Project Stimulation: Phase One

I watched a lot of crap TV in my youth but some of it still stands out in my mind as classic crap. Like the episode of Fantasy Island where a group of gal friends ask Mr. Rourke to grant them the wish of a bag full of money (each) they can spend as they wish. So he does and then they do. The catch is (remember there's always a catch) that they have to spend all of the money or they lose all the stuff they shopped for.They lose everything because they got all greedy and sneaked a wad of bills from the others stash.

Great fun and entertainment but I also learned a moral: Make sure it's your money you're spending so no one can take away your stuff when it's time to leave the island of fantasy.

So that's just what I'm going to do. I recently got a check for $2,071.59 in the mail. Where I got it and why it took me so long to get it is, as they say, irrelevant. The fact remains that it's my money and my money to spend. But just like on the Fantasy Island there's a but to this tale, I'm going to lay down some ground rules for my self. As follows...

1. No buying anything ordinary or practical. Meaning no groceries, anything I can get at Target or that is of general use for the household.

2. No waiting for an item to go on sale. If it does within the price adjustment period, fine, but I won't beat myself up for not waiting around until it does.

3. Nothing trendy or cheap. Whatever I buy has to last and be considered 'classic.' Even if that means spending the whole thing on a good watch. A good watch can last, like, a while. Or so I've been told.

4. No fudging the numbers. It's all well and good to make a list and add up the prices, but in the end I'll have to take taxes and shipping into account. I've set up and spreadsheet to keep the numbers and items in order and the aim is to get as close to $2071.59 as I can.

5. No stress and no guilt. Online shopping is ideal for me because I don't have to deal with traffic and clerks who are stressing out about making a sale. Even if I could get what I wanted by physically going there, I'll let myself attain it via a couple of clicks and then be happily surprised when it shows up at my door a few days later. Sorry bloated Calif. sales tax and environment, but that's how I roll these days.

6. No rush. Even though I want to get this project over and done with by the end of summer, I won't talk myself into buying something just to buy it. (Made that mistake in the past and now the house cleaner lady is sporting some very nice jeans.)

That being said, I've already fantasy spent $976.12 (not including tax and shipping), plus another $250-300 to take the husband out to a nice dinner after his graduation. Some items are still up for debate, like a Boden jacket that might be too boxy, but I know I'll be adding a couple of J Crew pants and a new watch to my wardrobe.

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