when you're spending money you don't have, there are savvy ways to stretch your
Most articles about personal finance
preach a gospel of thrift, advising readers to save and plan and pay down debt.
Reckless consumption is a serpent to be shunned.
though, you just don't want to hear another sermon about Sound Financial Planning.
So if you're looking for practical advice about getting your
financial house in order, stop reading now. This is a story about sinning and
getting away with it.
Does that mean you should live fast
and leave a beautiful corpse? Not really. But here are a few ideas on getting
good stuff, going places in style, and being prepared for the day the bill comes.
Learn to shop
Ditch the khakis and denim button-downs
haute couture no longer means expensive. The reason is fashion arbitrage,
the art of spotting and exploiting inconsistent prices in different markets.
example, normal prices at New York-based Barney's can be laugh-out-loud outrageous,
with $1,000 cotton sweaters and the like. But twice a year in New York and Los
Angeles, the upscale retailer hosts "warehouse" sales at locations away
from its main branches.
There, the discounts start deep and
get more aggressive over the sale's two-week run. Examples: a silk-and-cashmere
jacket by Zegna marked down from $1,400 to $150; Ferragamo shoes, once $400, walk
out the door at $89.
Another option for serious shoppers
are the sales hosted by a group of women calling themselves the Billion-dollar
Babes, at which prices can drop as low as 80 percent below retail.
events take place a few times a year in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York,
and feature a glittering array of designers. Besides the ubiquitous Fendi, Gucci
and Prada, participants have included brands that are less frequently seen discounted,
like Vivienne Westwood, Helmut Lang, and Jimmy Choo.
get to a coast? There's always the Web, where discounts sprout faster than you
can say "production overrun." Check out a site from Italy called Yoox.com.
It sells high-end clothing at low-end prices. Beloved by European fashionistas
since 2000, Yoox began shipping to Americans last year.
Chicago hosts a different sort of shop-til-you-drop festival: the ritziest rummage
sales on earth. Two Winnetka churches, the Congregational and Christ Church, annually
vie for the title "biggest" (certified by Guinness), but each offers
an impressive selection of wares from affluent North Shore locals.
are rooms devoted to everything: handbags, handkerchiefs, treasures, and furs,"
said Murph Henderson, a frequent attendee. "The selection runs the gamut
from super high end to K-mart."
'Rent' -- don't buy
Automobiles. You want to drive a fancy car, but don't have a fancy budget? Leasing
is the answer. The best option is to get a second lease leasing a car that's
already been leased once before. This way, you'll drive a car that's been "gently
used" but your debt obligations will be much lower than to lease a brand-new
If you go for a model whose design hasn't changed
much recently say, a two-year-old Lexus -- many people won't even notice
that the car's model year is not quite au courant.
continued at http://money.cnn.com/2003/09/22/pf/saving/beyond_your_means/index.htm
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