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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Best Beginner Tips Series #3: Be Willing to WAIT

Good morning, friends! πŸ’₯

  Today we are going to talk about WAITING! In our consumer society, this is a very difficult, but incredibly worthwhile concept to adopt. You want to save money? You want to spend less? Great! Stop buying!
πŸ™Š I know, I know. That is nearly impossible, especially with a family to take care of. So let's start a little less drastically than a commitment to being purchase-free.

What is it you think you need? Do you really need it?? The shoes you are looking at--do you NEED them? Or just WANT them? Do you already have shoes at home? Do they serve your purposes?
How many pairs of black high heels do you really need?

We are bombarded daily with the latest and greatest and told relentlessly that we NEED this or that RIGHT NOW!

9 out of 10 TIMES, YOU DON'T NEED IT!!!

Now, when your kid's sneakers have holes in the toes, that's a different story! Especially if school is in session; those are a NEED. But do they have other shoes or sandals that are sitting in the closet not being used? Is it summer time? Maybe they can get by with flip flops while you save for high quality school shoes that will last?
If not, look for a good deal.

 A good deal is not always the cheapest thing possible. One of the most important new concepts that you need to be adopting (we'll talk more about this in the next post) is the commitment to INVEST in quality rather than wasting precious dollars on quantity.

Shoes, coats, gloves, cars, perfume, socks, underwear, jeans, shirts, appliances, etc., are all worth investing in, if you are going to buy them.

πŸ’– Rather than buying the least expensive option in order to save money, save up for the best option, one that will last the longest--saving you money in the long term.

This can be very difficult at first, as you are trying TO SPEND LESS, NOT MORE. I get that. This is where the WAITING comes in. If you don't NEED it right now, then WAIT!!! Cut out your daily Coke or Starbucks, skip your weekly Dominoes pizza night, wait for that new movie to come out on video. Put those funds into your savings or money market account, LEAVE THEM ALONE, and when you have enough and have found a good deal on a quality option, THEN go and get the item that you NEED!

The Be Willing to Wait mantra also applies to food and household goods. I know, I know. Food is a priority! You need to feed your family! But are you approaching this need in the most financially-effective way possible?!

As I noted in a previous tip, stocking up on items that you use consistently will help you save a lot of money over time, but what about while you are waiting for the next Kroger Mega Event or Associated Foods Case Lot Sale??

Well, time to open the pantry! That almost-expired box of hamburger helper at the back of the cupboard? Time to use it! Those buckets of wheat, beans, and rice?? Get them out and soaking!

$$$ --Before spending more money, use up the things you've ALREADY spent money on!!! Get creative!!! Hop onto Google and find some new recipes! Institute and enforce this dinner rule: Eat What's on the Table, or Don't Eat!-- $$$

A dependence on convenience foods is not only unhealthy, but also deprives our families of new food experiences, broader tastes, and the opportunity to experience appreciation for what we have and how truly lucky we are. Let them learn that lesson!!!

πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©What about toilet paper?!?! This one is going to come down to how badly you really want to SPEND LESS! I'm a toilet paper snob myself. Having had lots of digestive problems in the last decade, there are just some things that I'm not willing to negotiate on. Soft, multi-ply toilet tissue is one of them! But this might not be such a deal breaker for you and your family.

πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©If not, can you get by with left over baby wipes or Kleenex while waiting for a great deal?? Are you willing to go old school (and incidentally more environmentally friendly) and resort to newspaper? Believe it or not, toilet paper as we know it has only been around for several decades. Millions of people got by with less luxurious means for millennia and you can too! Do some research, see your options, and be aware of septic considerations.

πŸ™€What about cleaning supplies?? Bottles of soap and detergent can really hit the pocketbook, especially if you aren't hitting a great deal or using coupons. While waiting for a sale or coupon, but out that box of baking soda and economy size bottle of vinegar. You'll find hundreds of recipes online for homemade cleaning products that will likely get you by with ingredients you already have on hand. 

This could also be a more  long-term commitment that will help your family save money and cut costs. Check it out, try a few recipes until you find one that works best for you.

But I NEED SOMETHING RIGHT NOW!!! ***And I don't have cash...***

Alright, so you've thought it through and you have no other options. It's an emergency or an essential need. Have you found the best possible deal? Have you done your research? Looked for rebates or discounts? Okay. Good job. Now, let's consider our options.

πŸ‘ΊCredit cards..... I shudder even mentioning them but they do have their place! Accidents happen, emergencies come up, and credit cards come in really handy! 

If you must use one, consider a few important things first! What will this expenditure cost me over time? How soon can I pay it off? Which of my cards offers the lowest interest rate? Do I qualify for any special deal 0% cards? Would my current credit company give me a lower rate if I got up the nerve to call and ask? How about balance transfers? Any deals available?

I don't generally recommend acquiring more credit cards to most people. It is just too easy to get carried away and lose track of how much one is spending. In my own life though, my husband and I have played the credit card rewards system successfully and have benefited greatly from it. Many cards offer bonuses or gift cards just for signing up; others for spending a minimum amount of money in a specified time period. 

πŸ‘‰The key here is to pay off the card as quickly as possible, BEFORE special 0% rates expire, and to cancel the card as soon as it isn't NEEDED, to avoid falling into the bottomless credit pit that plagues our country.πŸ‘ˆ

For instance, I bought school books yesterday for my current college semester. While looking on Amazon, I noticed that I again qualified for a 6-month Amazon Prime FREE TRIAL and quickly signed up, saving myself money on shipping. 

I also noticed, at check-out, an offer for a $70 gift card for applying for the Amazon credit card. I went ahead and applied for it, was approved, and then used the gift card for my books. I only had to spend $8.00 out of pocket for those books and will cancel the credit card after the first statement, even though it doesn't have a yearly fee. The interest rate is higher than I like and I just DON'T HAVE A FURTHER NEED FOR IT.

To sum up:
Wait!!!If it isn't an emergency or an absolutely necessary expense, WAIT!!! 

Find or make a way to get by while you cut other unnecessary costs, saving as much as you can, until you have the money in hand to buy the best quality item to meet your needs. 

Case in point:
I gave my kids a doll house for Christmas. I had been planning to buy or build one but then a neighbor advertised one for FREE. I grabbed it--yay!!!--and only had to wash, paint, and decorate it!
The one main thing I didn't get for the house was a kitchen.
I couldn't find a good enough deal on one I liked and couldn't justify paying for one.
πŸ’ƒGood things come those who wait!!!πŸ’ƒ

I found this fabulous Barbie kitchen (regularly $30-35) at Kmart today, on sale for $22.99. I knew I was getting a $10 coupon for picking up some prescriptions (Earn $10 for every 5 Rx's filled) and had decided that I was willing to spend $13 for the kitchen and would put it away for an Easter or birthday gift.
How thrilled I was to find out at the register that I had in $27 in rewards available!!!
The kitchen was COMPLETELY FREE, with no need for coupons, plus I got a few other little household things free as well!!!
You really will be rewarded for your self-control and patience! 
Put that faithful money-saving energy out into the universe and it will come back to you ten-fold!!!

πŸ™ˆAnd, in an effort to practice what I preach, instead of going to Joanne's after Kmart--I wanted to use their 40%/1 regular priced item coupon that expires today--I decided to just go home. I still need the hot glue sticks and paint brushes that I planned to buy, but I know that a better coupon will be coming along shortly and not only that, I have our prescription deductible to pay for now--yay for the new year!--and that is far more of a necessity than crafting supplies!!!

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