Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Plan Ahead, Save Money

Without question, I am Type A.  Several years ago at a professional development seminar I took a test on personality, I was the strongest Type A in the room....a room of 100 people.  Being Type A has its downsides, but it has its ups as well.  It proves to be a great asset in my professional wold -- my estate planning clients appreciate my organized manner.

As a parent, Type A habits can be troublesome.  But those habits can also save money.  Type A means I am not only organized, but a planner.  Here are two recent examples of ways I've saved money because of my natural tendency to think ahead and organize:

  1. Took a neighbor of my mother's up on an offer to take a kids bike from her garage....her husband had recently died and she was cleaning house.  We found numerous bikes, all used by her grandchildren.  We decided on a small red bike, which will become our son's once he is a bit older.  The only expense we'll have is getting it "tuned up" and some training wheels.  For that we'll go to Dream Bikes in Madison; great prices, quality service, and a non-profit! and
  2. Purchasing next summer and winter clothing for the children now, with a 20% off coupon, and the second hand store Savers.  On the last day of 2011 I did my monthly "thrift store" shopping.  I opted for that day because I had a 20% off coupon that expired on 12-31-11.  Coupon in hand I found brand new 4T snow pants.  A lovely light gray, they'll be perfect for our 3 year old next winter and our daughter in the years to follow.  The cost was $8.  They are cleaned and tucked in the 4T bin I keep in the basement.
Even if you are not a natural type A, you can predict some future expenditures.  Keep a list of items you will likely need, then watch for them at second hand stores or end of the season blow outs at retailers.  Set aside a spot in your home where you can store them, and you'll be on your way to frugal savings in no time.  The key, plan ahead and have a organizations system so that you can easily find those savings when you need them.

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