We bought a Wii U. Actually, we pre-ordered it along with a new game, and my husband even bought new Wii Motion Plus controllers a few months ago that we would need with the Wii U. You might be wondering how a family that lives on, and sticks to, a very tight budget, can afford an extravagant $400 purchase without dipping into a savings account, or putting it on a credit card to be paid of later…here is a peak into what we do to afford these extras.
It was originally announced about a year ago that Nintendo would be releasing a new system, my husband knew it was a must to own, and we started saving that very second! We aren’t ones to go and buy the newest and best of anything just because: my husband is HUGE into video games! No he doesn’t play them every free moment of the day, yes we still spend time as a couple and a family. He is not one of those guys that disappears to his man cave for hours and hours playing online war games with his buddies. He honestly loves everything about video games and he has all the systems from his childhood set up in our basement. Since all the systems are old, most of the games run cheap (found are flea markets, on eBay, or randomly in second-hand stores), and he only buys new games with money he has from gifts or from selling games he is done with. And the same applied to buying those Wii Motion Plus controllers.
It is very unusual for us to go out and drop $400, but it is easy to do when you plan ahead and save! We have been saving up our PC MasterCard points ever since Nintendo announced when the new system would be released. Since my husband pre-ordered it through Best Buy, it technically went on the credit card (earning even more points!) and I have been using the PC points to pay for groceries the past two weeks, which allow our budget to balance.
Whenever we buy anything, we use our PC Master Card. It is paid off every month, and have never carried a balance. We know how much our bill should be each month, and that money is waiting in our bank account for when the bill comes in. We rarely carry cash or use debit cards, so the only money leaving our account is for bills. This way of budgeting and spending works for us, and I get that it won’t work for most people. Credit cards can be dangerous, and if you aren’t able to keep control of your spending, I do not recommend spending this way!
Other frugal blogs talk about rewards programs like air miles and optimum points,and even credit cards with annual fees, but for our family, those aren’t useful. With our PC points, we earn 10 points per $1 on items purchased anywhere, not just in PC stores, and those points add up fast! Normally we are cashing them in every few months for free groceries, or other extras that we might want from a PC store (No frills, Lob laws, Super Store etc). Only sometimes, for bigger items, do you switch things up in our budget, like we did for the Wii U. Though I did tell my husband I would like to start saving our points again so I can buy a new reading chair for the living room…
Imagine that, having to save up for something. I’m sure you did it as a child, saving those few dollars in allowance you would get each week, so why is it that today people want things right now and cannot wait a second longer. If you are putting all your “wants” onto a credit card that always gets paid off, or using cash or debit from an account that has money, good for you! But please don’t carry a balance on that card or go into overdraft in that account just to get the latest thing.
On another note, I went to Starbucks yesterday and ordered a grande latte and a cranberry bliss bar (I had a gift card). The total was $8.14. I was almost vomited. Before kids, when I worked downtown and had a disposable income, I would stop at SB nearly every morning, plus I would buy my lunch each day. I don’t even want to do a rough estimate of how much money I threw away during those years…funny how people grow up and can completely change how they spend their money.