Saturday, March 14, 2009

Making a List and Checking It Twice

One key strategy I've used for all of my shopping involves the use of many lists. I keep a running grocery list on the refrigerator. I have a "big purchases" list as well as daily to-do lists. I realize to many, keeping lists leaves you listless (get it?)

By writing what you want to buy now and in the distant future, you reduce the impulse spending and become empowered to stick to your budget. Writing down expenditures forces me to plan ahead and prioritize. Simultaneously, I keep a saved amount to buy things on sale when those items match what's on one of my lists. For example, I know I want to purchase a new mattress this year and it's been on my list for several months now. So, I know that when the timing is right and the right sale crosses my path, I can freely go buy the mattress, pay cash for it, and enjoy exhilarating nights of slumber. Obviously, the mattress I want is a fabulous upgrade from the one I've slept on for the past 10 years.

In past posts, I've discussed, in tandem with others in the frugal village, the importance of buying food and grocery items you use most often when they go on sale and stock up on them. I still have plenty of toothpaste, detergent, bathroom tissue that I bought on sale a few months ago. My freezer is full of poultry and seafood I bought on sale. (I don't eat red meat any more but there are always sales for tasty steaks and pot roasts.) No need to list what you already have and if you already have it, there's no need to go shopping. The less shopping you do, the more money you save. Marketers will try to persuade you that you actually save money when get a 10 or 20% discount. NO! You save when you don't spend at all. If it's not on the list and I see it on sale, I don't buy it. I save.

Listing helps me plan and control the dollars instead of letting them control me! Freedom!

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