If you’re still with me as I lead you on this years-long journey toward getting on the road to financial solvency and freedom, then you are well on your way. Congratulations for sticking with it! If you are just joining me and are new to this blog, it would be a good idea to go back and read the monthly posts for 2018. They will give you a good foundation for learning how to gain control of your own financial journey, alleviating debt if you have it, and how to start saving for your own bright future. It’s not as hard as you might imagine and I hope you will come to find the frugal life to be as fun and satisfying as I do. I know you will enjoy seeing your savings grow as a result of the lifestyle changes I am recommending.
This month the holidays are behind us. Hopefully you had a frugal celebration and did not overspend. If you have, then your best bet is to concentrate on getting out from any debt you have incurred as quickly as you can!
This may sound counterintuitive, but if you have gotten a good handle on your spending, and are staying out of debt… January is a good month to SHOP the sales! There are the after-Christmas sales of course, if you need any of that (I rarely buy any of that stuff anymore, as you will read about next December). But there are many other reduced ticket items to be had in January.
First of all, this is when the winter clothes (and other winter items) start hitting the clearance racks. NOW is the time to buy these items for next Christmas! You can get half your shopping done at a fraction of the cost of waiting until next December. And if there are any winter clothing items you need, keep an eye out on the clearance racks for that too. The operative word here is “need”, of course. This is not a time for recreational spending. In fact, no time is a time for recreational spending. It should not even be a thing. Certainly not if you want to live below your means and get ahead.
Other things that go on sale in January are bedding and towels. If yours are getting threadbare, now is the time to think about replacing them. (They're also another holiday gift possibility.) Again, not just because you’re tired of the color of your perfectly good sheets, towels, etc. And don’t forget to keep the old ones as rags (eliminating the need for buying paper towels).
If you having been saving up to replace some big ticket items (think furniture and appliances) there are often sales in those departments too at this time of year. But if you don’t have the money saved, a sale is not an excuse to put it on a credit card! One year our fridge went on the fritz in October or November, but the freezer was still working, so we patched together a system of using coolers in the cold outdoors, and froze water bottles to put in the defunct fridge to use as a giant indoor cooler. And this system got us through the holiday (spending) season, until the appliances went on sale in January and we got ourselves a sweet deal on a new refrigerator (which we paid cash for, of course!)
So there you have a few examples of spending money to save money. There are times when careful spending will actually save you money in the long run. And I am not talking here about telling people that you “saved” $100 by buying your new ($500) wardrobe on “sale”. I am talking about some well- spent money now that will save you from going into a shopping frenzy next Christmas and buying those same items at three or four times the clearance price you are getting them at now.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year and (rare to hear from me) happy shopping!