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

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This is the third installment of a chapter originally removed from Alan Corey’s A Million Bucks By 30 (review). In this part, Alan shares the rest of the lessons learned.

Oh No, Girlfriend (Part 4), Lessons Learned:

Similarly, if you’re about to buy something stop for a moment and ask yourself, “Do I already own something like this?” Ridiculous, right? How many black skirts do you own? Red sweaters? Pairs of brown boots? I thought so. I see this time and time again in all my friend’s closets, girls and guys. If you really want something that you already have do the following: Go to your closet and find everything you haven’t worn for year, and bring it your local recycled clothing store. You probably have at least 50 items. If the store doesn’t want to buy it from you (be prepared, they’ll offer you like $2 for a leather jacket that they resell for $25), try to sell it online. Take the money you make (50 items X $2 = $200) and go buy whatever it is you are jonesing for. You open up closet space and now only have items you actually wear.

My friend Eric spent 3 years buying clothes at discount prices at our local recycled clothing store (like your $25 leather jacket) and reselling them on eBay for a decent profit (selling it for $40). He find this so lucrative, this was his only income for three years. He wasn’t getting rich off of it, but he was able to live entirely off the earnings, create his own hours, and plus, he thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

If it’s an obvious trend, go for the cheap knockoff. So Prada’s spring shoe line is all about pink patent leather mary janes with glitter accents. That’s totally awesome — Payless and Target have them too, for about $400 less. (I never said there wouldn’t be sacrifices.) Girls, take notice. Guys don’t notice your shoes. You think I’m going to know the difference between Manolos and your Payless high-heels? All I’m going to notice is that you’re freakishly taller. Enough said.

Do yourself a huge favor and don’t shop with your credit card; it’ll keep you from spending money you don’t have.

Consider being model at a school for hair stylists to get cuts for free. Obviously, you don’t want to do anything crazy or complicated, but a.) these people aren’t total morons and b.) they want to do a great job. It’s their “class work” and they don’t want to get a D+. And you don’t need a haircut every month. It’s okay to wait a while.

Invest in some nice manicure and pedicure supplies and do these yourself. Or just do them yourself most of the time.

Figure out when you absolutely must have a certain brand, and when a generic version will do. Have a favorite shampoo or cleanser? OK. But do you need top of the line cotton balls? Hand lotion? Mud mask? Similarly, when comparing your fancy brand with a store or generic brand, check out the ingredients: are they, in fact, the same? How much are you paying for a name brand, a company’s marketing campaign, and nicer packaging?

Bitch and Swap. There are a bunch of names for these, but the basic concept is that you get a group of women together who have all gone through their closets and pulled out the stuff they never, ever wear, or are sick of, or that doesn’t fit anymore. Each person presents their items, and if anyone wants something, they take it. If more than one person wants it, negotiations ensue. (This is where the “bitch” part comes in, but it usually all works out for the best.) Make this the last step before you donate your clothes. Anything that doesn’t get claimed goes to charity. The end result is that everyone gets something new and cool for free. Maybe this goes without saying, but it’s wise to plan this with friends your size. My sister went to one and no one wanted her clothes and she couldn’t wear anyone else’s clothes because she’s a foot taller than most humans. But she got some items and reused the fabric to make her own stuff. And even got a shirt she thought she could sell.

That’s it for this missing chapter! I hope you enjoyed it!

{ 4 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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

  1. Christopher Hawkins says:

    My brother just bought your book and said that it was great. Tons of useful tips. I thought I would go out tonight and buy it, but I guess I will take some of your useful advice and wait until he is done reading it, and bum it off of him. Your missing chapter should have never been taken out of the book. I can’t wait to read the whole thing.

  2. Uyanga says:

    I just finished reading your book! Greatest book of Knowledge. Very informative and fun! I always liked “how to” books but some of them are really boring, your’s was the opposite.
    I might be the only girl who hates to shop although i enjoyed watching women spending $400 for a pair of shoes on sex and the city.
    Your book inspired me to be a penny pincher. All this time i thought i was a good saver, but i could never eat ramen 7 days in a row.
    Thanks a lot for sharing your story!
    I won’t buy but i’ll manage to read it in barnes and nobles if you publish another book (sorry but you taught us to be penny pincher, remember?!!)
    Thanks again, good luck on your next project!

  3. Dana says:

    I guess I am one of those highly unusual women who never buys more than one pair of shoes per year anymore (well, not counting one-dollar flipflops I picked up in a bargain bin so I’d have something to slip on to go out and check the mail). Not giving a rip about the latest fads is part of it, but I also have really hard-to-fit feet. And yet, if I could find a consistent source of shoes that did fit me, I’d still limit myself to shoes that I could wear with as many different outfits as possible, and shoes that fulfilled specific purposes. I’m one of those sticks in the mud that would get a pair of boots for crappy weather, a pair of dress shoes for an interview or an otherwise important occasion, a pair of athletic type shoes for if I had to walk long distances or wanted to work out, and maybe a pair of sandals that would last more than three months. And that would probably be it. Four pairs, not forty.

    They actually sell shoe wardrobes now for the addicts among us. I can’t begin to fathom it.

    This is not to say I am a tightwad, because I know that if I had the money I’d run through it in a hot minute, but there are some things even I won’t do, and having thirty identical blue scarves in the lingerie drawer would be one of them. And I don’t even have a lingerie drawer. It’s the underwear drawer.

    Don’t even ask when was the last time I got a professional haircut.

    I wish I had been in a position to understand better about real estate buying and selling back when the market was hot. I spent that time trashing my credit instead. But your book is still very inspiring, and I’m looking for alternatives that could at least get me out of debt by the time I’m forty. (I’m 34 now.)

  4. SavingDiva says:

    Dana, I’m really impressed that you only buy one pair of shoes a year. I have to admit that I buy quite a few. I go through about 3-4 pairs of running shoes alone!


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