Sophisticated Money Saving Tips
"Let me tell you something, Mister. If I had her money, I'd be richer than she is" Holly Golightly from 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' 

There are those people who have lot's of money but who are rude, show off, are selfish, and have no class... have you ever heard of a bull in a china shop? 

After raising 12 children in the great depression, my great grandmother always instilled in me the importance of sitting up straight, having manners, and making sure I was a lady above all else. She taught me that you could be wearing rags but could be considered or treated like a princess merely on the way you behaved and how you carried yourself. That helped growing up since I wore mostly second hand clothes until I was 11 or 12 so, I had to depend on my personality when all the other girls were getting new clothes and toys.

Everyone at some point has to go through hard times. Sometimes two or three times in their life. Based on my experience saving money is all about be pro-active and organized here are a few ideas on how to live on less and save money:

Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
When saving money paying off your credit cards should be your priority. The added interest will eliminate your savings and you could be putting that interest in your savings account per month. Pay off your credit cards as much as you can so that can use cash each month. The point is to spend as much cash as you have. Create a detailed budget every month so that you know how much cash you have. Include utilities such as grocery shopping, and the first month record each receipt you have so that you have estimated and actual. The actual amount will help you estimate. Make automatic deposits into your savings account as low as $20 per month. You will be amazed on how quickly it increases after 6 months you will have $120.00 saved so, imagine if you put away more each month.

Piggy Bank
With all of your coins that you get from paying cash, create piggy banks separate into pennies, nickels/dimes, and quarters. When you have LOT's of extra cash create a $1 piggy bank for those times you want to have food delivered to your house during bad weather or for when you need a little extra cash at the end of the month when your bills are paid . The coins after a month or so may total $40.00 but think about what could you do with an extra $40.00 in cash.

Window Shopping
Don't ever discount window shopping! Take a day and walk into different stores. Instead of looking at prices and getting sad you might not be able to afford an item, take note of those prices. By window shopping you can find out where the cheapest items are BEFORE you buy or shall I say impulse buy. For example, through a day window shopping, I realized that the same items found in Banana Republic are found at the gap for $20 almost $40 dollar difference! Also,  I found out that 51 plastic spoons, forks, and knives are only $1.50 at the dollar store. Don't waste your time buying them at a Pharmacy or a Grocery Store or even Target. The devil is in the details so why not indulge your guilty pleasure shopping without paying more than you have to ;D!

Use them! Cut them out and use them. See how many coupons you can use and how much money you can save when you buy something at Target or at the Grocery store. Keep your coupons in your car in a ziploc bag. Then, you will never forget them. 

Part Time Job
No one, not even a Sophisticate is beneath a part time job. Working part time, at the Mall or cleaning homes is more respectable than starving. If you need extra cash get a part time job that is near where you live and could use the money for incidentals. For example, if pet food is getting too expensive work weekends or during holidays so that you can use your paycheck and subsequent discount towards those items. From experience, if you have a part time job where you are not interested, you will reduce your motivation to save and spend your money on ridiculous items to increase your motivation for having a part time job.

Since some SUV's or cars that are utilized by suburbanites are still not hybrids, a Sophisticate plans her route of her errands and utilizes her GPS with a print out of a spare set of directions since she doesn't want to waste gas. She also checks a web site and knows it is as simple as a zip code to become familiar with the gas stations with the cheapest gas wherever she decides to go.

Library, Netflix, and Redbox, oh my!
A Sophisticate is not beneath going to the library for her books (and DVD's). She is also not beneath joining Netflix or Redbox instead of spending money on extra cable channels. 

Buying Clothes
When a Sophisticate is strapped for cash she buys clothes that are black and white. Black and white will ALWAYS be in style no matter what season or year meaning that if taken care properly a black button down shirt could last you three to four years.

Rewards Program
A Sophisticate utilizes reward programs at work and with her credit card to buy non-necessities aka wants such as itunes gift cards, Nordstrom gift cards, etc. Of course, from experience never use the gift cards for Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Home Depot. Why? From experience, a gift card from those stores will only precipitate more buying. Why? Because most of the items from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and Home Depot are needs and you can convince yourself you 'need' anything.

Pedicures and Facials
If you're strapped for cash and want to look fabulous without spending alot for a Pedicure or a Facial buy Apricot scrub. Scrub over feet twice maybe, three times a week and your face once. That will keep your feet and face looking great. A Sophisticate is also self-sufficient enough to clip, file, and paint her nails and toe nails herself

Where does a Sophisticate buy shoes? ALWAYS at Nordstrom. Nordstrom has a policy of free repairs and depending on the shoes a free replacement of the shoe with free shipping and handling. What other shoe store has a better deal? Shoes are like cars since they only depreciate in value.

If you have any clothes or handbags you don't want, a Sophisticate donates them. Donations are a win-win situation. With a digital picture and a receipt of the clothing the outfit is tax deductible. Thereby, someone get's a nice piece of clothing and you get a refund for possibly 100% of the cost you bought it at the end of the year. Even e-bay can't compete with that type of win-win situation. 

Music is just as important as books because it is food for the soul and can make a bad day just a little bit better. Music helps when you go for a long walk or run. Pay cash. Instead of paying through itunes with a credit card buy an itunes card with cash at the store. This will help you budget your 'extra' or fun expenses.

Grocery Shopping
Buy in bulk non-refrigerated items and make more trips to the grocery store to avoid overspending. Don't forget to go shopping on your way home from work to avoid extra gas wasted.

In the end, diamonds, expensive cars, shoes, and clothing do not make a Sophisticate. Being able to buy expensive things is only a perk or the icing on the cake since Sophistication has to do with manners, appreciation, and an inner beauty from merely a smile that radiates from within. The way a person carries themselves such as confidence and manners makes a Sophisticate NOT their clothes or what they can buy.