The Mall Is Not Your Friend

When I was teenager, indoor malls were just starting to pop up all over middle class suburbia.  I remember how shopping went from being a necessary task to entertainment seemingly overnight. Inside you could find food courts and gift shops, specialty clothing boutiques and art stores. There was something for everyone and every age. And just like that, the mall became something to do instead of somewhere to go when you needed the essentials. Continue reading The Mall Is Not Your Friend

Mindful Spending

There is an excitement that comes with purchasing something shiny and new. The rush begins when we start thinking about all the great things we are going to do with our new widget. We start to believe what the advertisers are feeding us. If only we own this (insert unnecessary purchase here), our lives will be more exciting. Friends will find us more interesting. Neighbors will envy us. We will be happier. None of this is true, however, and we usually find ourselves with less money and one more possession to add to the pile. Continue reading Mindful Spending

Do You Budget?

I’ve always prided myself on my budgeting skills. I could tell you where every dime was going and pay the bills on time. But over the last couple of years my income and expenses have changed slightly and instead of re-evaluating and adjusting, I kept on the same path I’d been on.  Instead of actually budgeting, I realized I’d only been accounting for my expenditures after the fact without any real plan. Continue reading Do You Budget?