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Old October 3, 2012, 08:41 AM   #1
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Join Date: September 26, 2012
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Being thrifty on a tight budget....saving tips for gun purchases

Those of you who are lucky (and obviously responsible with finances) to have most of your debts cleared and have a nice disposable income need not read. The rest of us, chime in!

I wanna set up my own personal scenario which I'm guessing will capture the medium average of income on here so we can contribute to a healthy discussion about how to finance our guns.....for those of us who can still pay all of our bills, stash a few bucks aside, AND still have a few extra dollars each month towards gun purchasing. If you are bad with money and own 20 guns but live in a shack with massive debts and eat Ramen noodles for breakfast lunch and dinner and cant buy dog food or diapers....SELL YOUR GUNS!

So, I'm a guy making a lower/middle income with a small family (wife and daughter). Let's say that after all bills are paid each month, and $300 gets put aside into a savings account...that I still have about $100 leftover each month. Thats the whole extra $100/mo of extra "play" money.

I generated my monthly savings & that extra $100/mo by doing the following:

• Carpooling to work
• brown bagging lunch every day
• making a strict weekly grocery list and not getting extra stuff...and buying BULK!
• Refinanced auto loan
• Avoid ATM fees
• Making BIG dinners that last 2-3 days (crock pot and casserole meals)
• Dunkin Donuts only 1 day a week....make my own coffee the rest
• Drive less, walk more
• Quit the gym, now I use old weight set in garage and run around the neighborhood

Now, unfortunately my monthly ammo/range time comes out of that $100/mo so I have to pretty much cut that number in half now. $50/mo towards my next gun purchase isnt bad because it fits hand in hand with the rule my wife and I negotiated on: ONLY 1 GUN PURCHASE PER YEAR. Thats $600/year. And if I skip a year, I can buy a premium gun around the $1200 range!

So, I hope some of those little nuggets will help some of you on a tight budget but still make room for this amazing hobby/lifestyle we all enjoy WITHOUT making bad decisions or going into debt.
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Old October 3, 2012, 02:05 PM   #2
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my solution is simple, I don't indulge my gun purchasing impulses for long periods of time. My wife and I also do without a lot of things that we consider luxuries at this point, such as having cable tv or a brand new ipad. Our cars are also paid for, so no car payments for either of us. I set aside roughly 30% of our take home pay every month. I now have a decent chunk of cash in our savings account that will serve as our nest egg once our baby is born. My wife will also be on maternity leave for 3 months, so this money will help pay the mortgage and other miscellaneous bills. Sure, I could go out right now and buy several firearms that are on my wishlist and my wife would never know, but our baby comes first, not a gun.

With that said, I still plan on funding any and all firearm purchases with my paypal account. I won't buy what I don't have the money for. I've read far too many foolish stories of individuals who'd rather have that brand new Mossberg 500 rather than pay the rent.
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Old October 3, 2012, 05:47 PM   #3
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As I've gotten older the overwhelming urge to buy a new whatever has subsided somewhat. I still come across things I'd like to have but now or next year is about the same in my book. I do have trouble passing up items I truly think I will not run across again. There also is nothing quite like getting a gun for Christmas , that's for sure.
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Old October 3, 2012, 07:15 PM   #4
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May I suggest that you take up reloading on a single-stage press?

(1)Each round is less expensive because you're reloading.

(2) Each round takes so darn long to assemble that you'll feel badly if you take less time to disassemble again. Makes mag dumps an item of outrageous waste.
So you'll use less ammo :-)

I do the vast majority of the work on the family cars. Most auto repairs are more labor than parts cost so I save the labor cost - even if it takes me twice as long (since if I wasn't doing the car work I'd be at the shooting range unloading money thru the barrel)

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Old October 3, 2012, 09:58 PM   #5
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If possible, start a little nest-egg for hobby use. I started my "Bullet Fund" by doing a little tutoring after school. Every now and then I'll sell something I don't need and the proceeds go in the BF. Now that I carry a cell phone all the time, I discovered that I had a bunch of useless wrist-watches that got sold. I toss my spare change at the end of the day into a jar and take that to the bank machine 2 or 3 times a year. Keep your eyes and ears open for a quick-turn investment. If you can buy something today and turn it around for $150 tomorrow, you've got another $50 in the BF.
It all adds up.
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Old October 3, 2012, 10:09 PM   #6
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I've never financed an automobile. Even when I was driving 40K to 50K a year, I drove beaters. My most expensive car I've ever owned cost me $1200. In five years, I've only put a total of about $3000 in it, including tires. It's only been in a repair shop once- that was a fuel pump on the way home from IN.

I've never spent any money on home repair, except for materials.

I don't own a cellphone. The company buys it, and if I didn't need one for work, I just wouldn't have one.

No cable TV. I have Netflix. Like $8 a month. Probably wouldn't even have that if it weren't for the kids and wife.

I live without the newest, fanciest electronics. I've never spent more than $100 on a TV. Most of the time they've been between free and $25. One free TV I had for 8 years. I fixed it twice with 99 cent resistors from Radio Shack.

When appliances break, 90% of the time I fix them rather than replace them. Lawnmowers are the same way.

I buy power tools used, especially the way the economy is right now. No reason to buy a $200 Sawzall from Home Depot when I can buy one nearly new from any pawn shop for $50. Garage sales are even better.

I pick up stuff from trash piles. Sometimes you get lucky. I once salvaged a $500 set of Boston Acoustic speakers.

My most expensive piece of furniture is a $100 couch.

When I was shooting a lot, I had a membership to an outdoor range, about $200 a year. I was also on the board of a USPSA club. I set up the matches and shot for free. I picked up the brass after the matches. I bought primers in bulk. Last time I bought primers, they were $65 a case. I still have 3 cases. 8# of Winchester 231 lasts almost forever. I cast bullets from free wheelweights. The only thing I had to spend money on was the primers, powder, and range membership. I could shoot 5K rounds a year for maybe $300.
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Old October 4, 2012, 10:25 AM   #7
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One nice side effect of "prepping" is that now when something goes on the shopping list we don't actually need it right away. Something can sit on the list for weeks until it goes on sale. The same goes for ammo, if you stock up when you find a good deal you can easily cut ammo expenses by 25% or more.

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Old October 4, 2012, 10:30 AM   #8
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Sounds like some of you have the right idea. I'm nearly 70 and always lived within my budget. That meant no fancy vacations when we were young, no boat, skiing trips, you get the idea. We saved what we could, invested it in the market, paid our bills, and got along with life.

We gave our kids our time and some nice things, but they learned at an early age that nice things cost a lot of money, and they did without a few of them. Certainly not all of them. We put our kids through college by paying cash for tuition, and they worked summer jobs to help with costs. Today both are in management positions with large companies and moving upward, and both have nice investment accounts for themselves.

We retired a few years ago and now have the money to do whatever we want. I started out buying a few guns as I could manage the purchase, mostly using my National Guard drill pay to fund the purchases. I am now in a position that I can buy anything (nearly) that I want, and we don't lack for anything.

It's all about managing your money. You absolutely HAVE to invest in your future. No one else is going to do that for you, certainly not the government. Set aside a small amount every week or month for fun purchases until you can afford to do more. It's not necessary to have everything right now. That gun will be here tomorrow too.
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:54 PM   #9
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Live within your means, and always purchase used vehicles, forever. You will save between $50,000 and $100,000 over your lifetime with used cars.

For another easy saving tip: I take the coins out of my pocket each day and jug them, keeping a few pennies to make change with. This adds up very quickly and will surprise you around Christmas when you find out you have $300 you didn't know you had.

Dump your cable TV, get an antenna and DVDs.

I buy very good condition hardback books at yard sales for 50 cents or a dollar, then sell or trade them to a local used bookstore. They love history and modern literature, and now and then I score a classic first printing and make some bucks.
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Old October 6, 2012, 11:37 PM   #10
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Shoot .22s most of the time.
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Old October 7, 2012, 07:11 AM   #11
Dan Newberry
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wheel and deal.... see a great deal in the trade paper on a gun, buy it and "flip it"... and you'll have that money to put toward other purchases--if you can bring yourself to sell that gun, that it.
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Old October 7, 2012, 07:50 AM   #12
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One thing to add would be airgun practice at home.
Real cheap and handy.
Very effective trigger time, too.
And lots of it, for just about free.
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
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Old October 7, 2012, 09:29 AM   #13
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the rule my wife and I negotiated on: ONLY 1 GUN PURCHASE PER YEAR.
You might want to see if she'll bend a little on that.
I picked up two S&W model 17's once & saved $100 by buying both at the same time.
The gun store was asking $395 ea for them. I offered them $700 for the pair.
The most extreme case I ran into doing this & will forever kick myself for not taking the deal - was a pair of new in box 4" blue Pythons - for $900 - for both , not each.
Like an idiot I passed.
Stupid, stupid, stupid...

Used guns can also be fairly lucrative -but - you have to walk a thin line with BATF on that one. Do it too often and they may feel you need a FFL..
I'd buy a "tired", used and semi abused .22 rifle.
Refinish the stock, add a white ring (cut from an empty Clorox bottle) between the butt & plastic butt plate to dress it up a bit, then trade or sell it.
I'd make,,maybe,,$20 on it @ best - but - every little bit helps.
Buy it for $60 and use it as a trade in on another gun at a different gun store & get $70 or $80 for it.

Aluminum cans...
My wife and I, about 22/23 years ago, collected Aluminum cans & sold them for scrap. There was a collection point for scrap Aluminum in the parking lot of a local super market.
We'd collect the cans during the week, then drop them off on Saturday.
We chose Saturday because that's the day they had all the free samples in the super market - that was our lunch.
Laugh all you want, but, those few extra pennies made the difference between making the mortage payment and not making it...

Credit cards.
(I know - tough one...)
We only use credit cards that offer cash back.
We use a credit card for nearly everything we buy.
The cash back is between 2 and 3% and sometimes as much as 5%.

Double dip on the credit cards...
Look around and see if any super markets offer gas discounts tied to purchases in their store. We have Giant Eagle and Acme stores here in NE Ohio that both offer gas discounts with so many points (earned by buying stuff in their stores).
Since any purchase in the store qualifies, and they sell gift cards - such as Lowes and Home Depot - I can buy $100 worth of Lowes gift cards, get a 2% discount on my credit card, get X number of cents off per gallon of gas, then use the gift card to buy what I need from Lowes.

I can't begin to stress how much cost savings there is in reloading.
The actual cost of most guns is a small percentage of what it will cost to shoot the gun over it's lifetime.
& please - no one say you won't save any money because you'll just shoot more.
Instead of shooting more, concentrate on shooting better.
Practice doen't make perfect - perfect practice makes perfect.
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:06 AM   #14
Glenn E. Meyer
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 18,801
Sorry, financial planning isn't really that relevant.

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