Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's a tough time to be an optimist. The economy teeters on the brink of a recession. Global markets are topsy-turvy. Consumer confidence is plunging like Pamela Anderson's neckline, and the Fed would have us spend our way out of this pickle.

You may not follow the ins and outs of the New York Stock Exchange, but you don't need a screaming bond trader to tell you that holding tight to hard-earned money suddenly feels like the smartest way to go.

So now is as good a time as any to kick that expensive store-bought latte-a-day habit once and for all for your own AeroPress coffee and espresso maker. And why not pack a scrumptious lunch in those nifty Built NY insulated totes or invest in a reusable water bottle by Sigg Switzerland? Both are good for the environment, can help with that pesky post-holiday weight "issue" and earn major cool points from those-in-the-know.

Live dangerously and do your own manicure-pedicure. Or instead of a pricey gym membership, break out those of-the-moment Rosette flats by Loeffler Randall for Target and hoof it to the nearest Metro station.

And if you just have to have one more fling with some bling, grab a rose-colored French leather purse by Coach. It may be your last splurge for a while.

-- Jill Hudson Neal

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