Tip 5

Also, see our First Coast Living segment on Women & Money for more Saving Tips (click here).

Money Tip #5

What really matters is what you do with what you have. SHIRLEY LORD

 Use the stair-step strategy to help you achieve your goals at less expense. Think about your goal and, starting with the top step, figure out how you can achieve the goal if money were no object. On each lower step, consider how you can achieve it by spending less money. Here is the stair-step strategy if your goal is to get a dog that would be a good family pet.

Top step: Pick a specific breed and pay top dollar for a dog from a breeder who can give you the pet’s family history. Buy ceramic dishes hand painted with Fifi’s name, doggie bed, adorable toys, and a rhinestone collar.

  • Second step: Do a search on the Web for animal rescue organizations for the specific breeds that fir you criteria. Shop at a local pet supply warehouse for a crate, weighted dishes, doggy bed, collar, and toys.

  • Third step: Ask the staff at the local animal shelter to help you identify the dogs that appeal to you and your family. Find the best deals on a crate, doggy bed, dishes , a collar and toys.

  • Fourth step: Look for ads in your local newspapers and online resources for dogs and puppies that are being given away for free. (Have a vet check the dof before you agree to take it to be sure the breed meets your needs and there are no medical problems.) Use a sturdy box if it’s a puppy and needs to be confined until it is housebroken. Provide an old blanket for a bed and look for bowls, collar, and toys that are discounted.

  • Fifth step: Talk to your local vets. Sometimes people need to give up their pets and all of their supplies and are looking to find a good home for free.

Step one could easily cost thousands of dollars, while step five is free.

 Jacksonville Saves is a social marketing effort of Duval County Extension, Real $ense Prosperity Campaign, Bank On Jacksonville, Jacksonville Public Library, and Family Foundations in cooperation with the Consumer Federation of America. Visit www.americasaves.org to sign up to be a Saver. You may choose to get the American Saver Newsletter, eWealth Coach information, or inspirational text messages to help you on your journey. There are also many helpful articles on the site. If you want to attend free local workshops, visit http://jpl.coj.net/financiallyfit/ for topics, locations, and times.

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