When It Pays to Wait

When I decided to leave my regular 9-to-5 job in order to be home with my kids, my challenge was a significant one: find ways to replace or compensate for the loss of my income. I quickly discovered that while patience is indeed a virtue, it can also be a great way to save—or even make—money, too.

Consider using your bank’s bill payer service to pay ongoing monthly bills. This service is nearly always completely free, and you’ll never have to worry about a late fee again! You’ll help keep your credit rating intact by making payments on time. You’ll even save money on stamps. Additionally, you’ll be able to hang on to the money in your account longer, enabling you to actually accrue interest longer on the balance in your account.


Know when to hold ‘em, coupons that is. Sometimes it can pay to wait a little longer to cash in on coupons. There are often detectable sale cycles that you can anticipate and take better advantage of if you’re willing to practice a bit of patience. Compound your possible savings by stalling, and using your coupon on top of  sale or discounted price.

Stall a purchase until the end of the season. Something that may be out of your price range now will likely be deeply discounted later. If you’re willing to wait it out, you can likely get the same great item at a fraction of the price. Let a retailer’s desperation to clear shelves become your prime opportunity to pounce on savings. (For example, at our house Santa actually starts shopping for toys at the end of summer each year. Year upon year upon year, nearly the only difference between the toys on the shelf in the summer versus the flashy new Christmas toys is the packaging.)

Resist the urge to spray and wipe. This has been a big challenge for me. As Mom in a busy household, I’m always trying to work as efficiently as I can. I want to just be able to spray and instantly wipe a surface clean, but most cleaners do their best work when given the opportunity to sit a little. From dishes in the sink to laundry stain remover to carpet cleaner, you can get more out of even less of a cleaning product if you’re willing to let it sit a bit. (After all, what would you rather work harder? You or the product you paid good money for? Save your time and your elbow grease. Spray and walk away, at least for  little while.)

Practice patience in the kitchen, too. Take the crockpot for example. It uses minimal energy, requires very little effort from you and can produce delicious meals from even the most inexpensive cuts of meat. All it asks of you is a bit of patience. If you’re willing to plan and prepare a bit in advance, the payoff can be huge! And anyone who’s enjoyed a good soup, stew or chili will usually tell you that the leftovers are even better than the first time around.

Photo credit: dibytes

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Author Info

This post was written by Shannon M. Medisky. Shannon is an educator turned parent turned writer and focuses on sharing new and innovative ways to not just survive, but thrive on empty. Visit ThrivingOnEmpty.com to learn more. Her newest book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stretching Your Dollar is available in bookstores now.

One Response to “When It Pays to Wait”

  1. Super Saver |  Mar 04, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Another area that pays to wait is large flat screen TVs. I’m still waiting, but the prices are getting low enough for me to seriously consider buying.

    Waiting to buy is also a good strategy for most other electronic gadgets.