Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Save $$ by NOT Spending

A bargain isn't a bargain if you don't need it.  

I cringed when I recently read a blog about saving money.  The gal suggested that first you get organized to see what you actually had and then listed a few places where you could buy cheap plastic storage bins and containers to sort out and store all your stuff.  Wait a minute, wasn't the point to save money?  Ever hear of using a cardboard box?  You can get them free at the local grocery store or liquor store, or etc, etc.  They aren't as pretty, but hey, they work pretty well and cost nothing.  And if you feel like stocking up on the plastic bins because they're on sale, maybe you have too much stuff?  Just a suggestion...

Some people are compulsive buyers, especially if they spot a bargain.  My all time favorite experience with the compulsive buyer was an employer.  I had a job at a greenhouse a few years ago.  Great job, doing what I loved to do for minimum wage.  Time after time, the owner would tell me that she couldn't afford to pay me until next week.  Okay...she had always made good on what she owed me...and I loved the job, right?  Okay, so one time I took some of my pay in plants, but I loved the plants and it was still a great job...maybe just not the best boss.  A few weeks later, same tune.  She couldn't afford to pay me that week.  She was going to run to the bank, back in 20 minutes.  Two hours later, she comes in the door, all breathless and excited.  She had hit a couple garage sales along the way and stopped at the Dollar Store (damn that store and all their bargains!).  Bags and bags of Halloween decorations, including two statues that were 'only' $15 each, etc.  I guess she had forgotten about the 20 boxes of Halloween decorations that she already had stacked next to the cash register. You get the drift.  Suddenly the job wasn't so great any more.  I stuck it out a while longer, hoping to get actual cash for my labors, and finally told her that I'd take that nice wrought iron arbor for my pay.  That was the end of the great job and lousy boss who didn't know that a bargain isn't a bargain if you don't need it...and that you should pay your employee.

There is a blog that makes me smile, .  He's a real in your face kind of guy that's right up front about 'Sell your crap.  Pay off your debt.  Do what you love.'  That's it in a nutshell for him.  While his lifestyle isn't what I want, nor is it for everyone, he's got some pretty decent advice for the common joe.

For myself, I happen to like my crap.  I promise not to bring any more crap into my life since I'm trying to lower my consumerism.  Oh, that gold elephant plant stand over there?  It was a bargain, only $6.99 at the DAV.  I saw it when I was taking some of my old crap that I didn't need any more to donate.  At least I donated a lot more than what I brought back home, right?  Yes?  Hmmm......okay, a bargain isn't a bargain if you don't need it.

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