up arrow Money Saving Tips for 2012, Part 3

Cole Haan Flats
Who needs a pair of turquoise lizard print Cole Haan flats? I do! Buy what you love, and you’ll never waste money on a purchase you regret.

Buy Only What You Love
Everyone has had the experience of buying a pair of pants or shoes or maybe a sweater, taking it home, and never wearing it. If it is a desirable brand, you may be able to sell it on eBay, but unless you bought it at a deep discount, you’re not recouping your investment. Here is an easy solution: Buy only what you love. If you don’t want to take it home and wear it immediately, leave it in the store. The same goes for household items. If it doesn’t strike you as something you love immediately, don’t buy. Don’t overthink your purchases by saying that you “need” another pair of black pants or a plain white shirt. If you don’t love those pants and want to put them on immediately, leave them in the store for someone else to love. Author Cynthia Heimel once advised that when shopping, “the garment in question should jump off the hanger, throw its arms around your neck and shout ‘I’m for you.’ ”

Use the Library and Buy Used
My Amazon wish list is just a click away on my iPhone, and I primarily use it to remember what I need at the library. It’s free, people! FREE! Before you make your next book purchase, check the library web site. Bookmark it on your phone’s browser for easy access when you’re tempted to buy. I now only buy what I can’t borrow, and when I buy, I hit one of Lancaster’s great used book stores like Winding Way or Dog Star. Both stores have eclectic collections that change constantly. Can’t find it there? Check eBay, Amazon Marketplace, or Alibris for a used copy.

Track Your Spending
Even I don’t adhere to this entirely, but I have tracked all my spending on clothing and accessories for the past two years. I track what it is, where I buy it, how much it costs, and whether I’ve purchased it used. At the end of the year, I compare the tally to my after-tax income. Seeing what you actually spend and where is eye opening. Let’s just say I’m a great customer at Building Character. Don’t think you need to purchase Excel to track your spending. Google Docs work perfectly, and access to their spreadsheet is FREE!

Winding Way Books
106 West Chestnut Street, Lancaster, PA

Dog Star Books
529 West Chestnut Street, Lancaster, PA

Lancaster Public Library
125 North Duke Street  Lancaster, PA 17602
(717) 394-2651 Search the catalog

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