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PRODUCT PLACEMENT: Saving money on items you want takes patience

Longing and opining for the latest and greatest gadgets, products or just about anything that lines the store shelves isn't anything new.

Who doesn't want the newest clothes, shoes, cell phones, tablets and toys?

What if your budget doesn't equal your admiration for these items, thus leaving you in a state of merchandise influx. You can't afford what you want, but that doesn't quell your interest, intensity and penchant to want to buy despite it all.

In this case, the best advice is quite simple: just wait.

That mantra may sound too good to be true or go completely against the mentality that has you waiting anxiously outside a store the day a new product arrives. But if your cash on hand or checking account aren't cooperating with you in this regard, you might not have much say moving forward.

The trick to taming your shopping habit but also allowing yourself the joy of having something that is contemporary is perhaps passing on brand new and instead settling on nearly new.

Think about your cell phone or tablet. Maybe you don't have the newest model, the 5, 6, or whatever. The moment that updated version hits the stores, you can bet that the last model is going to get tagged with a significant price reduction. Anyone who pays close attention to cell phones, tablets or technology realize that not much changes from one to the other, aside from minor improvements. One big change: the price.

The same can be echoed for clothing, and the ability and wherewithal to buy outside of the upcoming season. For example, those with a penchant for saving money and spending it wisely buy their winter clothes at the end of the winter season, spring clothing at the end of the spring season, etc. Only those with no concept of saving are first in line for a new polo or Khaki shorts in April, the moment they arrive via the loading dock off the back of a department store truck.

Buying immediately might make you the best dressed man or woman of the season but that won't mean much if you can't pay your bills or live comfortably.
And as far as toys are concerned, they follow a similar prototype. Maybe you can live with owning “Grand Theft Auto 4” for half price when the fifth installment hits the stores. If you don't mind a few minor roster changes, the same could be said for Madden NFL 2013, even though the 2014 version is updated. If the average person buys one video game a month for $50, that's $600 per year out of your gaming pocket. That could easily be half as much if you don't mind an older version of essentially the same game.

Pride and posturing often get in the way when it comes to what you buy and how current the product is. The only hope is that common sense and some financial acumen supplant those feelings before you find yourself in the midst of a budgeting debacle.


SAVINGS PLANNED: Setting aside money not as easy as it sounds

Think about the last time you were scrambling to pay your bills, living from one paycheck to another and waiting for Friday to come so that you had the money for rent, clothes, food or utilities.

In the midst of this chaos, you probably asked yourself plenty of times one very important question.

Why don't you have any money saved?

That's the question that haunts those who are equally frightened by the idea of adhering to a budget or every time the phone rings and the credit card company or landlord is on the other end. Nothing is more nerve racking, disappointing and disheartening as checking out your checking account and realizing you have just enough money for your bills and nothing more.

How exactly did you get to the point where you're just making it?

That inquiry plays into the aforementioned one that asks why you simply can't save money. Finding the exact reason why could be as simple as buying more than you can afford or a time in your life when you went a little overboard with credit cards.

The most obvious reason why your savings account doesn't exist is simply because you haven't made having one a priority. That broad sentiment could be taken a number of ways; maybe at one point in your life you had extra money and choose to spend it on a new wardrobe, better appliances even though the old ones were just fine or that newest gadget you simply assumed you had to have.

Most people who struggle to piece together a savings account are the same ones who, when they have a few extra dollars in their pocket, choose to spend it rather than set it aside. Vacations, cars, furniture or anything else on your wish list likely attributed to the lack of funds you have at the moment.

One incredible bright spot when it comes to saving money is that you don't need much wiggle room to at least get started in the right direction. You could do something as simple as saving your loose change, spending more time in the kitchen and less time in restaurants, start selling things you no longer need or resign yourself to wearing last year's clothing line and saving up to 50% the next time you hit the mall.

The trick to saving is the ability to walk away from impulsive buying but also to just enjoy what you already have and refusing to unnecessarily upgrading. Exercising restraint within that spectrum of spending will score you your first glimpse at a savings account you've always wanted.


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