Day #147: Creative Holiday Financing

After 3-1/2 years in our house we finally decided that it was time to buy living room furniture. Since we have moved here, our living room has been the final resting place for every old, broken down piece of furniture that we have ever owned. We have focused on the parts of the house where we spend our time and use the living room as a place to park the things that don’t seem to fit anywhere else. For the last few weeks it has been completely bare. We finally realized that that probably isn’t the best decorating decision we’ve ever made either.

New Furniture
We decided to make a modest furniture purchase because the echo in our living room was starting to get depressing. Further, we figured that it would probably stink to have to sit on the floor on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. OK, the boys probably wouldn’t mind, but we’re getting a little too old to go quite THAT minimalist. We found a store that was offering 60-month, zero-interest financing on living room packages and figured that would be a good way to find something kid-friendly that would fit our budget.

A Package Deal
It turned out that all of the packages that came with the interest-free financing came with a very large television (that we neither want nor need). However, the store making the offer doesn’t actually sell televisions. Instead, they give you a gift card with a specific dollar value that is redeemable at a specific electronics store. The furniture store has a deal with the appliance store that they must offer a certain television in exchange for the full value of the gift card. The loophole that we love is that the holder of the gift card can do whatever they please with the gift card.

The Perks

We bought the package and decided to forego the television and use the gift card for holiday gifts. Our eight-year-old is an electronic gadget freak and slowly but surely dragging the baby with him, so this works well for us. Amazingly, we are now struggling to figure out what all to buy with our little gift card windfall. It would be silly not to use it all. Wow! A little creativity and careful shopping goes a long way. We took a set amount of cash and earmarked it for furniture. We chose the furniture store that was offering the best incentives for our needs and now, our money continues to earn interest for five years while we make small payments. We receive a gift card that pays for our remaining holiday gifts. Everybody is happy, our budget is intact and we do not incur interest-bearing debt. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that we got the bulk of our holiday gifts at no cost, but combining deals in a way that suits your needs and budget constraints is clearly the key to successful money management in our house!

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