Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Saving for Something

If you are saving for something; do you tend to spend less?

Back in May 2005, we financed / leased two new automobiles. We were told to pay these off within 3 years (lease) and within 5 years (purchase). Soon after I found an article on doing snow ball payments. The idea was that within 7 1/2 years you could pay off all of your debts including your mortgage. We tightened our belt straps and started on our journey.

By applying 10% of our take home income per month to our shortest debt we paid off the lease portion on one car. Then we applied the extra 10% to our financed auto, plus the payment that we used to make to the lease company. By March 2007, we paid off our auto and rec. our title.

In most circles we would be considered debt free but I "still" consider a mortgage a debt. Our next step was to apply the 10%, lease payment and the car finance payment to the house.

May 2008 we needed to make another auto buying decision. The result was a used car and no financing.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Needs vs. Wants vs. Emergencies

A lot of times we buy replacement items but how often do we actually buy an item before it is needed? A printer could be showing some signs of wear and it will soon find itself out at the curb. An air mattress could spring a leak and see a similar fate. Would you need to replace a printer and an air mattress right away? Possibly.

Does that turn a purchase into an emergency purchase? What happens when your purchase becomes an emergency? You may pay top dollar and you might not get the exact item that you want.

A friend's parents evaluated how long items were supposed to last and started shopping / researching before "the emergency" occurred.

Can you live without a printer, an air mattress or even a lamp until you have time to get the best deal? PREPARE before the emergency occurs.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How To Prevent Impulse Buys

1) stay at home
2) shop on a full stomach
3) bring a list
a) pair down the list prior to going into the store
4) write down all purchases when putting into a cart if going in for a couple of items (such as at a drug store)
5) write down the prices and add them up prior to going to the cash register
6) You have heard of trigger foods ... Do you have any trigger stores or malls where "stuff" just pops into your cart
7) price items at two or three places prior to making a significant purchase
8)set a dollar amount that you want to spend at the store or stores and reduce that by 5 or 10%
9) allow for a certain amount of impulse buys per trip
10)keep a list of things that you need; evaluate at a later date to see if you still need the items, add new items to the list and cross out items that you can do without
11) imagine a place in your house for the item
12) Do you really need the item or just want it?

Vacation Savings

While at an amusement park how can you save $ when you want to eat?
While at Marine Land in Canada, we bought our lunch from Wawa, 5 hot dogs, very large bottles of water and a snack. Then we ate at the picnic tables outside the park prior to going into the park.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Home Management / Division of Labor

I have heard that raising children is a labor of love. How would you define taking care of a home? There are many jobs that are involved with raising a family and taking care of a home. If we break the jobs down, define the tasks and put time estimates down will it make us more efficient or will we really see that yes we do need more than 24 hours in a day.

In an attempt to understand why our to do lists are still to do lists rather than completed tasks a breakdown of jobs may be helpful.