets, Really. I loved them when I ran a business and I love the process that Leon and I have of balancing our Quicken to our budget. But more importantly, I love your integration of the budget into the idea of lifestyle. After all if we can adjust to the idea of living within a budget, it won’t feel so foreign asking the government to do the same thing.

    A couple years ago I went on a clothes-fast. Mainly, because I had too many clothes and I wanted to “Scale-down”. I was also struggling with this question rolling around in my head: “What is the cost of a $12 TJ Maxx shirt?” I kept thinking about manufacturing cotton in the Carolinas- sending it to China or India and shipping it back to the US to be sold for a 50% markup at $12 – what is the cost of that carbon footprint? The fast lasted 18 months before I felt like I needed something new and then I discovered a new form of recycling – consignment shops. Oh, I still spurge on Anthropology at times but more than not –a great outfit at a consignment shop makes me smile – it is sort-of like hunting for women.

    Thanks again Amy for being a courageous thought-leader.

  8. Jane

    I can only assume and am sincerely hoping that “rubber thongs” are what we call “flip-flops” in my corner of the world!

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