Frugal Friday: Saving for the Big Kahuna

One of the biggest changes in our spending habits over the past four years has been to save money for the thing that we want to buy. This shouldn’t seem revolutionary, but it is. Patience is a virtue — and hard to come by –  in this fast-paced, stuff-oriented, modern society.

And saving up for a purchase takes time and self-control. In the past, we could just put a purchase on the card and then figure out a way to pay for it later. Since we ditched the credit cards, we don’t do that anymore.

We save.

Last year we set a goal to save enough money for a replacement vehicle. We knew that it was only a matter of time before our minivan with over 150,000 miles on it would lose its “get up and go.” And we wanted to be prepared.

So 2009 was the year when we squirreled away extra money to buy another, newer, albeit used, car. By the end of the year we had saved enough to be able to buy something if the right thing came along. The funny thing is we decided to sit on the money and wait some more — until a screaming deal came along or the minivan bit the dust — whichever came first.

It was incredibly freeing to know that the funds were there when we needed them, but we didn’t feel obligated to until the time was right. The money didn’t burn a hole in our pocket in the same way a credit card did.

What do YOU do to save money?

Share your favorite money-saving ideas today. Leave a link to a post that shares some frugal wisdom. (Please no giveaways or deals posts. Teach us how to fish!)

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Comments

  1. My entry might seem a little weird — sprouting grains tutorial? — clearly more food-related. But it IS frugal! Sprouted grain flours are so much healthier for you, but can be $3/lb to buy and only about $1/lb if you do it yourself. So…much more frugal. :)

  2. We saved up to buy my husbands jeep for cash. It feels really good to not have a car payment!!

  3. I forgot the title to my post but it’s “What’s another $1,000?” It’s so easy to spend money when you’ve already got a boatload of debt. That’s a dangerous habit to get into!

  4. We saved to pay cash for our last truck and I loved the flexibility it gave us. We were able to take our time and find exactly what we wanted. I have saved up to buy a horse trailer and have started keeping an eye out for exactly what I want at a price I am willing to pay.

  5. I love the idea of feeling free to wait for a good deal, knowing the money is there and you can keep driving your clunker as long as you want. That is something we are saving up for right now. My minivan has 120,000 miles on it right now and I’m trying to make it through one more year, when I can likely get a newer used mini-van for cash. Thanks for the opportunity to link up!
    Heather

  6. We’re busy saving up for a new van too…it’s slow going, but hopefully our current van will hang in there for a while.

  7. today’s recipe is super simple, from scratch so it’s very frugal, and uses any kind of berries or fruit you might have access to.

  8. We have never taken a vacation that wasn’t put on a credit card before. But for this summer we saved and paid all cash. That alone was a vacation. We have our sites set on Disney next ;)

  9. It is hard to wait in this society! Lately I feel like I should be singing, “I’m an alien, in a material world” :) (sung to tune of material girl ;) I like to feel included so when people go off about all their gadgets I can feel alienated, but I just need to stay the course. I keep trying to cling to contentment, although at times, it’s just by a thread!!!

    So did you buy the van yet, or are you still hanging on to the cash?

  10. Hey Jess! I just wanted to say Thanks for being a Top Referrer over at Hoosier Homemade in the month of June!
    ~Liz

  11. Jennifer P says:

    We have several “You-name-it” savings accounts opened at our bank. When we know we have something we need to save up for, we figure out about how much we’ll need by when, and set the amount of money to be automatically transferred each pay period into each account. We have one for car insurance, new cell phones, down payment on a house, renter’s insurance, washer & dryer, Christmas, etc…

    This means that we don’t have to worry about coming up with $x00 when it’s time to renew my car insurance every 6 months and worry if I have enough. I can’t spend the money if it’s squirreled away in another account; when we’re ready to use it, we just transfer it over into our checking account and buy! (I love on-line banking!)

    Super simple, great for planning, and relieves the hassle!

  12. Kathryn says:

    Our favorite money saver is building a grocery stockpile using a combination of sales and coupons (usually doubled!). A minimal amount of my time each week enables us to “splurge” on other outings, meals out, etc.

  13. Great concept! I agree that you don’t need to spend money just because you have it.
    http://livingsoabundantly.blogspot.com/2010/07/inexpensive-plant-classy-decor.html

  14. Cash in your pocket is a great bargaining tool in the car lot!

  15. I graduated from college recently and found a job in a fair amount of time. For now I work covering vacations, maternity leave, sick days, etc., so we never know whether I will have paycheck or not. My fiance is still an undergrad but works enough to pay our bills, plus some. One of our money saving strategies is to NOT TOUCH the money that I make (and some of what the fiance makes). It goes straight into the house fund, not to be touched again. It can be hard especially since it feels like we’ve been living like poor college students forever, the first time I worked 40 hours a week I just wanted to go spend my hard earned money on a new outfit that didn’t come from the thrift store. But I refrained, and this system works for us. I think it’s important to live like a one-income family from the start if you plan on having kids, then it’s not such a shock to the system when one income disappears when a parent stops working.

  16. I just love Mr. Linky…especially when he can help us save our spare change! I’ve posted my go-to grocery shopping tips today!

  17. Saving for another car is next on our list. We’ve just paid off our car and now have two fully own cars. Yea!!! Next up is saving for summer camps for next year. Since my hubby and I both work full time outside the home our dear ones need a place to hang in the summer months. Summer Camp runs about $3000-$3500 for the entire summer weeks so we start saving in June for next year.

  18. we just used cash to buy my new to me jimmy. it felt great paying for it and not owing anything on it.

  19. A former CC junkie that charged just about everything that was possible (I once bought 2 horses with a credit card), it feels good these days to buy just about anything with cash, even that pair of socks.

    I have reprogrammed myself, no cash-no goodies, PERIOD! So I save for everything. And to do that, I save everything. No more waste, reusing everything possible, cutting back, learning to do without.

    Do I feel deprived? Hardly, I feel better now than I ever have in my life. Cash truly is king and he has made me his QUEEN! (not too shabby since I started out being the joker)….

Trackbacks

  1. [...] at Works for Me Wednesday and Frugal Friday // July 6th, 2010 in [...]

  2. [...] post is part of Frugal Friday at Life as Mom and the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap. var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; [...]

  3. [...] the moral of the Frugal Friday story [...]

  4. [...] This post is part of Frugal Friday at Life as Mom. [...]

  5. [...] that it was only a matter of time before our minivan bit the dust and we wanted to be prepared. We saved the money and then [...]

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