Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spending Wisely When You Just Don't Want To Spend At All

The following is a guest post is from Amy at Money 4 This Not 4 That.

Every post you read about frugal living seems to be focused on how to save money. These lists are without a doubt the best thing out there. The wisdom you can gather from others is often invaluable, and other times it's your money saving tips that are the ones so appreciated by others.

Then we come upon the dilemma of spending. There are some things that you try and save on, but in the end you just need to spend your money wisely.


Out of all the clothing needs that we buy for our family, these are the things that drive me crazy. Socks, underwear, sports bras, compression shorts, soccer shoes, soccer socks, soccer uniforms, sport teams sweatshirts, basketball shoes, track shoes, running shoes, dress shoes….stop me anytime. These are needs that you have to buy and you have to spend money on, so you had better spend wisely.

1. Buy a year in advance. It's harder to do when the kids are older (middle school, high school) but it can be done. My daughters feet quit growing a few years ago, so I can buy for her a little easier. My son on the other hand is in a major growth spurt. It's a gamble and depending on the price, it's a gamble I might take. So far so good.

2. Buy Quality, because you would like these to last throughout the year for all sporting activities. With compression shorts, socks, sports bras you just have to buy when you see a good price. Don't try and get fewer than you think you will need because they will wear out faster or your kids will start digging through your closet for what they need.


What about all the household needs that we have? The conveniences that we can no longer live without? How do we spend wisely on those items?

1. Buy your AC or heater in the off season. Better bargaining power when there isn't a lot of demand. When it breaks and it needs replaced at the time, even though it's a hard pill to swallow, buy a good one, even if it costs more. Do your home work, and get at least 3 bids.

2. Take your time when purchasing any appliance that goes out in your house. The inconvenience of having your stove go out, or your fridge or even a washer or dryer is awful. It's happened to us, it was our washer. I took my time, asking friends, reading consumer reports, shopping around and asking lots of questions. In the meantime I took a latte to my friend in exchange for washing machine use.


Then comes the dreaded medical bills. Medical needs and bills are huge money suckers, but don't go cheap. You can never prepare yourself for what may come, but spend wisely. I have to remind myself of this.

1. Research, know, understand every option. Don't ever, EVER put a price tag on your health. Again, trust me. I am so incredibly frugal I was out last night at 11pm picking up newspapers that had been laying out for 4 days that I knew had coupons in them. I am frugal, but at the same time I won't put a price tag on my health. After 9 months of research I have agreed to a surgery, that I need, that will cost me $40,000 out of pocket. Seriously check out my site, I am horribly frugal, but that lifestyle is what allowed us to make this decision. I am just glad that I will be able to make the best decision for myself.

2. There are many ways to save money on your medical bills too. Simple things like matching up bills to EOB and asking questions, ask for discounts and shop around for best pricing. For more details check out my blog.

3. If the medical need is glasses, be willing to spend money if you want the recipient to actually wear them.

4. Look for special medical credit cards like Care Credit that will help you pay off some of your medical expenses with a low interest rate or 0% interest, so you can choose the best option for your family. By doing this you spread the expenses out over a period of time, instead of one lump sum.

It's ok to spend, if you just do it wisely. Check out my blog, http://money4thisnot4that.com/ and see where I spend and where I save.

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