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Shop Your Bathroom PDF Print E-mail

Tired of the cosmetics in your makeup bag? 

Before heading to the drugstore or department store, check your makeup drawer and look for loved, but forgotten items.

You can do the same for shampoo and conditioners.  When you find that you're not getting the same results from your favorite hair products, swap them out for something else you already have on hand.

The Sunday Amazon Habit PDF Print E-mail

By Melissa Tosetti

I learned a fantastic tip from one of my new clients yesterday. He’s a professor and purchases a lot of academic books for his own library.
If he hears about a book he’d like to add to his collection, he puts it in his Amazon shopping cart and leaves it there. He continues to do this throughought the week.  On Sunday, he sits down and reviews all the books in his shopping cart and then decides which ones he really wants to purchase. 
The habit has two big benefits:
  • He gets a few days to really think about the purchases he wants to make before pulling the trigger.
  • The second and more impactful benefit is that he gets to see the total cost of all the books he was thinking about buying that week. If he were to purchase them over a seven day time frame, it would be $30 here and $40 there. By looking at them all at once he’ll see a $200 total and that makes him really evaluate each book.  He'll then only buy the ones that will give him the most benefit.  The others, he borrows from the library.

This tip doesn't have to be limited to books.  You can do it with any purchase.  In fact, you can use it to save you even more money by implementing a once secret savings tip.  For many items Amazon sells, if you leave it in your shopping cart for a few days, you may receive a discount code via email.  It's a trick some retailers use to get you to pull the trigger.  It won't work on books, but it will work on many of the items you purchase through Amazon or other retailers.



How To Change Your Spending Habits PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti
Yesterday I posted a piece about being willing to save for an item if it’s what you really want, rather than buying a cheaper item by default. I posted a link to the article on Facebook where Cheryl Stafford Ferguson wrote the following comment:
Don't want the more expensive one just because it is more expensive.
More expensive is not necessarily better quality.
Cheryl is absolutely right. Just because an item costs more, doesn’t mean it’s better quality.  The true nature of savvy spending is in questioning every purchase.  Is this an item I should invest in or should I bargain shop?
Her post reminded me of a conversation I had last week with clients who, previously, never had to worry about money. Now that they’re in retirement, they’re having to be mindful of their spending to ensure they don’t outlive their money.
They asked me how to become more conscious about their spending. Before, if they wanted something, they’d just buy it and never look at the price. 
I suggested two books for them to read. One is, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and the other is What Would A Wise Woman Do by my friend Laura Atchison.
Both books talk about how so much of what we do in any given day is out of habit, including the questions we ask and the decisions we make. If you’re trying to change your financial situation and your making decisions based on your old habits, your situation is not going to change.
If you can break out of the fog and become conscious of the spending decisions you make, from a pack of gum to your next car, you can change everything. 
One of the things The Power of Habit explains is the need for a trigger to implement a new habit. So, if you want to be more conscious about your spending, something as simple as putting a post it note on your debit or credit card with the words “spend smart” will be the trigger you need to ask yourself the right questions before making your next purchase. 
Don't Be Cheap PDF Print E-mail

Savvy Living isn't about being a cheapskate or a tightwad.  Don’t settle for a cheaper item just for the sake of saving money if the more expensive item is what you really want.

Often, in the long run, it’s more expensive to purchase the cheaper item - because it's inferior or because you won’t have the satisfaction the more expensive item would give you.

Without that satisfaction, you will likely end up purchasing the more expensive item on top of the cheaper one, costing you far more in the long run.  Be willing to save for what you really want. 

Are You Eating Your House? PDF Print E-mail
By Melissa Tosetti
Donna Freedman is one of my favorite personal finance writers.  I had the pleasure of talking with her awhile back after we met on a panel. After reading her column on MSN for years, it was a pleasure to put a voice and personality to her written words.   
Last week I saw a headline for an article on GetRichSlowly.com that jumped out at me. The title was We’re Eating Our House. I clicked on the link and was not surprised to see that Donna was the author.
The focus of the article is whether your financial goal is a new house, retirement or your dream vacation, if you find yourself struggling to achieve your goals, look at your dining habits. It’s likely that “you’re eating your house”.  
My favorite line in the article is…
Ever listened to a friend bemoan her paycheck-to-paycheck status while using an iPhone to Instagram her entrée?
But Donna doesn’t just point out where people stumble in achieving their goals. She offers dozens of suggestions for how to fix the problem. 
Check out the article and while you’re at it, visit her blog Surviving and Thriving.
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