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Spending more to save money

 
pollinator
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So the recent fear based shortages have finally persuaded me to spend more and save in the long run (money and the planet).  I speak of toilet paper.  Just ordered some cloth butt wipes aka family cloth from Etsy...and the hubby us talking about installing a bidet!
 
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My Dad always said “you get what you pay for”, and he insisted on the best quality although he didn’t buy much. He still had an old WWII woolen army sweater well into the eighties, and he loved how warm it was and how the great quality wool held up over the years. His theory was that if you get things that last and you use them a lot, you can buy much less. If you buy cheap and it falls apart quickly, it’s wasted money.
I tend to follow his lead and when we bought our first house, I remember going to the library to look at old Consumer Reports, so that if I bought anything for our home I could get things with the highest ratings.
 
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I am going back to making my own clothes. Quality fabrics, made from sustainable sources are challenging to find and expensive. But I can make clothes that last for years and mend them as needed. I have made quilts for years and repaired them as the begin to all apart. I made a quilr.for my mother 50 years ago using an old wool blanket as the batting. I still use it on our guest bed when we have a friend sleeping over. I also weave our own towels and yes weaving cotton and wool are ridiculously expensive but the towels last for many many years. There is a reason people used to have only one shirt!
 
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I used to travel a good deal. My wife assigned me the task of searching the junk shops for bolts of quality cloth.  If one shops carefully, one can get very high quality cloth for pennies on the yard.  I would hit around 70 shops a year. Those shops would yield  maybe 3 or 4 purchases.
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:=This thing is awesome. I've had the older model for over 2 years, and it's still working great. It slow cooks, pressure cooks (quick & easy bone broth, here I come!), makes yogurt (mine doesn't but the newer ones do), steams, makes stew, cooks rice. It's also stainless steel (unlike most pressure cookers/slow cookers, which are coated with teflon or made of ceramic of unknown origins).

It's also great because it doesn't require the user to know anything about pressure cooking or PSI, etc. I throw my food in there, push the closest related button (soup, rice, beans, chicken, etc). It then shows me a recommended cooking time, which I can change (and usually don't, and it's usually works great) and then starts pressurizing. It's really easy, energy and heat efficient, and is one machine to do many jobs. I love mine!



Yeh, I have the similar MealthyPot and these do work great. The first meal I made was a pot of beans with Ham Hocks & Onions included and that came out GREAT! SO, I'm an old dude living alone and if I don't know what to make I just go to my Folder of SAVED PDF MEALTHY RECIPES and scan down the list to see what might be appetizing for that day. Both Mealthy and InstantPot have on-line sources for all kinds of recipes. HEY, I even made a cheesecake in mine one time. It wasn't quite done as when opened up from the spring pan it collapsed on one side, however, done enough to eat.
 
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If I "spend more" by purchasing from makers or producers in my own community, I choose in favor of quality - every time.  If I have to seek further for that quality, I will still choose small, independent makers or producers even when the price point is higher.

For me, that's the difference between being a consumer and being a human; being just a bit of demographic data that drives algorithms and fuels marketing strategies - or taking part in a larger, human ecosystem that nurtures skills, sustains traditional wisdom, encourages innovation and turns "demand" into something deeper and more meaningful.  

I understand that classic economics relies on terms like "Supply" and "Demand" for it metrics and theory, and I honor that science for its value in debating legislative and social policy.  But I can make my individual choices in such a way that what I buy isn't just about what I spend. What I save isn't just about my money.  

Sermon over. That's all just the longer version of what Mother always told me: "We're too poor to buy cheap."
 
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote: ... I had my money in my bank a lot longer, making babies for me.



The following is for US citizens. Other countries have different laws and regs.

Finance

The best rate I can find is about 1%apy for a normal savings account ($5000 deposit). The best 5yr CD rate I could find was .65%
The inflation rate per the US dept of Labor is 1.2% link. As backstop 10yr treasuries are yielding .829% as a proxy for inflation.

At best you are breaking even. Inflation is eating the 'babies' sad to say. At worst you are going negative by small measures. I am not against saving. Everyone should have sufficient liquid assets to cover an emergency. How much is up to the individual.

The reality is it would be better to spend wisely as this thread emphasizes. Eg: Lets say I am able to acquire quality boots at $100. With resoling and repair they last a decade. Well you could expect to pay $125 or more for a replacement pair at the end of year 10. Had I deposited the $100 and earned .8%/yr at the end of year 10 I would have $108. So buying the quality boot now yields me better earning value, I use it now, I deferred the inflation curve for the 10 years, etc. The federal reserve has trashed savings in a desperate effort to get the velocity of money up to keep the economy moving.

Now saving monies for the new car when it is needed is still wise. However people may have to redefine savings. Putting it into the bank may not be the best way to save. My suggestion is find some producer like function for the money that produces a return better than what the banks offer that is higher than the inflation rate. When you find it, what is the risk factor associated with it? Always keep that in mind. That could be a side gig, a part time business, buy more bee hives, etc.

US Banks

Be aware that any money you put in a US bank, checking, savings, CDs means YOU become an unsecured creditor to that bank. As such its no longer YOUR MONEY, by US bank law.webpage Essentially you are last in line to get your money back if things go South. An though FDIC is a good thing they only have 10% reserves to cover the trillions in unsecured deposits. Another words FDIC itself could go bankrupt if things got really bad.

Banks are are useful financial tool. But they are not risk free.

Conclusion

A man may pay any price for his first shirt, but hardly ever for the second.



Things are not normal at the current time as in years past. Hence we need to adjust --

* If you need it, buy it. But it must be essential, productive or leverages value to something already owned. No toys.
* Eliminate debt. In the current environment it is the fastest way to 'save'.
* 'Save' skills. It is the fastest way to leverage tasks to make yourself more productive.
* Watch what is going on globally. That indicates trends that affect you personally.
* Stock those things you habitually use.

Personal example:

Our family has gone on a canning/drying/freezing binge this year. More so than we normally do. The reason is two fold. The Chinese had a massive crop failure this year and a another round of swine disease. That means that the Chinese will bid up the market in grains and pork worldwide. By the way, SmithField the largest pork processor in the US is owned by the Chinese now. Selected food prices may not normalize for the next two years as a result. Locking in some of the price now will save us money in the short run.

Be safe, be wise.
 
pollinator
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Barbara Kerschner wrote:I am going back to making my own clothes. Quality fabrics, made from sustainable sources are challenging to find and expensive. But I can make clothes that last for years and mend them as needed. I have made quilts for years and repaired them as the begin to all apart. I made a quilr.for my mother 50 years ago using an old wool blanket as the batting. I still use it on our guest bed when we have a friend sleeping over. I also weave our own towels and yes weaving cotton and wool are ridiculously expensive but the towels last for many many years. There is a reason people used to have only one shirt!



I wish I had your talent to make clothes. That is one task I have always hated with a passion and never been good at. Give me two boards, a saw and a hammer and I can MacGiver something useful. A bolt of fabric, not so much.
My lazy solution for clothing is to go to Goodwill. These clothes and shoes were often good quality the first time around. So the shoes are a bit scuffed and the shirts have had better days. At 72, I'm a bit scuffed as well and my better days are behind me, so everything matches now. I just give these clothes a second life.
 
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