Birthday money is a terrible and wonderful thing. Wonderful in that you can buy anything you want with it and it’s okay because it isn’t out of the “budget”. Terrible in that you have to make a decision. Something admittedly I struggle with. Raised in a . . . “frugal” . . . home, okay actually we were poor, I spent most of my life looking at the price of things. Even now when I know quality trumps price, etc., I still struggle with anything over $10. That said, I try to look for bargains and good deals, especially when it comes to clothing. Now – I admit to a real fondness for handbags. Over the last few years I have managed to get really good deals at Kohl’s with their incredible clearance deals. But still, I don’t like to spend more than $10 to $15 for them. This year however, I turned 48 and received a $48 check from a loved one to celebrate with. I immediately decided I was going to “splurge” and buy a new purse with it. I got it in my head that if I watched the incredible sales that seem to be going on around me (50 – 75% off) I could get a super nice handbag, even if I had to kick in a little. So, off I went to Belks yesterday to look around. I have an idea of the style I want, but decided that instead of looking at prices I would “feel” all the purses first. A big mistake . . . there is definitely a difference. My biggest problem? I loved the feel of a Dooney & Bourke – bright red, smooth leather, a medium sized “Chiara” bag. Oh, it was wonderful. But then I looked at the price tag – I knew it would be expensive . . . only $345! It was NOT on any kind of sale! I went around the others again – Nine West was on sale, but even then- we were talking about $100. Just not something I can bring myself to do. So, while my selfish side longs for the Dooney & Bourke, I would not be comfortable carrying around and abusing a purse that costs that much. So, it’s back to Kohl’s for me – maybe I’ll find another Daisy Fuentes (the one I’m carrying now only cost me about $17 on the clearance table) – or maybe I’ll get lucky and Vera Wang will be on sale . . . I can always dream.