BOSTON (CBS) – I met a woman at a Weight Watchers meeting recently who has been going to Weight Watchers forever she told me. She also told me her closet story. For the last couple of years she has been anticipating getting thinner. It has not happened! She has a closet full of clothes in sizes 4, 6, 8 and 10. I promised not to reveal her current size.

There is something in almost everyone’s closet that still has the tags on it. Probably hidden in the back so your spouse doesn’t see it.

The cute black dress you bought for your high school reunion, one size smaller than you normally wear because you thought you were going to lose weight. The new gym clothes because you were going to join a gym.

What about that gym membership that you signed up for to go with those new clothes? Your New Year’s resolution was to get more exercise and the gym seemed like really good idea. But after the first month you are struggling to get there once a week.

Our mothers told us that the way to hell was paved with good intentions. Be leery of purchasing any gym membership unless you have convinced yourself you are going to use it. Some of the contracts are for a year and very difficult to get out of. Only join a gym if you can do a month-to-month arrangement.

Exercise equipment is a big one because it’s expensive. We think we are going to use it, we promise ourselves we are going to use it, but we don’t. That treadmill has become a towel rack in your bedroom!

It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and buy something you don’t really need. It’s easy to be talked into something you don’t really need. And at times it’s hard to figure out what you do need.

Some questions to ask yourself before you buy something:

Do I need it or do I want it?
Can I afford it?
Do I have the cash available to pay for it?
Will I really use it?

If you can answer “yes” truthfully to all of those questions then go ahead and buy it and enjoy it!

So what about the stuff we accumulate? The Panini press and cookbook, the bread maker, the kid’s clothes that they outgrew before they could wear them, the must-have wrench set still in the box, the make-your-own beer kit and the vibrating recliner sitting in the basement.

Have a swap sale with your friends. Everyone brings their stuff they bought on impulse or got for Christmas and you have a good old Yankee swap. Price the stuff you bring and you can take something of that value home with you.

Or better still, sell the stuff you don’t need or want on eBay  or Craig’s List and for the sports equipment try Play It Again Sports. I have used Craig’s List and found it easy to sell stuff.


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