Before I get on to the post I just want to apologize for my absence for the week. I’ve been dealing with a family issue and trying to some sense of all that has transpired. The missed days will be added to the last post of March.
TIP #27: SAVING UP
I remember as a kid when I wanted something my parents could not afford they always told me to save up for it. Plus I also remember they too, saved up enough money to buy things like refrigerators, and other appliances, furniture, cars and even our house. We didn’t buy items on credit unless it was an emergency.
What constitutes an emergency? Natural disasters, accidents, health crises, and unemployment are emergencies. Snacks from vending machines, a craving for a new pair of shoes, the latest video game are not emergencies, but for many people it is the latter where they use their credit cards, and set up their own financial ruin. In today’s society using a credit card only for emergencies is often laughed at and ridiculed. We’ve gotten so used to using our credit cards that when someone says “I’m saving up for a trip” they don’t know what to make of it. I’ve gotten many interesting comments and looks of confusion when I say that.
Here are some ways a credit card should not be used, I’m sure if you think about all the ways you use your credit cards you’ll be able to find out what you can cut out.
- Groceries: (Have a budget, use cash and only use what you’ve allotted in your budget, it will make you shop frugally.)
- Fast Food: (Stop buying it all together and you’ll save even more money.)
- Snack machines: (Remember you pay interest on everything you buy on credit. So for that pack of chips you just bought, you are paying interest on it too. Another idea: bring your own snacks from home and bypass the the snack machine all together.)
- Convenient stores or snack shops: (If you’re getting gas, purchase the gas without going into the store. Food items at convenient stores are priced higher than your regular grocery store. Convenience costs more.)
Remember when stores had lay away plans? Some are bringing this saving up concept back. You put something on lay way whether it’s clothes, furniture or electronics. Then you make payments on it at least once a week, until you pay for it outright. You can do this on your own for a few months and you’ll be able to purchase whatever you want. For instance if you know you’re going to need a new stove, go look up the brand you want, research what features you want and need. Then start saving at least 10% of the price each week or pay period. This way you’ll be able to get the stove you want without owing any interest, or fear that if you don’t make a payment, it will be taken away from you.
I bought my $1,200 sofa with monthly payments where if I paid it off in 6 months I didn’t have to pay any interest (6 months same as cash). So I made it a point to pay it off in 3 months and kept saving the monthly payments for another 9 months then I went back to the furniture store and was able to buy the love seat, club chair and ottoman because I had enough money and they were on sale, unlike my sofa.
Saving up is also a good boost for your confidence especially when it’s your first time. As a child saving up for something helps children learn not only the value of money but the value of work to earn that money.
Let’s keep in mind that emergencies don’t happen everyday and they aren’t something you can plan for buy you can prepare yourself to be ready either by setting aside an emergency fund or relying on a credit card or both. But remember that credit card should only be used for emergencies…I’m sure that latte you purchased this morning has nothing to do with an emergency.
Redefine your emergencies and you’ll redefine your life.