The "thrift tree" (as I call it) illustrates what is important in priority order. Applying these principles will not only save some money, but they will save our planet.
1. USE WHAT YOU HAVE - whether it's clothing, shoes, smartphones, furniture, cars, etc... unless it's broken, torn, damaged or simply does not work anymore, use it. If it needs minor repair, fix it - it will usually cost less than buying new.
2. BORROW - when I've needed something for a short duration, I usually ask to borrow it from one of my neighbors (for example, a ladder). I have also borrowed a dress from one of my friends for an evening event. Unless you will need any particular item for more than a couple of times, consider borrowing it first.
3. SWAP - I've often posted to swap stuff with friends. Collect stuff you no longer have use for, such as clothes, purses, jewelry, household items, books and magazines you've already read. You can make it extra fun by holding a "swap party"! Any items not "swapped" can be donated to a local thrift store.
4. THRIFT - speaking of thrift store, I always check my local Goodwill, Salvation Army, ReStore, or other thrift stores first for clothing items, accessories, or home decor items. Not only do I save money, but I feel good about helping out these local organizations. I also shop garage sales, swap meets and flea markets!
5. MAKE - this is the season for gift giving... why not make the gifts instead of buying them. There are many wonderful homemade gift ideas, such as baked goods, candles, soaps, plant or floral arrangement, etc. You can also use recycled gift wrapping, gift bags, ribbons, etc. Personalize the card by making your own using the recipient's photo.
6. BUY - let's face it, there are just some things things that we have to buy. Most of these fall in the category of food. However, if possible, try to grow your own herbs, vegetables, fruits, etc..
Although it's nice to have something brand new, consider whether you really need another pair of designer jeans before you break out that credit card.