How To Be Thrifty – Martha’s Rule No. 4

This Thrifty Rule Number 4 is going to tell you how Martha advises her grandchildren to buy a car.

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When buying your first car, save your money, and buy the best car that you can for that money. Do NOT take out a loan. While using that car, try to save, say, $200 per month, or what you would have spent on a car payment. If you can get that car to last for 24 or 36 months, you will now have $4800 to $7200 dollars to spend on a “new to you” used car, plus any monies you may get from the sale of your first car.

Do it again, and at the end of that second period, your second car may have given you a little more time, so you will have more money. Plus, you may get a bit more back for that car. So say your car lasts you 4 years, at $200 a month, you have now saved $9600, enough for a very nice used car. Go five years the next time, and you have $12000. If you start this at 18 or 19 years old, by the time you are 29 or 30, you can buy a very good used car or lower end new car for cash.

Now, let’s be clear here. Martha still does this, but since she uses her car for just getting around and not as a status symbol, she goes 6 or 7 years with the same car. She puts away $300 a month, so in 7 years she has $25,200. She bought the same Nissan Rogue I have, for cash, and immediately started saving for a new car.

If your car is your status symbol, this won’t work for you, so ignore all of Martha’s advice. But if you can see a car as simply a way to get around, as many people who have “old money” and are able to keep it see it, this will be a huge savings for you. You are the bank, so you don’t pay interest to anyone else.


How To Be Thrifty – Martha’s Rule # 3

Today we are going to talk about how to be thrifty, using the Thrifty Martha’s rules. This entails looking at money differently.

Some of my students were talking, and one of them said, “I work hard, and I feel that I deserve to buy myself something nice!” I totally related. I have been working since I’m 11 years old, and 43 years later, I feel that if I want to reward myself with something nice, I deserve it, and I’m going to buy it!!

Martha has taught me to change that thinking around.

She sees money in the bank as a reward. Your reward is that it makes you feel all warm and snuggly and safe. She sees putting money away the way you and I see spending it – as a reward for a job well done. For the past year, I have decided to give this a shot. I now try to keep at least $1000 in my savings account which for me, a huge spendthrift, is a major life change.

It works. Instead of going over to my closet to look at the $350 Frye boots I really loved but didn’t buy, I look at the pair I got for $39.99 (and I bought boots only because I really needed boots, not because I wanted them!!) and I look at my savings account and see the extra $310 dollars in there. It gives me a strange sense of comfort, to see that I have a bit of extra money in there for a rainy day. In fact, if something comes up and I have my balance go below $1000, I get a little resentful and worried. It’s amazing how much my perspective has changed in a year.

Money is definitely a head game. It is up to you how you want to play that game. For me now, I am getting a lot of pleasure out of seeing money in the bank, and not having to worry about overdraft fees and falling short each week. It is really a much less stressful, pleasurable way to live.


H0w To Be Thrifty – Martha’s Rule #2

I would like to share Martha’s Thrifty Rule # 2 with you today – don’t buy something as soon as you see it.

Buying is like a drug – it gives your brain a little hit of dopamine. Some of us dopamine addicts love that hit, so we buy to get it, again and again. Instead of ending up as a drug or alcohol addict, however, we end up with a lot of debt and a little savings.

So put that purchase off. If you see a coat you like in Macy’s, even if it’s on sale, you don’t have to buy it that minute. You can come back and buy it tomorrow, or even later today. Give it some thought. Do you need it? Or would you rather have that $150 snugly sitting in your bank account?? Delay, and be gratified.


How To Be Thrifty – Martha’s Rule # 1

I am not by nature a thrifty person. In fact, I’ve spent most of my adult life hoping I get to payday without running out of money. But I have a good friend, Martha, who is the opposite of me – she is thrifty, but not cheap. Careful with money for herself, but generous with others. She is always giving me tips to save money and be thrifty, and I’m happy to share some with you.

Martha’s Rule # 1 – pay cash


Sounds simple, right?? But it isn’t for me. Because that means I have to get to the bank, take out money, and for me, when money is in my hot hands, I spend it. But Martha says that the opposite is really true. When you have to actually put the cash into someone else’s hands, you are less likely to spend it.

I trust Martha, so I recommend you try it. I’m so ADD I may not actually ever do this, but I do a lot of other things she tells me to do now – like save for everything, rather than use credit, and don’t buy when you first see something – go home and think about it. Right now, I’m saving for a new mattress. It is a king sized mattress, so it will be about $2100, and I’m halfway there. This may actually be one of the first things I have saved up for in my adult life without using credit, so I’m pretty excited. I have to say, looking at my pennies adding up in my savings account makes me feel a lot more adult than I used to feel about money. And that’s cool!