How To Be Thrifty

thrifty-dsThriftiness is the ability to live comfortably while spending considerably less than the majority. Where the normal person rushes out to the store to purchase a full-priced whatever, a thrifty person uses a little common sense, patience, and discipline to purchase the same item at a steep discount. Like most people, when I want something I want it 5 minutes ago – I don’t want to wait at all but unlike most people I DEFINITELY don’t want to pay full price. I want it at a discount and if I can’t get a discount I’ll just wait until I can. There isn’t much worse than a man who is a spendthrift, wasting all his money on nonsense, acting like a child with money.

Here are some extremely simple ways to buy items at a discount:

Scour the internet: This is a big duh! There are millions of websites that offer products for sale. Doing a simple google search can often get you a better price than driving to the store and purchasing at full price. With an eye for thrift and a little patience you can find many things at a huge discount.

Example: I found a website with a bunch of stylish tank-tops on sale for between $1-$3. I did a further search and found a promotional code for free shipping. That means I bought 6 badass tank-tops for less than $10 and free shipping all the way from the UK, all because I spent a few minutes looking for deals.

Buy the older model: Anytime a new model of electronics comes out, the older version will always be on sale. Buying a brand new piece of electronics when it is first released is a pretty good way to waste money.

Example: I bought my blackberry at a steep discount because it was an older model and a new model was just being released. The old version does all the same bullshit as the new version at a fraction of the price. Buying that brand new, hip, sleek phone will make you happy for about 5 minutes until the new version comes out. Then you will rush out and buy that one. It’s never ending. Opt out of the bullshit and buy simply for function and performance. I’ve had my phone for years and I’m not about to go and buy a new one and sign a contract.

Buy Used: This is the best advice I can give. I have bought so many used items at a steep discount it’s un-imaginable for me to go to a big store and pay full price. With sites likes Craigslist and Ebay it’s beyond easy to buy the same product at a huge discount. With Craigslist you can even view the item before you buy.

Example: I’m typing this on a used laptop that works just like a new one. I found a nice video camera that was brand new (never opened), the gentleman who had it didn’t need it and just wanted to sell it for a few bucks. My other camera was purchased at a steep discount and it was only a few weeks old. My office desk was purchase used for $40. I outfitted my garage gym full of used barbells and weights for less than a few hundred bucks. Hell, my two favorite suit coats I bought at a goodwill thrift center in Wichita, KS over ten years ago for a couple bucks apiece. I purchase(d) all my vehicles used from Craigslist. I even bought my dog used on Craigslist. When you’re willing to put in a little time anything can be found and the price can always be negotiated to bargain basement prices.

Stock Up when you find a nice discount: With a little searching you can find cleaning products and other grooming products at a steep discount, you can buy a bunch of them and use them later. It’s a pain in the ass buying that stuff anyway so you kill two birds with one stone. Even meat can be purchased in bulk, frozen and used later.

Example: I stumbled on a huge discount on roasts. Huge roasts were on sale for a couple bucks apiece so I bought about ten of them and froze them. I ended up feeding them to the dog (overcooked beef, like pot-roasts, is disgusting) but that was dog food for weeks and weeks.

Buy Generic: When you buy brand you aren’t paying for quality, you are paying for the feeling it gives you. Does it really make a difference which soap you use to wash your clothes? No. Buy the cheaper stuff and save your greenbacks. This can go for anything. After my iPod  (which was given to me years before) was stolen I bought a cheap Chinese knockoff for less than $10. It plays music just like the iPod does.

Let People Give you Gifts: Take advantage of the good nature of friends and family and wait for Christmas or your birthday. I needed a new belt for months but I’ll be damned if I’m going to the mall and searching for a belt. My girlfriend brought one over on my birthday, exactly as described by me as what I needed. Problem solved.

Fix stuff if it breaks: Fix something instead of throwing money at a new one. Recently I had a backpack break and an mp3 player stop working. I gave the backpack to my girlfriend to sew up, now it’s perfect. I paid a couple kuai (maybe $1.50) to get the mp3 player fixed rather than buy a new one.

D.I.Y.O.D.S. – Do It Your Own Damn Self: If you’re handy you can do it yourself. If you know someone handy you can have them do it. Fix your car yourself. Paint your own house. Cut your own hair. Raise your own chickens. Build your own furniture. Most important of all, cook your own food!

Example: The only piece of furniture I still own is an exquisite bookshelf my dad made for me many years ago. I sold every single piece of furniture I had except for the one piece of furniture that didn’t cost me a dime. I even sold all the books that sat in it but I kept the bookshelf. Homemade items are always more valuable than anything you buy. How many people do you know in credit card debt for buying furniture? Don’t be like those dummies.

Buy for Value: Being thrifty isn’t the same thing as being stingy. Being thrifty means being smart with your money, knowing when to spend it and when to save it. For items that will last you a very, very long time it’s preferable to spend the money and purchase the value. Some items will be more expensive upfront but they will hold their value and you will not have to continuously re-purchase them. Electronics will always break at some point so there is no point in spending top dollar.

Example: My safety razor was certainly more expensive than a disposable razor but I will never again buy a razor, spending that money is no issue. High quality cookware can last you a lifetime. That new high tech phone will last you maybe a year.

If you don’t have the cash money, don’t buy it. Debt is slavery.

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  1. says

    “Fix stuff if it breaks: Fix something instead of throwing money at a new one.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Most things are incredibly easy to fix and will save you a TON of money over time. Thanks to the power of the internet, you can search on how to fix just about anything unless you’re just being lazy and rather pay for a new one.

    Being thrifty is VITAL if you’re trying to improve your finances and success.