Thursday, March 5, 2009

Deal or No Deal

In the midst of the R word (if you have to ask, you're doing okay), retailers has been bending over backwards to accommodate thinner wallets. Saks Fifth Avenue knocked 75% off of their high end items. But come bill time at the end of the month, indulging in these deals can get us into trouble.

A lot of folks will look at a pair of $895 Loubies at Bergdorf's and keep on walking. For some it's a month's rent; for others, a student loan payment. Even for the people who call that sum mere pocket change, it's difficult for them to justify spending that type of loot during this period of economic uncertainty. Put the same pair of pumps on the cluttered shelves of a Loehmann's or Century 21 and drop that price to around $200, and things change significantly.

$200 is an entirely different ballgame. It's still a lot of money to a lot of people (cable bill, a couple of phone bills, the proverbial student loan payment), but it's a number that's easier to digest than $895...which is almost $1,000 once you throw in taxes. The rationalization starts even before we see if the shoe fits. A whole week without happy hour and abstaining from take-out should cover the bill, right? Of course, that's never the case and we simply incur more debt. We go out to happy hour showing off our deal and receive the delivery man at our door in the new Loubies. We barely make the minimum payment on the credit card we charged the shoes on. As we pore over the unopened bills, we think only God (or a big-hearted sugar daddy) can deliver us from this mess. I can't stress how many CLOSET DETOXES I've performed that have involved deals; this includes clients' wardrobes as well as my own.

For the time being, we'd better start listening to Suze and start paying down the principle on our cards. Most of us have the essentials in our closet already—or at least a working wardrobe. And for those of you who don't, you know it's time for a CAPSULE COLLECTION! Hey, I have to plug. I'm trying to pay down my debt, too!

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