Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Recession Busting Money Saving Ideas

I recently posted some additional recession busting ideas into another forum and thought I would pass them along to the readers who visit here. Rather than for business, these are for general money saving or living and spending more smartly.

One of the ideas they had posted was about borrowing a DVD from a friend or relative. I have one that I think is even better -- go to your library and see their DVD selection. Most libraries, even the smaller ones in our area have a large selection of many of the latest TV series and movies and they allow you to take them for up to 3 weeks which allows you and your family or friends time to watch them as well.

Another idea on the other forum talked about how to buy "name-brands at a discount" and I stated that I was kind of amused by the "offer name-brands at a discount" advice and then later in the 18 suggestions it is suggested to stop trying to keep up with the Jones? I say, who needs "brand name". In my 50 something years on this planet, I have "never" searched out a brand name piece of clothing and quite frankly I could care less what the Jones, Clarks, Williams or anyone else thinks about whether my clothing has a logo on it.

Their number 5 suggestion was about buying with cash. This is a good suggestion but when the savings rate in the USA is a negative 1% this is probably not a feasible suggestion, right now. But, it is one that will probably be a growing trend and then my suggestion would be, if you do pay with cash, ask for a discount. Many people do not realize that vendors pay 3-5% for the privilege of accepting credit cards so by you paying cash and they have to wait a few days until the money is deposited into their accounts by the card company.

By offering them cash, they get paid immediately and saving 3-5% so why not share some of those savings with you - all you need to do is ask.

Just recently, both my father and I needed new furnaces. I had to make all the arrangements and upon learning that my father needed his replaced, I asked the salesman if he would provide my father and I with any type of discount since he was making a second sale to the same family and a rather easy one at that. He immediately offered $100 off the total for each of us. All you have to do is ask.

Their numbers 11 and 12 ideas referred to keeping up wtih the Jones again which reminded me of something I heard or read about 30 years ago. I am probably butchering this but it went something like this "stop spending money on things you can not afford to impress people who deep down you really do not like and in most instances who probably do not like you". If you have to "impress" the people you think are your friends, then they really are not much of a friend.

Their number 18 talked about going to discount stores and I stated that maybe I had missed it somewhere in the other 17 but I did not see shopping at consignment shops or salvation army stores or garage/yard sales. My wife and daughter have found many items of clothing for each of us that are clean, sometimes still have the original store tag on them. These stores most often support good causes and provide incredible bargains. In fact I am wearing a flannel shirt right now that cost all of $3 that still had the store tag on it and would have cost $12-15 in Walmart or some other discount store. I have worn it many times in the past year and have yet to have anyone ask me why I am wearing something from a consignment shop to which I would probably answer because of the $10 I have in my wallet.

One last suggestion that is a two parter. Go check out eBay. There are many buy it now bargains or even auction bargains you can find there on all kinds of things, including clothing. If you do not want to sit around the computer constantly bidding, you can put in what the highest price is you will pay for something and let their system put you in the bidding queue, then go about your business.

The second part of this suggestion also involves eBay. Start looking around at what you have accumulated and what you no longer wear or use. Sign up for ebay (its free) and begin selling the stuff off. Not only will you free up some space in your home or apartment but you will also be building up some cash for your safety net or other purpose.

Maybe I am like this because I was raised by two parents who lived through the Great Depression of the 1930's and had instilled in me to not waste money, to save money, pay cash if you can and don't go into great debt and most of all you don't need to give a damn about what someone else thinks about you. If they don't like what you wear or how you look, well then they are the ones who have a problem.

Hope these ideas will help you.

Ron Coble

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