Apr 26, 2008

When being frugal, be patient.

This morning I wrote a post on my other blog about my church rummage sale finds. You can see the pictures and read about it here. I don't want to cross-post, but I think the lesson I learned is a valuable one for those trying to be frugal. The lesson is - be patient. Recognize the difference between what you WANT and what you NEED. I wanted a new cutting table for my quilt room. I have been cutting on an old wobbly formica kitchen table for years, and I've been looking online for an adjustable-height table to replace it. Did I need the new table? No. I had a table that functioned, though I was limited to 30 minutes cutting time because the height aggravated my back problems. But I'd adjusted to cutting for awhile, then sewing for awhile, then back to cutting, etc. Did I want a new table? Absolutely. In fact, I cruised the web and found the perfect table - size-wise it would fit my 36 x 24 cutting mat, height wise it was adjustable up to 40 inches tall! The cost? $180! Just not in my budget right now. But last week it went on sale for $125. And I got out my credit card and temporarily convinced myself I could afford that $125... it was a sale, after all! And I wanted that table! But, the frugal side of me won that argument, and I put my credit card away when I realized I had a table that functioned now and I didn't have the cash saved up in my "sewing fund" to pay the $125 (plus shipping of $40). Yesterday when I went to the church rummage sale I was looking for outdoor toys for my grandson. By luck, I got a little lost in the maze of rooms in the Church and walked into the room where they were selling furniture. And what do I see? THE TABLE. The SAME table I almost spent $165 for last week! It had a $5.00 price tag on it! The reason? The poor table's top had been attacked by a child and a permanent magic marker. I originally thought it wouldn't matter because my cutting mat would cover most of the markings. Of course, I bought it! When I got the table home, I got out a Mr. Clean Magic Sponge and every bit of the magic marker came off! The table looks brand new. Granted, it was pure luck that the table was at that rummage sale and at that price. But it was such a great reminder for me that patience is a requirement of being frugal. I would have been so angry with myself if I'd gone ahead and paid $165 (on a $0 balance credit card!) for that same table and then saw it at the rummage sale for $5! It also reminded me that being frugal just makes sense! I came THIS close to putting that $165 on my credit card. It has made me stop and realize that I need to recognize the different between "want" and "need"... and be patient when it comes to the "wants"!

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