4. "I'll wear it forever..."
I met a woman at a book reading a few months ago who told me a story that really made an impression: She said that when the recession began, she told herself that for six months she would not shop for anything but the bare essentials. Everything she thought she "needed" she would either try to find a substitute already in her possession or she'd go without. Something truly surprising happened: Every time she thought she "needed" something, she'd go down into her basement—and she would find that thing or something just as good tucked away. We often trick ourselves into buying things by saying "I'll wear this or use this forever," but we've forgotten to look around and see if we already have something that might work equally well.