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We Paid Cash: A New TV

We paid cash!A testimony from Sally

In 26 years of marriage, we had never owned a brand new television. Our home worked like a giant magnet, pulling in used TVs from friends and family… and we got what we paid for!

One day, we discovered we had saved $93 in coins without even trying. We were inspired. Over dinner that night, we dreamed about what to put this money toward. Something responsible, like a home repair? Or something frivolous, like a new fancy flat screen TV.

Can you guess which we chose? Yep. The TV!

Initially, we guessed $300 would pay for a reasonably-sized television with a quality image. But, one walk down the TV aisles at Sam’s Club revealed otherwise — a TV­­ that didn’t look like a large desktop monitor, would cost $500.

Our new purchase felt far away.

We didn’t know how long it would take to “find” $400 more (frivolous) dollars, but we had one rule: the money for the TV must be “found”. No dipping into budgets.

This is how we “found” another $400 in 6 months:

1. We Made An “New TV” Envelope

We slid the first $93 into a large manila envelope labeled “New TV”. Each time we found money from any of the methods below, we added it to the envelope.

2. We Continued to Save Loose Change

Since routinely adding ALL our spare coins to the quart­-size mason jar worked as an effortless way to save, we stuck with it. Over the next 6 months, we collected another $85.

3. We Redeemed Soda Bottles and Cans

We diligently collected and redeemed aluminum, plastic, and glass bottles, totaling $100.

4. We Sold Books and Household Items Online

All commissions we earned from selling books and household items through went into the TV envelope. We added another $100 this way.

5. We Used My Wellness Product Sales

I earned $125 passive income from my Garden Valley Essentials wellness store. It all went into the envelope.

Then An Amazing Thing Happened

Just as we reached our $500 goal, a Sam’s Club sales flyer arrived in our mailbox showcasing a full-featured $700 Samsung TV for $499­­ with free shipping! We’d written off this model before as “out of our reach”… but, now it was affordable!

With the cash safely deposited in the bank, we ordered the TV the next day. Seven days later our new high tech television arrived at our home!

We Paid Cash_Money Saving Mom_Sally Olson_TV

We realized that we were more likely to reach our goal since we were in it together. We agreed on a purpose for the money, we worked together to reach our goal, and we celebrated our accomplishment.

Sally Olson is a writer, blogger, wife, and battle-­proven homeschooling mom to sons. God, good words, good coffee and honest country living refresh her soul. She blogs about apples and country life at Garden Valley Homestead.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.


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  • Becky says:

    Love it 🙂

  • It’s so fun when we can find the “frivolous” money to put toward a goal. I always find it amazing just how much money we can find when we’re saving up for something specific. Beware–it’s addicting! 🙂

  • JF says:

    Wonderful. Congratulations!! I love this. Once you commit to not going into debt and saving it works out. Getting into the habit of saving. There’s a big ticket item I want; a luxury item really and I am determined to save for it and your post just helped keep me focused!

  • Melinda says:

    Great to commit to only found money! We have always saved our change. It is amazing how so little can add up over time. When we had a morgage my girls would roll the change, once a year and apply it to our morgage. We are now morgage free!

  • Terri says:

    I can totally relate to the “giant magnet, pulling in used TVs from friends and family” line. We did the same thing. Finally we were able save up for a Samsung flat screen too! It was totally worth saving for and paying cash.

  • Great motivation! We don’t have any credit cards and were able to pay cash for a new couch a few months ago. Our next goal is paying off our student loans and then paying cash for a house. Thanks for the motivation to keep going! Saving up for a big tv is so fun – and YAY Sam’s Club for that sale!

  • becky says:

    I love this! What a great goal to work for as a family! My husband and I recently paid off our last car loan and are getting to some much needed home repair. We have been saving to replace our doors, and when the price quote came in we were surprised at how much they cost. The salesman must have noticed because he instantly showed us their company financing plan. As tempting as the zero down, no payments for 18 months sounded, we were committed to only paying cash. We wrote a check (painfully large) for our doors and haven’t looked back since. I will keep your TV in mind as our inspiration to keep going forward!

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