Monday, January 14, 2013

Frugal Living Tip #14 - Wait To Buy

Waiting to Buy: Avoiding Impulse Shopping

I have talked about understanding sales cycles and buying this season's clearance for next year. Avoiding impulse shopping falls in the same category.

My husband, Steve, and I are both big research before we buy people when it comes to a high dollar purchase. We always check consumer reports and any reviews along with shopping around for the best price. The jeweler who sold Steve my engagement ring commented every time we stopped in to get it cleaned and inspected, that he had never had a customer who had done as much research as Steve. I like to think that reflects highly on him choosing me. :)

I realized recently that this concept needs to applied more diligently to our everyday lives. I enjoy being able to go through the Starbucks drive-thru for a pick me up when I am out in the afternoon, but spending $3 on a cup of coffee is far from a frugal idea. For the record, I don't do this daily but at least 2-3 times a week, and that can add up significantly. If I can forgo the instant gratification of hitting the drive-thru and wait a few minutes and make my own cup of coffee at home it can be a savings of $6 -$9 a week, which leads to a $24-$36 savings a month, and $288-$432 savings a year!

Starbucks may not be your weakness, but perhaps adding miscellaneous items to your grocery cart that aren't on sale or needed for your weekly menu plan is. Buying an item from the clearance rack may save you some money from the original price, but if it isn't something that you really need or have a definite use for, it is not a savings. I know that I have personally found lots of "deals" that I ended up not using and then placing them in a goodwill or yard sale pile.

The bottom line is if it isn't on your list or something that you have been looking for then buying it - even on sale - isn't a savings. Especially if it ends up being clutter or something that you have to end up giving away.

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