Friday, January 28, 2011

Saving Money is Fun...and Other Fallacies!

Living on a budget is important to retirement date...I am a miserable failure! I am addicted to Chicos and any place that sells children's clothes. I do try to check sales and stores like TJMaxx, but I still spend too much for an old retired girlfriend. There are a few tips...Chicos has a passport club that automatically gives you 5% off all your purchases and some days even more. You also get coupons that apply to purchases.  When you shop their sales and use the coupons and the passport discount, you can get cool stuff cheap! Plus their clothes are designed by real people so even if you're a bit square (physically not emotionally!) you can still wear things that don't look like your grandmother gave them to you! Coupons for department stores are a source of free money...keep your eyes open in the Sunday papers for deals! Another tip is to cash in your American Express or other credit card points for generic gift cards that can be used to buy things! AMX points can get you $50 gift cards that will go a long way to buying things that aren't on your budget! You can also give them as gifts.

Now for the grandchildren!  Each year I set a budget for birthdays and Christmas for the kiddos...and do pretty well for those two holidays.  It's the spontaneous purchases when I gravitate first to the children's department in any store I enter and the other holidays like Valentines, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Ground Hog Day and 50 other major and minor occasions for which I am compelled to purchase presents! I can't give you any tips other than never enter a store again or at least shop the sales racks first. I do try to stay away from toys as I never know what they already have unless I get their Toys R Us Christmas list...that worked great!  I could pick things they wanted and didn't already have.

I'm also trying to write a closet plan...a closet plan lists the things that I have and the things that I need to make the things I have work.  Like more pants.  Last year it was tops and jackets.  I can't seem to get organized.  I also need to move the things I can't wear because I still haven't lost that 10 or 20 pounds.  By moving, it needs to be to eBay but it may just be to my storage closet in the attic.  A girl can dream! You can sell high end stuff on eBay without too much trouble.  I had several Brahmin purses that went really high.  A closet plan should be a realistic plan based on what you really wear in retirement...not what looks really cute.  An Ellen Tracy suit does not really fit in at WalMart, regardless of how great it looks. Let's face it...when you are retired you don't need as much...and if you have a closet plan you may actually only buy things you need and would wear.

I think shopping for clothes, shoes and grandchildren stuff has been the hardest thing for me to control. So...if you have any tips besides just say NO, let me know.

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