The fun begins early this morning for our family – our community “this-n-that” sale opens bright and early at 7 a.m. There is also a Fall Festival at the church around the corner from my house. And my son’s first Cub Scout camp-out is tonight – complete with a “haunted trail” and carnival games.
With such a busy weekend ahead, I have chances to spend and save…. How do I decide how to spend my hard-saved pennies? Here’s a rule of thumb that I have been disciplining myself to use when shopping:
When something comes in, something must go out.
This can apply to a lot of areas of life… but in this instance, when I choose to bring something new into my house (other than consumable items), then I must purge something as well. Otherwise, my house will become overcrowded and we won’t be able to walk around all the junk. I have been teaching this to my son as well. It helps to nip the “gotta-have-it” begging sessions in the bud.
So as we walk around the “this-n-that” sale this morning, we will be very selective in our spending. Usually, we end doing a lot of visiting and browsing, but do not buy anything. While we stroll among the vendors’ booths, I do have one objective in mind:
Look for truly unique items to give as gifts.
Many times, local artists, bakers, and generally creative people will set up booths at seasonal festivals and community sales. I love to browse all the creative offerings – painted gourds, yummy cakes and breads, hand-made jewelry, burned-wood signs, and more. If I’m not prepared to make a purchase, I will ask the vendor for a business card. I jot a description of the item on the back of the card, and if I have a particular recipient in mind I’ll record their name as well.
These two guidelines help me to keep my spending in check, and help me to save money at the same time. I don’t bring home things that I don’t need. And I don’t waste money on a gift that will be under-used and unappreciated. The last thing I would want to do is stroll through next year’s “this-n-that” sale and see a gift I gave to someone on their giveaway table….
Have a wonderful Saturday! And wherever your path takes you today, remember to make your spending decisions wisely. God deserves the first fruits. He is the Source of every thing we enjoy!