As I thought about saving money, it occurred to me a useful trait to have is the willingness to be flexible.
What do I mean about being flexible?
Flexibility allows yourself to look for other options. It means saying to yourself, “I think I want or need (fill in the blank). Do I really have to have it? Can I get along without it? If I still need it or want it, can I use something I already have to fill that need or want? If I don’t have that choice, can I wait for awhile to save money to buy it? If it’s going to be on sale, can I wait until then? Are there less expensive options out there that will give me what I need or want and work just as well?
A practical example is shopping at thrift stores. The thrift stores in my area generally feature clothing, purses, household goods, furniture, decorations (seasonal and year-round) books, music, toys and electronics.
A former co-worker told me she routinely bought work pants at a thrift store; she got what she needed without paying high prices.
Years ago I bought a sweatshirt at a thrift store. The tag on it was a well-known, good quality brand. I was happy to pay just four or five dollars for it. Had I paid full price at that time, I would have spent twenty-five dollars. I was thrilled to get such a bargain! I still enjoy wearing it. Although that time I was aware of the brand, usually brand names don’t mean that much to me; in clothing, I buy whatever fits as long as it’s not expensive. That’s an example of being flexible.
Purchasing food is another area where the willingness to be flexible instead of just automatically reaching for national brands can give you some extra change when you leave the store. For example, store brand canned vegetables work well in homemade soups.
Flexibility works in many different buying categories. Money saved in one area means more money available for something else. It’s certainly worth trying!