Saving money but still (occasionally) indulging

July 2, 2019 by David Riedel

I’ve written several times about my vinyl record collecting hobby/problem/addiction. I’ve also advocated giving up an expensive hobby in order to add some cash to savings.

But what happens when you MUST have the thing you’re collecting?

First, there are no musts. If you must have something, it’s food, clothing, and shelter.

Second, wait. If there’s an item you wish to purchase – concert tickets, baseball tickets, vinyl records, something else – sit on the purchase for 30 days. If you’re still consumed with desire after the month ends, go ahead and buy what you want. That’s what I’ve done. And I’m still saving money.

For example, Bob Dylan (or more accurately, Columbia Records) re-released on vinyl volume five of “The Bootleg Series” (for those who care, it’s a compilation of the so-called best live tracks from the Rolling Thunder Revue, possibly Dylan’s most famous concert tour). I decided I wasn’t going to buy it immediately. I stuck it in an online shopping cart, waited 30 days, and then when I felt as if, after said 30 days, I was going to die without it, I ponied up (and lo and behold, the price had dropped). I trashed a couple other potential purchases. After the wait, I just didn’t care.

Here’s another little trick to save money: Unplug every appliance you’re not using or when you’re not home. It sounds absurd, and it will feel absurd at first, but you’ll be stunned how much money small appliances (including your TV and all the game systems) suck up through electric costs. And now that so many of us are cutting the cord, you don’t need everything plugged in all the time to make sure the DVR records your favorite show.

In other words, you can keep a couple extra streaming services if you unplug your TV when you’re not using it. One friend, a certified (and certifiable) film junky, started unplugging all his TVs, projectors (like I said, he’s certifiable), game systems, and cable boxes (he’s since cut the cord, too), and found himself saving a little more than a dollar per day on his electric bill. Now he spends the savings on 4K discs, but the point is his electric bill is lower.

What can you cut back on but (occasionally) still treat yourself to?

 

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