Make The Consumer Savvy Connection

Plug into these strategies to maximize your personal purchasing power in the 21st century.

purchasing habits to your children. The best way to measure how successful you’ve been at implementing savvy shopping habits is by examining your children’s purchases. “We should encourage our kids to make purchases based on their needs, which products offer the best quality within the constraints of their budget as well as which companies invest in their communities,” advises Linda Weatherspoon Haithcox, former national manager of economic development for the NAACP. If we provide our children with anything less, we’re sending them into the world without knowing how to properly evaluate their purchases. And that puts future generations on a clear path to financial devastation.

Most youngsters, who generally follow their parents’ lead, are conspicuous consumers. Their purchases are driven by a psychological need to keep up with the Joneses. However, it’s time we taught our children to choose substance over symbols by investing in property that will increase in value. For example, instead of allowing our children to purchase a Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirt, we should encourage them to take a look at the company’s stock. Let’s abandon the mind-set that ties material goods to self-worth.

Making the consumer-savvy connection in the new millennium may be a matter of maximizing your efforts in areas that you’re already familiar with. Or it may mean opening your eyes to a new means of measuring your wealth. One thing is for sure, if you truly want to be a millionaire and pass wealth on to future generations, it’ll take more than answering a few mindless questions on a TV game show. It will take a long-term commitment that requires you to become a more educated, confident consumer.

Harriette Cole, president and creative director profundities, inc.
On seamless style in the new economy
Style, in this economy, is in everything. We live in a Web world where things change quickly, and style is no exception. How can you keep a sense of style that anchors you as you, but has some element that keeps you moving into the future? You may think that you don’t need to be conscious of fashion trends. But if you’re not, you’ll be missing out on a subtle opportunity to show others that you are paying attention to what’s going on around you. Your adornment says something about you. When you understand this power, and are able to package it so that it works to your advantage, you’ll win.

Whether you have a sense of style or whether you’re searching for one, it’s important to ask yourself, “Who am I?” And you have to do that throughout your life. Ask yourself, “What do I have to offer people? What do I want people to take away when they see me, when they hear me, when they experience me? How do these things relate to the various components of who I am?” You have only one life, and you are the same person going from one activity to the next, whether it’s a trip to the grocery store, a meeting with your boss, or an

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