To Save, Play the Waiting Game

A friend of mine has had a series of status updates on Facebook regarding an iPhone. Every few days he lets us know that he’s successfully resisted the temptation to buy one again. I like that he’s put it out there because the longer he waits, the more likely he is to avoid the purchase. Of course, now, he’ll also get heaps of grief from all of us if he gives in. Having a frugal support network like that can certainly help us save money.

For new bloggers like me, reading everyone else’s successes helps keep me in line, most of the time. Since I started blogging, my (now) husband and I have been thinking about buying a new flat-screen TV. We even started a savings fund for it. All summer, my “snowflakes” from selling things went to my credit card debt and his went to the TV fund. We’re now at about $400, but I think, by waiting so long, we’ve actually talked ourselves out of buying the TV.

When considering a major purchase, I’ve seen the great advice to wait one day for every $100 you might spend. We’ve actually waited far longer, but by saving rather than buying on credit, we forced ourselves to really think about it. If we had rushed out and bought a TV when we first got the notion, we’d still be paying for it now, probably a little unhappy that we had that debt. Instead, we have a little money to play with now (we’re thinking about a new digital camera).

Now, before I pat myself on the back too much, I have to make a major confession. In the whirl before the wedding, I gave into a serious impulse buy. I knew that I wanted some new lingerie for the honeymoon, and was even inspired by Mrs. Micah’s post to just buy some nice Hanky Panky items that I could wear everyday and leave it at that. However, in the back of my mind, I also had Grace Kelly from Rear Window floating around in that lovely, flowing nightgown and robe, passing a glass of brandy to Jimmy Stewart. Faithful readers may remember that I even resisted buying a nightgown in San Francisco.

When I walked into the store, I found the nightgown of my dreams, plus a matching chiffon robe. Of course, it was ridiculously expensive, but I got so swept up in the moment that I bought that, plus some underwear, plus some really cool yoga pants. I absolutely love everything I bought, but let’s just say that my current credit card debt would be half what it is now if I had resisted.

I’m pretty sure that if I had just walked out of the store with the few pairs of underwear that I went in to buy, I wouldn’t have gone back for the nightgown and robe. Of course, it’s easy to justify. . .”our honeymoon,” “I love it,” “it’s so beautiful!” However, the truth is that I charged it because I did not have enough money to pay for it. That’s the problem with resisting! We can be so good about it 99% of the time, like my husband and I have been with the TV, but that 1% can really set us back. That’s also why having a support network helps. Knowing that I do have to fess up keeps me on track most of the time!

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4 responses to “To Save, Play the Waiting Game

  1. I know the exact nightgown and lust after it too. I know if won’t help your debt, but have you considered putting the set aside until you’ve paid it off?

  2. mydailydollars

    @ Mrs. Micah. . . that’s a good idea! I know that I’ll feel much happier about it once my credit card debt is gone! Glad to know that you’re a “Rear Window” fan as well!

  3. Pingback: Best of Personal Finance: Suggest a link for Wise Bread's Weekly Roundup - Page 4 - Wise Bread Forums

  4. Pingback: Debt-be-Gone Roundup « My Daily Dollars

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