are programmed to believe "the more things we have,
the better," said Louis Manza, psychology professor
at Lebanon Valley College, Annville, Pa.
can break the cycle, though, by outsmarting yourself.
your wants from needs. Resist immediate-gratification
messages that bombard you from your television and
just one frill ó even just for a month or a year ó
and the dollars add up. Manza makes his own late-morning
tea for 3 cents a cup, for example. Following are more
wheeling. Financial planner David Williams of Cordova,
Tenn., sold his car and rides his bicycle to work. Gone
are his bills for insurance, gas and oil changes.
Cycling helps Williams manage his weight, keep his
cholesterol level in check and feel a "sense of
awakening. When Danielle Elderkin of Temecula, Calif.,
invested in a cappuccino-maker for the staff at her
public relations firm, the machine paid for itself in
week one. Five people times twice daily saved $250/week
on coffee-shop drinks, she said.
Instead of scurrying off to Starbucks, said Elderkin,
the staff now uses their coffee breaks to share some
it up. If your weakness is designer labels, cull your
closet, then stick to staples, said Karen Moran of
Charleston, S.C. By selling most of her designer duds,
she raised $4,000 to start her Sweet Luluís Bakery.
You can still score some top labels on a tight budget,
Moran said, if you curb your impulse shopping. Wait for
sales and free shipping offers, and patronize
for thought. Instead of expensive restaurant meals,
nonprofit website director Tony Marren of Provo, Utah,
goes online to find his favorite dishes, then makes them
at home for much less.
other copycat recipes, go to food.com and
When you eat at home, thereís no need to dress up, gas
up the car or feel rushed through your meal because the
waiter wants to turn over your table.
to riches. For the cost of an electric shaver and decent
pair of shears ($50 total on amazon.com), you can groom
your own dog. If you have no clue how to start, go to
diypetgrooms.com for tutorials. A walk a day keeps
Instead of leaving your dog at the poodle parlor for the
day (a scary outing for many dogs), he can have a spa
day at his favorite place ó home.
easy. Rather than paying your dry cleaner to sew a
button or repair a seam, buy a sewing machine for $50
and take a basic sewing class ($35 at Jo-Ann stores). By
the time you do nine repairs (about $90), your new skill
pays for itself.
If the trip to the fabric store stirs your creative
juices, you can save money by making your own Christmas
stockings and Halloween costumes, too.
wealth. Save thousands by buying an almost-new car. A
2013 Ford Escape SE for example, costs $22,000, compared
with $27,000 for a 2014 version (motortrend.com). The
older the car, the lower your auto insurance costs too.
Some dealerships offer free warranties on used cars, so
you donít sacrifice that new-car advantage.
real coo. Hiring baby sitters doubles your entertainment
budget, so trade with other parents or find venues where
you can bring the kids.
The kids learn to behave in public and are exposed to
new cultural experiences.