I Have Noticed
I like to read several blogs every day. Some of them I must check first thing in the morning with my cup of coffee and a few I save until just before bed. Sort of frosting on the cake at the end of the day.
Several of them have goals for this year listed not just personal goals but goals to acquire “stuff” to make their lives easier. Sort of a want list all very practical but stuff none the less.
This is well and good, as I have my own and fencing is one of them. What I see is that these items on the lists aren’t getting crossed off very fast this year. It’s peak gardening season for most of these blogs that I read the drip irrigation, plows, rakes, shovels are all still there on the want list. So are the things like the butter churns, grain mills, generators. Those who know are not spending money on anything it seems and I like to count myself in that category as well.
I have also noticed at our local yard sales that the price wanted for anything practical is very expensive some times more than if it were bought new. Right now I can buy a case of 12 Ball wide mouth pints with bands for $14.99 brand new at the stores. I have seen them several times in yard sales this summer for almost that much and there was no negotiation to be had. I have my sister and friends looking too with no luck.
Other things too I am searching for that I have put a price limit on with no luck there either. Clay pots, seed starting trays, sewing supplies like zippers, buttons and fabric, knitting needles…All could be found even last summer very reasonable, but not now.
Last summer I bough about 14 pair of needles for 10 cents a pair and promptly gave them all away because some one liked them. That’s just the way I am…
I wonder why? Is it because everyone knows the value now? Or because suddenly they are in demand, are more families going back to the old ways of home making? While I do hear of more doing this and the following on the blogs suggest this. I tend to think its the commercial marketing here in the US pushing the idea of simple living as a new fad. A new twist on selling everything from toilet paper to plastic storage bags.
I don’t see the marketing telling everyone to cut back, but just the opposite, to buy their “whats-a-ding” because it will help them cut back and save money. The point being buy it not because you need it or will use it but because it’s a way to save money in the long run and spending right now will boost our economy.
The smaller things are a complete snow job in my opinion, I don’t need a new fangled exercises machine to save money at our gym. What I need is to not have either and get my exercise gardening, walking or taking free dance classes…anything other than that. That new machine that will collect dust in 6 weeks and end up at side of the road with a free take me sign on it next year.
I don’t need a new plastic bag vacuum system that looks like a cheap piece of you know what and the bags themselves cost more than double a regular zip top bag.
How about the new commercials from our favorite car companies, buy our car and if you loose your job in the next 12 months we will take the car back. WHAT! In my mind if you think you may loose your job in 12 months I wouldn’t be buying a new car period! How can having your new car taken back make loosing your job any easier? Then you won’t have a car at all, new or old.
Now this marketing has worked very well in our favor recently. I will start by saying we were not PLANNING on making such a large purchase but circumstances presented themselves and we took the opportunity. I am not suggesting to any one to take out a loan just because it’s a good deal intrest free or not. No, no, make due with what you have.
You might remember me mentioning a couple of months ago that our backhoe blew the motor in it. In looking around we discovered it would cost around $3,000 to repair it. Reality sunk in, that was a huge amount of money to be putting into a machine that was 20 something years old and showing signs of other problems on the horizon. Some that comes to mind are the $1,000 a piece tires it would need before winter set in this year. Then the hoses, and cutting edge. Well you get the point. We had braced ourselves to thinking this machine would sit in the yard unusable for quite awhile leaving a hole in our income.
We stopped at a local dealer just to kick the tires on a few machines, we had NO intention of buying one just seeing what was out their. Two days later I get a call from the dealer wanting to know how to get here, the driver was lost and map quest had let him down.
The conversation was why I don’t know anything about a tractor delivery? Are you sure this is were you want to go and how do you know what my address is I didn’t even tell you what my name was?
In the end the tractor arrived in the yard, as it turns out the owner of the company did in fact already know Dick…HA no surprise there, Dick knows everyone it seems.
Well it stayed here for a few days and the guy called back, Dick how do you like the tractor? let me tell you I can give you a good deal for your machine, there is an interest free financing option going on now for 72 months…..BLA, BLA, BLA…..
Dick was like ya’ what ever, thanks for letting me clean my barn yard with your shinny new tractor….I on the other hand perked right up. Whoa! wait a second their Dickie…. This guy is offering you more for your backhoe than it’s worth with a good motor in it, it will cost you very soon big money to fix the current problem and the very near repairs it is going to need AND an interest free loan?
Yes, if you want the tractor we can go to our stash and pay cash for the thing but why not take him up on the offer, our money is better earning interest in our bank than in theirs. Not that the banks are paying good interest but it’s better than nothing. Yes there will be a monthly payment but should our needs change, take the money and pay the thing off.
You have to replace either the backhoe or repair it, you can’t use it or work it the way it is…. I vote for a new tractor and let the expensive problems roll down the road into this guys yard. (Yes, we did tell the guy upfront about the motor.) It has a nice warranty on it should something break in the next 10 years.
So my dear readers here it is…
While we lost the capability to earn money with the backhoe part of the machine we gained the ability of a 3-point hitch. A neighbor and fellow Mason heard this news and came right over with a chocolate cake in hand his wife had made for us. :)(This is country living bribery at its best!) Dickie, love that new tractor, would you take over these mowing fields for me, BLA, BLA, BLA…. (Donna the cake was delicious and would you share your frosting recipe with me, please?)
To make a long story short, Dick has work for the new tractor coming out his ears or should I say mower….It didn’t take long for the word to get around and the phone is ringing off the hook. This due to the fact that Dick has worked in this area 50+ years people know him, his work and capabilities.
It is slower easier work for him and he just found himself back working for himself again. Geesh we just closed down all his business stuff, back to the books I will go…
One good ending to the marketing going on. Now how to convince these yard sale folks that their knitting needles really aren’t worth $6.00 a pair…or that their canning jars with the chipped rim isn’t worth $2.00 each….but I will take the whole box for $4.00… several are chipped, the bands are rusty and I can’t reuse those lids….No, no thank you I don’t need a feather-less chicken that hops on one leg at the farm. (It’s true I was offered one last weekend!)
How about you? Have you been able to take advantage of these lame marketing deals or have you found any that are good deals and actually help your family?