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My name is Liz. I need direction. I overuse commas. My house is a mess, my hair needs a trim and I have no marketable skills: It’s fun here, you’ll see!

Got a question, comment, proposal of marriage? Great! Email me at liz@theproductivecough.com

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Got a question, comment, proposal of marriage? Great! Email me at liz@theproductivecough.com

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January 14th, 2013

Saving Money: A Guide For Everyone (But Mostly Girls) – Part 3

Happy Monday, everyone! Did you all enjoy the Golden Globes last night? Didn’t all those women look lovely in their fancy custom dresses and borrowed diamonds? Depressing, huh?

Trust me, I know how it is. You look at all those women and you get to thinking about how you usually look like a Central Floridian who was just picked up for a DUI. All of your shirts make you look pregnant, all of your pants do the wrong thing to your butt and, somehow, your shoes make it look like you have pig hooves.

So you want to fully update your closet. But have you run the numbers on that? It’s going to seriously eat into the money you’ve set aside to feed and clothe your infant children. Sure, you might end up looking gangbusters, but what good does that do you if the only people who are going to see it are the jurors at your child neglect trial? Don’t despair, friend. There are other ways to update that closet full of rhinestone horse sweatshirts. I am here to help you…

Go Shopping

If you’re looking to change your wardrobe, a good trick is to go to the gym. Then all the clothes you already have will look wonderful and different and you won’t need to buy anything at all! But, since working out is awful, try this: Spend your cash on SUPER GOOD AND EXPENSIVE bras. Yes. I said it. Super good. AND EXPENSIVE. Here is why: A terrific over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder improves your posture, confidence and how your clothes look on you. Plus, no one gives a damn what you’re wearing if your tits enter a room before you do. That’s a fact, son.

Also, jeans. Don’t buy tissue-y bargain jeans. Get some serious denim that will last a spell. Especially if you insist upon ignoring my gym advice and your thighs are going to be rubbing together like the innards of a poorly-maintained Fiat. Look, I understand why you hesitate. Nicer jeans are twice as expensive as your usual jeans from Scott’s Slacks n’ More. But, at the rate that cheap jeans wear out, you spend the same amount of cash in half the time anyway. Plus, have you tried Paige jeans? Your butt will look like a pile of gold. You only need two pair, for when it is necessary to look like you have a golden butt. The rest of the time, you can wear¬† your filthy peasant jeans. As for the remainder of your wardrobe, leave it where it is. With those few tweaks, it will all look different anyway. Particularly if you ad a few reasonable accessories.

“Now see here,” you say, your mouth full of salad. “First we bought jeans and brassieres, now we’re buying accessories? What kind of money-saving article is this?” Well, first of all, you’re going to go buy stuff anyway, you might as well buy things properly. Second, salad? Seriously? I would have pegged you as more of a hamburger person. I do not write this blog for salad people. Go and get some cold cuts and you may continue reading.

Okay. Everyone have some meat? Good. Let’s talk about accessories.

Much like bras and jeans, a nice pair of sunglasses is a good investment. Now, I realize that not all of you will agree. The gas station has many lovely options for ten bucks. But, allow me to regale you with a tale. I had some cheap sunglasses. They looked good, and were fine for awhile. But then the coating on the sides started peeling off and scraping my face, and the hinges got loose and began ripping out my bang hairs every time I tried to take them off. Soon, I had weird little baby hairs all around the top of my head and red marks at my temples and had to spend money on more sunglasses anyway. The moral of the story: Don’t buy sunglasses for cheap.

But! Don’t buy sunglasses from Chanel either. They are insane. Seriously, we are talking like $450 for a pair of sunglasses that, I’m sorry, make you look like an d-weed with those giant interlocking C’s on the side. Spend just enough on sunglasses that you would curse yourself if you lost them. And find a brand that’s going to hold up and that you can’t find at a gas station. Or a Whole Foods. Because even if those glasses are priced at $60, they are only worth $11, maximum, given the Whole Food Inflation Factor.

While we are on the topic of accessories, I cannot stress enough that if you spend money on really high end handbags, there is 94% chance you suck on a deep and irreversible level.¬† When purchasing a bag, ask yourself the following questions: Do I like the number, size and configuration of the pockets? Will it hold all my necessary crap? Will it easily conceal the wad of unidentifiable, linty flotsam I stubbornly tote around with me everyday and never, ever throw away? Is it devoid of any symbol, text or image that even remotely invokes the concept of kittens? If you answered yes to all four, then it sounds like a pretty great bag. BUT HANG ON. How much is it? If it’s more than $190, you should be hearing a loud buzzer. Just put it down and walk away.

You do not, and let me very clear about this, need anything that Louis Vuitton makes. Sure, his products may be built to last (I don’t actually know if that’s true) and they’re certainly iconic, but you know what else is built to last? Money. For the purposes of this post, I looked at ol’ Lou’s website. Care to hazard a guess on what he charges for a leather coin purse with that hotel wallpaper-looking design on it? It’s FOUR HUNDRED BONES, my brothers. Four hundred dollars. For basically a cube that you jam dirty, oxidized pennies into. Now, the way I see it, if you filled that sumbitch to the brim with coins, the total value of those coins wouldn’t even approach $400. FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS. That’s $55 MORE than he charges for a small dog leash. I’ll wait, while you re-read that sentence and get our your calculators. … Yep. Oh, and just for the sake of thoroughness, if you have a large dog, add that $55 back. Have any of you ever walked a dog? If they’re any fun at all, they spend half their walk violently biting and pulling on their own leash. What do you think would happen if that leash smelled like one of their chew toys? Chaos. I mean, certainly, buy a bag that will hold up, but for the love of god, don’t be a moron. If you absolutely REQUIRE your handbag to look like cheesy French luggage, get creative; use a sharpy and a stencil.

So, let’s review: Get new pants and bras, keep everything else. Invest in sunglasses you’d be afraid to lose. And tote your crap in something that suits your needs and isn’t going to fall apart in eight minutes. If you can be reasonable, you still get to go buy stuff.

Next time, your mother and I want to talk to you about those tempting emails you get and how to deal with them. No, not those. GROSS. The daily deal ones.

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