9/14/07

5 Things My Mom Taught Me About Saving Money

There's something in my genes that compells me to bargain shop. I don't know exactly what chromosome that would be, but I can almost guarantee that I got it from my mom. My mom was a great bargain shopper, and she instilled in me some invaluable principles. The overlying rule of thumb is that you should never have to pay retail price for anything!

Here are some ways that I saw that play out, as I watched my mom's thriftiness through the years:

  1. When you walk in a store, head straight for the clearance rack. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 . . . you get the idea. You never know what you might find, or how much money you can save!

  2. Haggle, haggle, haggle. Everything has a negotiable price.

  3. Use coupons! Sure, they may take a small amount of time to clip, but the savings are worth it.

  4. If there's the slightest thing wrong with what you are trying to purchase, ask for a discount.

  5. Garage sales can be fun. Whether you're hosting one or visiting some, they can be really fun. You talk to some interesting people, and if you're hosting one, you can make a chunk of cash. When you're shopping garage sales, you can save a LOT of money on things that are slightly or never used--just depends on what you're looking for. Just remember—"One man's junk is another man's treasure!"
Speaking of garage sales, I have such fond memories from childhood of my mom hosting garage sales every year. My dad would go out and get us all fresh donuts early in the morning, and we would enjoy them as we watched the early birds stop by for the best pickings. I would usually have my little basket that said, "Everything in this basket is 10 cents." It was a fun way to get me involved, and teach me about math and earning money. Most of all, having garage sales was a really fun way to do something as a family. We talked with the people who would stop by, and interact with each other. Those memories stand out for me as some great times spent with my family, enjoying the outdoors, saving some money, and spending time together.

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