Thursday, November 18, 2010

What is a Frugal Deal?

There are thousands of 'sales' and deals on the Internet, not to mention the national retail flyers and emails we get.  This can be a positive thing.  But there are times a positive thing can cross the line into a negative.  Sales and deals can be just another way to separate you from your cash.  And, another avenue to feed a shopping addiction.

A deal is a deal only if it serves a concrete need in your life.  A 50% off sale is good IF you need an item.  A coupon is good IF you need an item.  (or can get it for free) A free gift card with purchase is good IF you need the purchased item. 

The need for something is a personal decision.  For instance, Christmas is coming soon and you have dedicated  gift cards to a chain restaurant for family and friends.  With the purchase of 25.00 gift cards there is an offer of a free 5.00 GC.  Since the GCs are the gift you want to send, this is a deal for you.

Buying 25.00 cards is not a deal if your allotted budget was priced at 15.00 for each family.  However, if you bought 25.00 in GCs and received the free 5.00 card and you have 3 10.00 gifts to give, then you saved 20.00 in your budget.  A quick call to the local store asking the manager if you can purchase the cards in smaller increments and still receive the free card will save you time, gas, and aggravation.

3 families with a budget of 15.00 each (45.00)
buy 25.00 of GCs in 10.00 and 5.00 increments
get one 5.00 free GC

budgeted for 3 people 45.00
cost for 3 families 25.00
savings 20.00

You now have a choice to put the savings aside to pay on a bill or roll it back into the Christmas budget.

This thinking process takes a while to cultivate, and there will be mistakes, but it will become a way of life - if it is your goal. And the money saved will begin to show up more and more.  Maybe that's what it's meant when people say 'It takes money to make money'.

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