Create a wish-list and stick to it. You should never buy anything when pressed.
A friend of mine told me a story recently about spending some time without a refrigerator at home. They kept a couple of ice chests on the back patio and replenished ice until they found a good deal on a good fridge and saved up money for it.
Nothing induces a bad purchase like desperation. We bought a washing machine this way a few years ago and ended up replacing it 13 months later when it caught fire!
Maintain a wish-list of major purchases that are likely coming down the road. If possible, create a timeline for replacement.
I know my 12-year-old fridge is nearing it’s last, so I’m keeping an eye out for appliances, and noting sales on the calendar (next year’s calendar, as sales are usually scheduled) we hope to replace our ‘fridge next year, but we’re considering selling our home—which means we may not want to replace the fridge just yet.
Before a major purchase check the consumer reports, shop around and try to buy used.
Other items that should land on your wish-list include:
1. Furniture upgrades
3. Lawn/Garden purchases
4. Sporting equipment
5. Camping Gear (shop around a long time on outdoors equipment before pulling the trigger).
6. Musical instruments
This post is part of a series I’ve entitled “Frugal August” and is inspired by (though not copied from) the book The Complete Tightwad Gazetteby Amy Dacyczyn. My tips are meant to build on hers, but generally are not duplications.