i made myself a 30 day 'chip.'
why should people in AA have all the fun?
hello, my name is Bethany and i am a shopaholic.

okay, not completely true but slightly (you can tell this is the denial part of my problem). I have never gone into debt for anything--even school, but that doesn't mean that i might not shop a little too much.

But i have changed my ways. i have unsubscribed from those handy emails that tell me when things are 40% off already reduced prices. i have made new budgets. i have given away my shopping arsenal to save money. i have even liquidated shoes, bags and a ridiculous amount of lotion on eBay.

Maybe i am giving myself too much credit for not shopping for the past 40 days, i mean if you already own enough dresses that you could wear a different one each week to church without repeating you probably should have stopped shopping about 40 dresses ago...Same with dishes, i mean i have three sets and can serve 24 people--i can't even fit 10 people in my apartment! The fact that i own EVERYTHING i could possibly need during my twenties combined with the Mad Men collection from Banana Republic this year not be tempting in the slightest, i shouldn't be shopping anyway...

the feeling is mutual W&S... the feeling is mutual...
Ever since i was young i have been obsessed with money--making it, counting it, writing budgets for it, organizing it, planning the future with it--everything. With ten kids in the family and my dad being out of work my entire life due to a dibilitating accident everyone noticed money and probably our lack thereof. I was never without anything important, i always had clean clothes, a nice house, birthday/christmas presents etc. and didn't ever notice that we didn't have a lot of spare change, I just knew that if there was something i wanted i needed to figure out a way to earn the money to purchase it. This seemed, and still seems, very logical to me.

When i was younger i would take every babysitting job that was offered, even the ones from that family that the normal sane 13 yr old didn't want to touch with a ten foot pole. When i would get home i would write the date, job, and amount i was paid on a piece of paper and drop it in a tin box. At the end of the year i would tally up how much i made at each job and which ones were more profitable. I would also write down every dollar that i spent in the same fashion and tally that up too. For years i could tell you exactly how much i made and spent in the smallest of categories.

i do get to shop if i have a gift card.
thanks nyc boss for giving me things i could return to
Nordstroms so buy these shoes instead. 
Then i was a teenager and basically on my own financially. I moved out when i was 16 to be a live in nanny for my sister while her husband served in Iraq. I was living on such little amounts of money that i had a strict budget for buying things like shampoo. It was also during this stint of my life that i started really wanting my own home. By the time i graduated and left my hometown i had lived in 6 different homes with 4 of those being during high school and two during my senior year alone. When i would get stressed out or have an argument with my sister i would de-stress by going to the mall. I couldn't buy anything but i began to love being in stores--no one cares if you are wandering around slowly and everything is nice, new and clean. Soon however, shopping became a talent of mine and not just a coping mechanism.

Turns out that i am really, i mean REALLY good at shopping. I can find everything that i have been wanting at the best prices always.

As i got older and had better paying jobs i started buying things that normal teenagers didn't buy. I went to college with William & Sonoma oven mits, a Kitchen Aid and cleaning supplies i had already more than broken in. My favorite stores weren't Forever 21 or Gap, they were William & Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and Costco.
i am REALLY good at shopping and getting killer deals

Then i discovered Banana Republic. And then my life got very full of stuff.

But, i am changing my ways.

i am especially not allowed to buy nail polish,
you could say i have enough...
In January i decided that for the rest of the year i would not buy anything other than the most basic necessities--groceries and gas. I allow myself a small budget to go out with friends--so that i can still have friends--but i am trying to only eat out etc when someone invites me. And other than that, i am done shopping. I will not buy anything for my house--not even a tupperware, not anything for the bathroom (i have a stockpile of lotion/tooth paste/shampoo etc so the rule is that it has to be GONE before i can buy anything new), no nail polish, no new clothes, nothing.

The ironic thing is, up until i stopped buying things i was attached to most my possessions but now i am really good at getting rid of things.

here's to 10 more months of not being a consumer and hopefully building up a savings account again. The last six months have been more than rough money wise, but i have high hopes that i can fix it. I am so serious about this venture that i unsubscribed from most emails AND gave my last Banana Republic reward ($30 none-the-less) along with my 10% off tote to my sister so that i wouldn't be temped.

damn you uncle sam and your taxes.
my last purchases, a green pencil skirt and patterned top from Banana Republic.
turns out it is really hard to take a decent picture of yourself with a self timer...

oh and i decided i am not even buying a car when i have to give my nephew's back in june. i mean, i already own a bicycle... because as you can see i am very good at riding bicycles.

I Have Become, The Unintentional Hipster.

We all know who the 'hipsters' are. The occasional one is our friend and the others provide hours of priceless people watching.

For those who don't know what a 'hipster' is, here is part of the of the urban dictionary definition:

Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses. Both hipster men and women sport similar androgynous hair styles that include combinations of messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs. Such styles are often associated with the work of creative stylists at urban salons, and are usually too "edgy" for the culturally-sheltered mainstream consumer. The "effortless cool" urban bohemian look of a hipster is exemplified in Urban Outfitters and American Apparel ads which cater towards the hipster demographic. Despite misconceptions based on their aesthetic tastes, hipsters tend to be well educated and often have liberal arts degrees, or degrees in maths and sciences, which also require certain creative analytical thinking abilities.

(I would have included the whole thing but it was the longest definition I have encountered...)

Hipster is definitely the new hot trend. Secretly everyone wants to be "effortlessly cool" but some of us will never succeed. However, there have been those in the past that unknowingly set the trends. Meet my favorite 'unintentional hipsters' courtesy of Huffington Post:

This last one brings me into the unintentional hipster phenomenon.

My most recent home furnishing purchase: One hifi courtesy of Savers for only $39.99

I may have just purchased my first record player, (even though I have a plethora of cds, an iPhone, and iTunes on my computer) but to my defence, I have been purchasing records for years before it was effortlessly cool. Two of my brothers have hifis that they have refinished (and look gorgeous) so therefore I am buying this to be more like them and not a hipster.

Now I just need to decide what my top albums are to slowly purchase. Thrift stores are pretty picked through these days since the influx of kids being cool has gone up.

The albums I am currently on the search for:

The Format-Dog Problems, or Interventions and Lullabies
Sufjan Stevens-Illinois
The Arcade Fire-Funeral
Stars-Five Ghost or In Our Bedroom After the War
The New Amsterdam's-apparently all of their albums are ridiculously expensive...

then there are those other bands that i would be happy to obtain but aren't at the top of my search:
Modest Mouse, The Shins, Rilo Kiley, The Annuals, Nico Stai, The Anniversary, The Get Up Kids, Badly Drawn Boy, Coldplay, The Killers, Elliot Smith, oh and the list just keeps going and going.

Hopefully I will run across some magical thrift store that has the classics like: The Cure, The Clash, Queen, The Beatles, The Carpenters and of course some Rachmaninoff and Mozart. I know, my taste is interested and all over the place.

Perhaps when I move to my new apartment I could have a hipster themed housewarming party and everyone can wear their tightest jeans, ugliest over sized sweaters, and most importantly bring a record to leave at my place.

bargain shopping at its best

Cameron LOVES going shopping with me. Usually it goes something like this:

'Sure let's go shopping, I don't think I'll get anything though..."

then i end up finding killer deals and Cameron's car becomes very full.

(This one time after a shopping excursion to Ikea I had to sit on a folded down seat in the one foot of space that was not occupied by boxes while a very large bookcase that I couldn't pass up went from the back door all the way to the front and over the passenger seat that i should have been sitting in.)

For the last year and half I have been living with my mom. Though it has been nothing but slumber parties and sunshine I am getting ready to move out on my own. (really though, it has been nice living with my mom but we are both ready to move on, her to a different town and me to my own place). Since this will be my first apartment (by myself) I have started to acquire furniture for the first time. Luckily I am not moving for a few months so I can shop around looking for the best deals. Even more impressive is the fact that I have yet to buy something off craigslist or ksl, I have been able to find everything at stores and only one thing was from a thrift store and wasn't new.

Current deals:

Solid wood dresser from DI: $100
Two (leather?) kitchen chairs: $45
Huge leather Pottery Barn ottoman: $50
Solid wood desk: $39

total: $234

My best deal so far has definitely been the ottoman I found it at DownEast. It had been in their store for a while so it had gotten a little beat up. They normally sell it for $249 but had it marked down for the day to $50. I looked it up when I got home and apparently it is originally sold at Pottery Barn for around $700. If I can't find a good deal on a couch I figure I can push this up against a wall with some pillows and make it one.

Now I currently have:
area rug
2 kitchen chairs
4 bookshelves
bed (levi is pretty sure he will give me his)
awesome side table i painted scenery on when i was 10. it is a masterpiece.

This means i only really need to find a kitchen table and couch.
The task of moving seems so much less daunting now.

now it will take this much coke to get me through the rest of my furniture/apartment shopping.
good thing I found these the same time I found my kitchen chairs at Market Square, they were a whopping $3.50 for a 32 can pack. amazing.