Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

Another Spendy Weekend August 22, 2010

Filed under: Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 2:30 am
Tags: ,

As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to store up all my shopping until I find the right time to shop.  Either there’s something that I really need, or there’s a good deal, or I finally have a good slot of time to get my errands done.  I try not to get tempted by all the sales and other things I didn’t plan on buying, but I will also look at circulars to see what sales are going on (which does sometimes clue me in to something I might buy that I wouldn’t have thought of buying).

At any rate, I guess this post might be a bit like a “haul” video (without the video…).  I think I also may be writing this partially to justify all my purchases.  I guess I’ve seen lots of personal finance bloggers review their purchases, so I’m ready to do the same.  Hold on, this is going to be a long one!

Last weekend was “Tax Free Weekend“.  Massachusetts sales tax is only 6.25% (7% in some towns), so removing that extra cost isn’t a lot of money.  But I figured there were things I was going to buy regardless, and I might as well get them for a little bit cheaper.

First stop was T.J.Maxx.  I haven’t been there in years.   I don’t shop very often, and when I do, I want it to be a bit more straightforward, i.e. not having to sort through LOTS of racks to find the deals…I know, what a horrible personal finance person I am.  Anyway, after finally taking a yoga class at my gym (they offer a bunch of different athletic classes, free with membership…and I’ve been a member for over a year!) I realized it was in my best interest to buy my own yoga mat.  There’s just something a little gross about sweating (and maybe putting your face down on) a mat that other people have stepped on and sweated on.  So, even if I don’t go to the yoga classes very often, it’ll be worth it to have my own.  I went to T.J.Maxx for my mat because I remembered seeing that sort of athletic equipment on sale there.  And I was right!  So, I bought myself a  yoga mat (complete with carrying strap!) for $12.99.  I was tempted by all the cool kitchen gadgets, dishes, and decorative pieces in their HomeGoods section, but I resisted!  I also started looking at actual clothes (I need more slacks) but I resisted because I didn’t have a lot of time, and didn’t especially want to try anything on.  So my only other purchase at T.J.Maxx was a package of sports socks (same style as I already had, for easy matching post-laundry).  Socks:  $9.99.

Next stop was Target.  There were some general things that I was looking for, and I also planned to spend a little time “shopping”.  I was hoping I’d be able to talk myself out of a lot of things.  Let’s see how that worked out.

I have a lot of gray hairs.  Seriously!  It’s a little worrisome.  So, I’ve colored my hair exactly once, and it worked out okay.  So I headed to the hair dye section to buy some more (seeing as professional colorings tend to be really expensive).  They had the dye I’d used before, and it was on sale!  But that dye was considered “non-permanent”, and I figured I’d want the color to last longer, so I looked at the “permanent” dye.  The bad decider that I am, I ended up buying both.  Decision Fail.  And I negotiated in my head that it was okay since both boxes were on sale.  Total hair-coloring expenses:  $13.12.

Picked up a 4-pack of toothbrushes (I’m set for a while, now!) on sale (they were the cheapest per unit) at a total of $3.69.

Next stop, clothing.  The clothes were very tempting because there was a pretty intense sale (back to school shopping + tax-free holiday = give us your money).  So I tried to look for items that I actually would need, and that wouldn’t just be another t-shirt (which they had plenty of).

I tried on a few cardigans, since I’m always looking for something cute to put on when the A/C gets too strong at work.  I have sweatshirts, but I’d rather wear something more professional looking.  Enter the perfect sweater for late summer/early fall.  It’s not very thick (it’s actually pretty thin) but it’s comfortable and looks cute.  I’ll admit it’s not really a high quality long-term item, but I’ll wear it as long as it looks good!  Plus the way it buttons is very good at camouflaging the post-lunch tummy 😛  Sweater:  $17.99

Speaking of hiding my tummy: On a whim at the library, I saw a book called “How to Never Look Fat Again:  Over 1,000 Ways to Dress Thinner–Without Dieting!“.  A lot of the book discussed how certain fabrics, styles, and pieces of clothing can greatly impact how thin you look.  It got me a little extra self-conscious, though.   And so I ended up buying some shapewear, an oft-recommended must-have (according to the book).  I got a “tummy flattening camisole” (not found on, but you can see it here, I got it in “latte”).  I am not sure how often I’ll wear it, but if it works, I might buy another one in white.  For now, I’ll try it with a few outfits, in addition to working towards a healthier body (remember that yoga mat!).  Another vanity-related purchase:  $16.99

Don’t worry, the rest of my expenses on underwear were a lot lower.  I bought a few multipacks of underwear for $5 or so each.  Yep.  I’m not keen on spending $5+ per pair.  Sorry Victoria’s Secret, I’m just not that into you. The multipacks were on sale AND had “free bonus pairs” (7 for the price of 6, 8 for the price of 6).  15 pairs of underwear:  $10.54

I was in the final stretch now!  I had to get back home to meet with a potential new roommate, so the clock was ticking.  When I’m not being tempted by the clothing department, I’m being tempted by the housewares department (just like at TJMaxx).  But I held my ground.  I knew we needed new tumblers/cups/glasses for the kitchen.  Most of our tall cups have broken/chipped/cracked.  So, bought 8 new glasses for a total of $4.78.

And for my last purchase:  My boyfriend wanted a CrockPot.  And his birthday was coming up.  So, even though it was a really practical, non-romantic gift, I bought him what he wanted.  And we’ve already used it twice!  And we may even use it tomorrow!  Five quarts of delicious goodness! Wont reveal the total cost since it was a gift and my boyfriend reads my blog, but let’s just say it was cheaper than the price in the link.

So, I spent over $100 in those two stores.  I probably could have spent a lot more if I wasn’t careful, though I think I made purchases that I was mostly able to justify.  Isn’t that the way this was supposed to go?

Did you take advantage of a tax-holiday in your state?


4 Responses to “Another Spendy Weekend”

  1. Craig Says:

    Did you know that in MA clothes under $175/item are tax-free always? They are.


  2. Jenna Says:

    I’m lucky, I live in a state with no sales tax!


  3. Your boyfriend wanted a crock pot? i have one but i have to say it is the LEAST used of all my kitchen gadgetry


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