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Shop ’til you drop.

Happy Friday, friends. Here are the money stories we’ve gathered for you today.

How to get out of everything — from extra work to Christmas parties. [The Guardian] — “The golden rule on all invitations is ‘stop and think’: If this were happening in half an hour’s time, how would you feel? A lot of parties won’t clear this hurdle, and now you have to figure out what to say. It’s very simple…”

The annoying (and hard to solve) problem of stolen packages. [Vox] — “As more Americans turn to online shopping as their primary way of buying goods, however, stolen packages are proving an annoyance and frustration for customers, and a looming dilemma for retailers and shipping companies that, with few exceptions, are still figuring out how to address them.” [My solution? I’m just home all of the time, so I bring in packages when I hear them delivered haha. (Sad but true.)]

Shop ’til you drop. [Humble Dollar] — “If you have a credit card, research suggests you’ll spend significantly more than if you were paying with cash or a check. The availability of 24/7 online shopping makes it just that much worse. Here are eight signs — besides the pile of packages outside our front door each day — that tells me impulsive spending has reached our house.”

Here’s a confession related to that last story.

When I was young, I was a compulsive shopper. I had issues. But reading and writing about personal finance for the past seventeen years fixed those issues. Mostly.

Lately, though, I’ve noticed that my compulsive shopping has returned but it’s all online. Watercolor video on YouTube recommends some new brushes? I’ll order them all from Amazon. New game come out for the iPad? I’ll buy it, even though I don’t know when I’ll get time to play it. And so on.

Now, I’m in a different place than I was twenty years ago. I can afford these purchases. And honestly, watercolor brushes are only $8 or $12 each, so it’s not like I’m wasting a vast fortune. Still, I’m spending on impulse instead of with intention.

So, for this reason (and several others), it’s very likely that I’ll be allowing my Amazon Prime membership to lapse when it comes time to renew in May.

Okay, that’s all I have for you this year. Seriously, I’m about to enjoy two weeks of vacation in Hawaii (depleting all of the airmiles and credit-card points I’ve accumulated in the past decade haha), so I will not see you lovely people again until 2024.

Have fun and enjoy your holidays!