Before the weekend, I signed up for this 'super-sweet offer' from a magazine company. For $39.90 (every 2.5 months and charged to my credit card) I can get 4 of my favorite magazine titles (which equals about $3.88/week), but after 72 hours I am locked in to this contract for 48 months. 48 MONTHS! Um, what? I can't cancel? I am locked in for the entire contract? 'Well, we offer over 300 different magazines, so if you get bored of the ones you originally order, you can change it up and get 4 new, different ones,' they say. Hmm. So over the weekend, I did some research. Apparently many people are dissatisfied with the service, have had bad experiences with harassing/rude phone calls and have had to make complaints about the company at various state's Better Business Bureaus. Yikes! (Not to mention that I did this without discussing this with the hubby - something I am trying to do better with and more of).
It might not seem like a lot of money - to save $40 every 2.5 months should be easy. And if it is for you - great! For me, in my current financial situation, saving for a few magazines to come to my door is going to be hard. After much research and hard thinking about this 'suddenly-in-my-mind-stupid-decision' - and not the first one I will ever make either! - I decided to cancel that new subscription. Alas, I had to wait to Monday but it got done!
The main reasons I came to this conclusion:
1. We visit the library practically EVERY weekend. I almost always hit the magazine section and borrow 1-two past issues of my favorite magazines. And they are FREE.
2. One of my intentions this year is to pay cash for things I want (exception of big-ticket items). Charging my credit card every couple of months DOES NOT fulfill that intention. Sorry, but a charge card is not cash.
3. The library has FREE books and magazines to read. Past and present issues.
4. I went ahead and assumed I would have the extra money every so often to do this; most likely scenario? Do I pay my credit card bill or put gas in the car? Honestly, money is tight for us/me right now and I would rather put gas in the car so I can get to work.
5. Did I mention the library? That card is getting a TON of use, and we've only been here 3 months!
6. Reading this blog and all subsequent posts relating to this.
"Being savvily frugal is about putting your money where it matters & putting consciousness into your consumerism."
Quote is taken directly from this post.
She rants about frugality versus being cheap. And
some of, okay, most all of what she writes about is in direct line with how I am trying to shape my life by living intentionally. Here is a few paragraphs from her post:
"I don’t think the issue with frugality is necessarily that we won’t buy high end items- it’s just that we need to direct our way from the impulse shopping, the cheap purchases that really add up over time. It still amazes me how much my experience around shopping changed when I saved up for a pair of Christian LouBoutins, a MacBook Pro or a silver necklace from Tiffany & Co. As soon as I curbed my “cheap” purchases- the costume jewelry, the shoes that I only bought because “it was on sale,” or the obligatory nights out with overpriced martinis, my spending was ready for the big fish and it felt damn good.
Frugality means buying less, but having more. I have less junk now, and more shoes that I still swoon over- months later. It’s authenticity. When you wear a designer handbag- it may be the only one you own, but it’s bought and paid for- truly, authentically YOURS. When it’s not a debt, but it was paid for without someone (a lender) chipping in, you lie to no one about who you are."
The question came down to this: Would I rather shell out $40 for magazines I can get for free at the library (see? The library is famous!) or try to save that $40 for the Coach purse I have been drooling over for about a year now (pretty much since last Christmas but I feel is too expensive to just go and purchase outright without some major saving)? I'll take the Coach purse!
What do you think?