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A Million Bucks By 30 Missing Chapter: Oh No, Girlfriend (Part 1 of 4)

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I recently reviewed Alan Corey’s book, A Million Bucks By 30 (review), and absolutely loved it. So, I thought it’d be fun if Alan wrote a guest post while I was away on our honeymoon and he did me one better – he sent me a chapter that was cut from the book.

This chapter focuses a lot about frugality and probably an interesting profile of a common relationship between a spender and a saver. Since this was cut from an earlier edition, Alan couldn’t place it in the chronology of the book but he estimates this was around when he was 24 or 25. Regardless of the original placement, I’ll be splitting this up over the next four days so be on the look out for the next three parts.

Oh No, Girlfriend (Part 1)

Wow, my bedroom is a mess. Stacks and piles of clothes everywhere. An actual compost heap of clothes. I guess if something’s been on the very bottom of the pile for 5 weeks, that should make it clean by now, right? Let’s see…in the middle of the pile are my jeans – middle level means clean for jeans. My red shirt, nope, that probably needs another week. Oh cool, my socks! Those always take the longest, they’ve been there at least a month. OK, I can wear those. Oh man, my underwear is funky. Underwear never gets compost clean. Speaking of which, I’m down to my last clean pair. I’m a grown man, why can’t I just do laundry like everyone else? And why are drawers and closets so complicated to me? I guess I do know where everything is at least; I’m not completely senile yet. Yet!

I don’t treasure my clothes like many people, but that’s because I purchase my clothes from second-hand stores or at a tremendous discount. As a result, I don’t really get attached to anything I wear. I don’t expect high quality from things that cost so little, and honestly expect my clothes to fall apart after a few washings. But the truth is that rarely happens —all of my clothes seem to last forever. (And so I wear them forever.) My key to buying clothes is to avoid anything that’s trendy. Trendy has a shelf life, and I don’t want my clothes expiring. But at the same time, I don’t think I’m going to get arrested by the fashion police anytime soon. I’d like to think I’ve assembled a wardrobe of items that are adaptable to a wide range of occasions (like black shoes) and those that history has shown have staying power (like dark blue jeans). I don’t look expensive, but I still look good. Expensive only brings headaches: If I spill food on my cheap shirt, it’s not going to ruin my evening; if I spill food on your expensive shirt, well, it will suck to be you.

That’s it for part one, keep on the lookout for Part 2 tomorrow! Part 2 covers the girlfriend, Kelly, mentioned in the title and the conflict that often exists in a relationship if one person is a spender and another is a saver.

{ 8 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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8 Responses to “A Million Bucks By 30 Missing Chapter: Oh No, Girlfriend (Part 1 of 4)”

  1. Chris says:

    That might work for some but when you work in a professional office and need to project integrity and professionalism, clean and tidy apperances are standard. We of course have people in my company that don’t follow the standards and wear khaki’s and cheap polo’s everyday. Coincidently they are the same employees that have worked here 30 years without much change to their job/pay, have unhealthy physical apperances and lifestyles (smoking, donuts everyday).

    Nice clothing and trendy clothing are not the same thing. Of course not everyone cares how they look, generally the better someone appears physically and aesthetically will tell you something about there character as well as work ethic.

  2. Rev says:

    you’re right it is very career dependent. as an engineer I can get away just fine with jeans and tshirt and advance very quickly but as a lawyer that wouldn’t get me very far.

  3. 2million says:

    I have this book on my nightstand – I can’t wait to read it but am forcing myself to finish all the other books I have before I dive in. Thanks for the bonus material

  4. MoneyNing says:

    I want to add to Rev’s comment. Even if it was a lawyer, it will depend on which country you are from. In the states, wearing really expensive suits might make people think you are worth all the money but the same thing in Australia might make people think you are overpaid!

  5. dong says:

    I’d agree with Rev, I think it’s highly office dependent. I’ve worked in a few different offices. And in the tech world, often times it was sloppiest, messiest guy who was the biggest star. Not so much in consulting…

  6. BAnders says:

    There are numerous ways to dress professionally for an office environment and not spend a lot of money. I routinely buy dress shirts, slacks and blazers when they are on sale. I also go to discount stores such as ROSS, TJ Maxx and now Steve and Barry’s where I bought 4 very nice looking dress shirts for $8.98 each this past Saturday. I can spend a lot more on clothes, but why?

  7. Dana says:

    I used to work both at a Van Heusen outlet store and at a shoe outlet store that sells these leather men’s shoes that have been worn by at least two Presidents. Nice shoes, and you can get them cheaper there than at a regular mall or at a nice department store. Heck, if you don’t care what brand you wear, you can get nice men’s dress shoes through a military surplus shop or by tapping your military buddies to go buy them for you at the PX/BX/Exchange, depending on military branch. Nice, basic, black leather shoes that you can keep polished the old-fashioned way and they’ll last you for years if you treat them well.

    I don’t know about suits but I bet if someone looked real hard they could find a suit outlet as well. Or locate one on eBay. Or run by a consignment shop–they don’t only sell to women and kids.

    There’s no reason someone has to either (a) spend a lot of money on clothes or (b) be the guy in khakis and polos who never gets promoted. There’s a happy medium there.

  8. Lana says:

    Funny, because I wear this suit to all my interviews and I wonder if the person interviewing me appreciates my suit or think that I’m snobbish for wearing such a tidy suit. I would feel bad if the person interviewing me looks terrible in their clothes and I’m dress to the T.

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