How to Get the Stuff You Want for Almost Nothing

February 1, 2007

One of the best ways to fit big purchases into your budget is to simply ask for some help. If you know there is a big ticket item that you want or need in the future put it on your wish list. Next birthday or Christmas when someone asks what you’d like for a gift, tell them you’d love a money contribution towards that item.

Gimme Money
People sometimes shy away from giving you money because it seems so impersonal. Instead you’ll end up getting a gift you don’t really need or want. It was nice of the person to go to the effort of buying you something they thought you’d enjoy. However, often times you’d probably be better off if they’d have just given you money. If you have the receipt you have to take time to return the item. If you can’t take it back it will simply clutter up your life until you get rid of it.

Money With a Purpose
Friends and family are much more likely to give you money as a gift if they know it is earmarked for a specifc purpose. It’s kind of like when someone asks you to donate money to a cause. You’re more willing to give when you know exactly what the money will be used for and who it will help.

So plan your big purchases and ask for help. If you can get a little money from several family members or friends it will add up and can really help reduce the cost of big ticket items. Since we’ve been married, my wife and I have done this most every Christmas and it’s saved us a lot of money.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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One Response to How to Get the Stuff You Want for Almost Nothing

  • Kelly

    I’ve paid for my mountain bike and helped defray the costs of my bathroom and kitchen remodel by dialing for dollars amongst my family and friends (Home depot gift cards). Also, when I was in college a fiend and I paid for a trip to Vegas by asking everyone we knew for $1.