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Yard Sale-ing

Image by arbyreed via Flickr

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.

Toy purge...

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.

Hand-made keyrings

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!

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