Dec 27, 2007

2008 Financial Resolution #2: Stop buying great deals

Money Crashers asked an excellent question today:
What one spending habit would you like to change in 2008?
I came up with a quick answer: Stop buying things just because they're a great deal.

A good example of my spending weakness is from yesterday. One of Amazon's Lightning Dealsyesterday was this Sanyo rice cookerfor a mere $59.99 with free shipping. I have a perfectly good basic rice cooker but because it's basic, there's no timer. And I've thought several times recently that it would be really nice to have a timer so that I don't have to rush to cook the rice when we get home from work so that it's ready in time for dinner.

Needless to say, the Sanyo's features included a timer. And I thought about it. HARD. But in the end, I couldn't get around this thought: I have a perfectly good rice cooker. I don't cook rice that often. And that's $60 that we could put toward savings instead. So, I let the deal expire.

I want to have more experiences like that in 2008. Many more, though not so involved. I want them to go more like this: That would be nice, but I don't really need it. And then I'll move on to something else.

So that's my second Financial Resolution for 2008 (you can read about #1 (paying cash for a new car) here).


adrienne said...

I too hear the siren's song of bargains. I try to remind myself that it's not a good deal if I wasn't already in need of it.

My friends told me about a Crayola buy 1 get 2 free doorbuster deal at Toys R Us pre-Christmas. I was tempted to go, but I already have oodles of crayons about and don't need to arm the boy with anything else until he's quite a bit older.

This makes me think of the link you provided last week that observed 10k/365 days is about $27. I could so easily squander thousands in tiny increments and not notice, so vigilance in spending seems very important.

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

This is exactly why I try not to go into the mall, or head out "just to window shop". I do enough damage buying stuff at the thrift stores!

As for the rice cooker, have you ever considered buying an inexpensive timer and plugging the rice cooker into it?

You can pick up something like that at your basic big box store, then just set it to turn on at the right time, fill up the rice cooker and plug it in. A digital one might be even better, but cost a bit more. Either way it is cheaper than a new ricecooker

Tracy said...

I agree with the timer suggestion! I have wanted to buy a new crock pot with a timer - but couldn't justify the money. About a year ago, I picked up a simple timer for the outlet and it works great!

CindyPTN said...

Great Resolution! I avoid yard sales, thrift stores and any discounted stores where I could drop more cash for things we really don't need. Keeping a list of items that are needed helps when you do see the bargins though. I run into the problem of spending too much for needed items because I wait to the last minute to purchase.

Chief Family Officer said...

@Adrienne - That's a great way of thinking about it! New mantra: It all adds up ... to $10K!

@Jenn & Tracy - Thanks for the timer suggestion. It's brilliant and never would have occurred to me!

@CAP - Good point!

Super Saver said...


Great post. It also reminded me of the common "more feature" tactic to get people to buy the new model :-)

Jennifer said...

Good for you for not giving in. I cook rice a couple of times a week and don't even own a rice cooker. A simple pot works fine for me along with the timer on my stove. :)

Chief Family Officer said...

@Super Saver - Thanks! And you're right, the right feature can be VERY tempting!

@Jennifer - Thanks! I admire you so much for cooking rice without a rice cooker. I'm sure I'd burn it every time!

adrienne said...

@Jennifer & CFO- I have a similar set-up: pot, stove, timer, and husband. He's really good at making rice. I seriously have to get out a cookbook to do it alone (me in kitchen= pathetic).

calgirlfinance said...

I read your post and then later that day I saw this great deal on Amazon for a really cute Le Creuset tea kettle. I thought it would make a nice housewarming present, but I don't know of any housewarming parties that I'm going to this upcoming year. So I decided to forgo the great deal. Thanks for the timely post!