Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Rule #4: Shopping

  • Don't.
Okay, I know that is too simplistic. But it actually is pretty simple: stay away from stores and you'll be tempted less. I am no saint in this department: I work within a few blocks of J. Crew, The Gap, Banana Republic, Club Monaco, Ann Taylor, Restoration Hardware, Armani A/X, 9 West, etc. etc. It is retail ground zero around here and taking a walk at lunchtime presents temptation galore. Just today, in fact, I was dragged against my will into the Gap and forced to purchase a bra. But I'm also near some nice parks and quiet spots to sit, and I always feel more relaxed and ready to face the rest of my day if I just read or relax in the sun. This doesn't solve the problem of getting a mailbox full of catalogs every night: that is where not having DSL comes in handy. When I think how long it will take to order something with dial-up, I just don't do it, and by the next day at work, I've forgotten what it was that I wanted.
When I do go shopping for things that I need, I find it is better not to go with a friend. Sometimes it is great to have a supportive presence, someone to tell you that you don't look as fat as the mirror might suggest. But then, with good intentions, the friend might convince you to buy something that is a little outside your normal look (in my case, this might actually mean "they try to give you a much-needed makeover") and you decide to go for it, despite that little inner voice that says it's just "not you" and then where is that friend when you're getting dressed every morning? That "not-you" item sits in your closet unworn until you give it to the Salvation Army (of course getting a receipt for tax purposes).


Anonymous said...

Haha, I love this rule. :)

Anonymous said...

1) Eat before you go shopping - not after. You tend to spend less when you feel full. Try it before you knock it.

2) Sell those "not you" things on ebay. get some money back.

3) Allways ask for a discount, like "What discount can you give me for cash" or "Im a student - unemployed - pensioner - whatever - etc , what discount can you give me"

4) do your homework before going buying. Use the phone and cross check stores.

5) Bargain one store off against the other to get a discount.

Anonymous said...

so true

Anonymous said...

eBay, eBay, eBay. Whenever I get sick of something, it doesn't fit anymore, or even if it was a bad purchase in the first place, I can always recoup some of the money that I spent. In some cases, I can make more on the item than what it cost me. Sometimes I purchase things on eBay that are out of season and really cheap. Then I wait until they're in season and sell them for a big profit. I purchased a pair of black suede Manolo Blahnik pumps in July for $80 and sold them in November for $200. Not a bad return!

For larger items like furniture, try Craig's List.

Anonymous said...

ebay is not the best

Anonymous said...

reviews are very useful on ebay

Anonymous said...

Great article, it gave me a better insight thanks.

moocifer said...

yeah, minimizing the number and length of exposures to the inside of shops and to ads (tv, catalogs, mailers, etc) will put a huge chunk of change back in your pocketbook/wallet.

I try to keep my grocery shopping to once a week, sometimes once every two weeks. because every time I go in the store I end up buying more food than I planned.

The thing is, if you really *need* to buy something, that's the time to go shopping. Not at any other time and definitely not for entertainment. And, how do you know when you *need* versus want to buy something? Wait long enough and you'll find out. Needs will make themselves apparent. Then they go on the shopping list and you go out shopping.

This practice will save a *ton* of money for anyone who manages to ingrain it as a habit.

Anonymous said...

Just not taking any money with can help, though it´s scary.
If I really have to watch my spending, I leave all the cards/money home at the morning, before going to work. Maybe take a little cash.. but just a little, (like pocketmoney for kids)
It´s scary, couse you think, like, what if X happens and I need money, the thing is, there won´t be so many unexpected expenses, for what you´d be sorry later, that you didn´t have the mony