A gem of a tip
Keep your ears open for ways to save money! For less money and a bit more effort, you can save tens of dollars by making your own earrings.
Here's how: A basic, dangling earring consists of an ear wire ohook, a pin-like base, and all the beads you can hang on it. And often you can make four or five pairs for the cost of a single pair of boutique-bought earrings.
At Create-A-Hobby at Columbia Mall, for example, beads -crystal, plastic, wooden, metallic or seed -- cost from 2 cents per bead to about $5, says Anne Regan, store manager.
Other places to mine for less expensive treasures are BeFranklin stores, trade shows and antique shops.
The cost per pair could run from $7 to $100, depending upon your budget and the quality and type of beads.
Why didn't anyone think of this before? To save money, stop spending it.
Actually, it's no joking matter to Carolyn Wesson -- author of new book titled, "Women Who Shop Too Much" (St. Martin's Press, $9.95).
Ms. Wesson, who is a therapist and self-proclaimed recoverinover-shopper, wrote the book because she felt that shopping canbecome as compulsive as drinking.
Here are a few of the symptoms of compulsive shopping, according to Ms. Wesson:
* Even though you feel guilty about shopping, you continue.
* You buy things you don't really want or can't even use.
* You can't pay all your bills from your income and are dippin into savings or borrowing cash against your credit cards.
* You pay bills after the duedate ormakepar-tial payments.
* Creditors have canceled your credit cards, are threatening tdo so, or have turned you down.
An outlet for shoppers
Where better to slash shopping budgets than at outlet malls?
Here are a few tips on how to get the best of already reduced prices, says Cheryl McArthur of McArthur/Glen, who has developed 10 outlet malls, including the Chesapeake Outlet Centers in Queenstown and Perryville. Outlets at Perryville include, Liz Claiborne, Anne Klein, Etienne Aigner and Carol Little.
* Before taking off for the outlets, check department stores so that you know the going rate.
* Call ahead to see if particular items are in stock.
* Ask to be put on the mailing lists if you have a preferred designer or store.
* Consider stocking up on necessary items such as underwear and hosiery.
Saving In Style welcomes questions and suggestions. Write Holly Selby, acting Fashion Editor, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.