I have a confession: I'm a handbag fanatic. OK, it's not really a confession since everyone who knows me knows that I'm obsessed with designer bags. I'm not at the Prada level, but show me a Furla, Coach, Cole Haan or Dooney & Burke and I'll take it. In my younger days, I'd pick one up without a second thought. Isn't that what credit cards are for, I'd think to myself? But as I got older and took on more responsibilities (Hello, mortgage!), my guilty pleasure became less pleasure, more guilt. Don't get me wrong. I still melt at the feel of that soft, buttery leather and give in to it more often than I should. But these days it's also accompanied by a twinge in my stomach when I get my credit card bill. It's easy to rationalize buying a handbag in the heat of the moment: My other black one is worn out. I have so much stuff to carry I need a bigger bag. I don't have this shade of green. But when you're staring at your American Express bill, plus the ten other bills you have to pay that month, you realize that there has to be a better way.
Luckily, I heard about this cool website, Bag Borrow or Steal () that lets you rent awesome designer bags for as little as $15 for as long as you want—a week, a month, six months! And you don't even have to be a member. You can borrow bags as a guest (though your rental fee will be a bit higher.) It's perfect for someone like me who can't give up her obsession, even though she knows she should. This site is definitely on my "To try" list. Also on my list: Marshalls. Several friends have told me that it sells great brand name bags for a lot less than department stores. I'm so there! This devil may not wear Prada, but she can definitely borrow it, or at least get it for half off. —Angela Ebron, Articles Director
Tip of the Day: In addition to Marshalls, T.J. Maxx is also a great resource for brand name bags for less. Know of any other stores that offer deep discounts on designer handbags? I'd love to hear about it.