Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Post Christmas bargains?

Think Twice, Spend Once

You’ve heard the saying; "measure twice, cut once." One wrong measurement can be disastrous in the pouring of foundation for a new home, not to mention the unplanned time and cost of labor and additional materials needed to correct the problem before the walls can go up. This basic mantra can be used throughout the holiday shopping season, with a minor change: "think twice, spend once". When we are rushed to find gifts for everyone on our list we may barely think once about what we are purchasing. Instead maybe we should take a bit more time to re-think purchases for loved ones and consider the thought that we'd really like the recipient to receive.

I once held a garage sale with a friend and we were selling a brand new small electric tool that I won. My husband told us to sell it because he already had one. My friend and I priced the new tool at about half of its retail price. Early in the day a gentleman wanted to buy the item, offering less than half of what we had priced it at. I countered with a higher price saying it was still a good deal since it was brand new and in the package. He bargained some more with his reasoning and saying to me "but I don't need this." My friend and I laughed and simultaneously said "then don't buy it!" He apparently just wanted it if it was a bargain, even though he had no use for it.

How many items have you purchased during past holiday seasons or this year just because they were at an "unbeatable" price, whether you needed them or not? How many times have you bought multiples of an item for the same reason? How many of those items have actually ended up stashed in a closet because you changed your mind or the return date has past?

Before you get too far down your shopping list this year, chase after too many sales, and waste too much of your precious time, take a few minutes to create the best method to help you think twice and spend once. While shopping for gifts think once about your selection. Before heading to the checkout line, take another loop around the store, thinking twice to reevaluate whether your choices "will do" and if they are the "best" fit for the recipient and your budget. If not, there's nothing wrong with returning an item to the shelf, rethinking the alternatives, or starting with a new idea from scratch. Apply the same scenario to your online shopping. You can put lots of things on your cyber wish list but take some time to think twice and only after that exercise should you feel confident about moving them to your official cart and commit to the credit card charges that will show up on your bill in January.

Take a shopping buddy with you if it’s hard to make decisions when you’re out. Not only can your friend give you a different perspective on your selections, but like Jiminy Cricket in the Pinocchio story, they can help remind you to "let your conscience be your guide".

Your conscience should also be your guide as you think twice about buying “stuff” as gifts. Do your part to be “green” this season and give a gift of “time” by hunting down unique gift cards for fun local restaurants and theaters. Every time I receive and glance at an unspent gift card in my wallet I think about the person who gave me the chance to do some future “me shopping” and find the “perfect” gift. What about some of the thousands of memorable digital photos that are still trapped in your smart phone or desktop computer, just waiting to be shared with the family and friends that are in them? Printed and framed photos may be a thing of the past, but I’ve never heard of a recipient wanting to exchange one for a better fit or a different color.

The answers for a delightful holiday season are not found in any store or on a website. They might just be found by “thinking twice and spending once,” be it your money, your time or your physical and mental energy. Think twice, especially about the good things of the season, and you will have a head start on the good things that the New Year will bring.

 ~ Cheryl Ford

Upcoming Classes and Seminars

Topic: Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life
Date: January 5, 2013
Time: 1:30-2:00 pm
Organization: Seattle Remodeling Home Show
Place: Washington State Convention Center
Address: 800 Convention Place, Seattle, WA 98101

Investment: Cost of Admission to Remodeling Home Show



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