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

This is the third installment of a chapter originally removed from Alan Corey’s A Million Bucks By 30 [3] (review [4]). 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!