Simple Frugal Living

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Simple Frugal Living - $5,000 Money Saving Mama Challenge

affording large purchases
Need simple frugal living tips to help you buy that big-ticket item you have your eyes on - without breaking the bank? If extreme frugality is your goal, even when planning to make a big purchase – you are in the right place!

There are a lot of expenditures in life - especially if you have a family. Some expenditures are small; others are large. Some are planned/expected and others come as a surprise. This page is all about helping you to afford those big, planned expenditures - whether it is something you need or something that you simply want - without turning your back on the extreme frugality techniques that you have adopted.

Ok, so sometimes you may feel that simple frugal living is not quite so simple. A time that you may feel this way is when you need (or want) to purchase a big ticket item. And by big ticket, I mean anything from a new computer or big screen TV to a new car or a home. You may feel that extreme frugality would not allow for you to be able to afford something like that. However, there are ways that you can get the expensive items that your family wants/needs without abandoning the tenets of simple frugal living. Read on for some tips on how you can afford large purchases without breaking the (piggy) bank.

Simple Frugal Living Tip: Set Up a Savings Account

Of course, my first tip for those of you pursuing extreme frugality is to save up for your big purchases. Set up a bank account (preferably one that accrues interest) and make deposits into it at a rate that you determine beforehand. Perhaps set aside a certain percentage or amount of each paycheck. You could also set aside any change that you accrue throughout the month into your savings account - it all adds up.

Simple Frugal Living Tip: Use Your Tax refund

With tax season coming up, many people are coming up with plans for how they will spend any tax refund that they may receive. Perhaps you should consider utilizing this money to fund your big-ticket purchase. Decide whether you will use your entire refund to purchase your big-ticket item or if you will use a certain amount from your refund to go towards your purchase.

Simple Frugal Living Tip: Reassess Spending Habits

Another thing that you can do in order to afford a big ticket item is to simply reassess where your money is currently going. Sit down and track your expenses in detail. Every single dime that you spend should be accounted for. Then look for patterns. Which expenses are necessary (rent, car payment, insurance, utilities, groceries, etc)? Now which ones are not so necessary? Do you find yourself spending money on things that you could do without (at least for a while)? What are you willing to sacrifice to afford that big-ticket item you have your eyes on?

Simple Frugal Living Tip: Generate Extra Income

Another straightforward method for being able to afford big-ticket purchases is to generate some extra income on the side. And, ladies, there are soooo many options available to you. Aside from taking on a part-time job, you can go into direct sales, give mystery shopping a shot, create a blog and monetize it, become an affiliate marketer, or market any skills that you already have (cooking, meal-planning, crafting, sewing, childcare, etc) Basically, think of things that you enjoy and are good at and find a way to make money doing that. Who knows...maybe this source of "extra" income could become your family's main income. Then you could become the stay at home family. You never know, right?

Simple Frugal Living Tip: Sell Old to Buy New

You know the saying: "One man's trash is another man's treasure". Well, I would like to offer up my own adage: "Sell your trash to afford more treasure". And by trash, I don't mean selling junk that no one can use. Unless you are selling things for parts (and let that be known). I mean, sell things that you no longer use or need, but that someone else could still get some use out of. Have a yard sale. Sell things online. If you have a store like Plato's Closet that will pay you for nice, used clothing, consider doing that. If you have textbooks that are still fairly recent and in good condition, sell them.

Look all around your house - in the kitchen, bedrooms, living room, dining room, closets, attic, basement, etc. Imagine everything with a price tag on it. If it is something that you have not used in 6 months or more, decide if it is something that you can do without. Then take the money that you receive from selling your old things and put it towards the purchase of your new, big-ticket item. You get what you want, other people get what they want, and your house is a bit less cluttered. It's a win all around!

Simple Frugal Living Tip: Consider Layaway Options

I am sure you have heard of layaway, but have you considered utilizing it? If there is a big-ticket item that you want (let's say a new bedroom set) and the company that sells it offers a layaway or payment plan, consider utilizing that plan. The way that layaway plans typically work is this: You pick out the item that you want and let the layaway department know that you would like to buy it. You make a down payment (typically 10% of the purchase price) and pay a minimal, (usually) flat-rate layaway fee. You will determine the length of your layaway plan and your payments will be made weekly, biweekly, or monthly (usually for up to a month). You make your scheduled payments and once your balance is $0, you can take your big-ticket item home and enjoy. might be wondering "Why don't I just use a credit card? Isn't that the same thing?" Far from it! For one, layaway plans don't provide instant gratification, which is a good thing because you appreciate your purchase more when you finally get it. Also, it is a good option for people who suffer from poor credit. You also do not accrue interest with layaway plans the way that you would with a credit card. In fact, aside from any layaway fees and/or cancellation fees (more on that in a second), you won't pay much more than the retail value of your big-ticket item. Also, if you end up defaulting on your layaway payments, it won't reflect on your credit score.

Now, let's talk about cancellation for a second. What happens if you decide that you really cannot afford the item or you no longer want it? Make sure you find out the store's cancellation policies FIRST. Are there cancellation fees? Will you be refunded your money? If so, will you get all of it back or a certain percentage? Will you receive that money in the form that you paid it or will it be in the form of store credit?

Another thing you may want to ask about is if they honor sale prices. For example, say you put a big screen TV on layaway in October. Then, at the end of November, Black Friday sales hit and that TV is suddenly a lot cheaper and you have a lot less to spend to finally get it. Will they honor that? Another scenario is if, after the sale has been applied, you have actually already paid it off OR have actually paid MORE than the sale price. Will they honor that AND refund you the difference? Make sure you ask these questions and make sure the answers are reflected in your contract.

Simple Frugal Living Tip: Keep Up Old Payments

Ok, so this may sound crazy. Why would someone continue to make payments toward something if it has already been paid off? But bear with me for this next extreme frugality tip. Say you are planning to buy a new car and have just paid off your current car. Set aside the money that you would have normally paid each month for your current car and put that money towards your next big purchase. You are not spending any more money than usual, and you are putting the money towards the big ticket item that you want or need.

Money Saving Resources

Use the following resources to help you on your path towards saving money at home.

1. More pages on
2. Rayven Recommends these books on Amazon:

So, my Money-Saving Mamas, tell me...what are some big ticket purchases that you have planned? The latest gadget? New furniture? New home? Dream vacation? Which of the above method(s) will you be using to make it happen? Do you have an additional tip that you would like to share? I would love to hear! Take a second to let us know in the comments section below. Also feel free to come back and let us know when you finally get that one thing you have your heart set on so we can celebrate with you.

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