Thanksgiving is just hours away and you really have to hold on tight so you don’t end up giving in to all the holiday sales. Time to tame your emotions! If you have made it this far you may be able to resist the infamous “Black Friday.”

Hey, I am not opposed to a good deal if it’s something that I truly need, and more importantly that I can’t buy used on Craigslist or Marketplace. I probably wouldn’t buy used underwear, socks or hats, but for sure anything that falls into the tool category or electronics deserves a search in sites where you can buy used.

Basically, you just save a ton when you buy used and if you do decide to get rid of the purchased item, most likely you will barely lose any money; used items hold their value better than newer items.

Not too long ago I decided to buy a bike rack system for our camping trips. I wanted something secure, trustworthy that would not be rattling all the way to our destination.

Sure enough, I ended up looking at Yakima products. They are expensive; at least for me. The model I wanted is called the “full swing” and it retailed for about $500 plus tax.

With a little bit of patience and a few daily searches on Craigslist, Ebay, and Market Place, I was able to find one for $350. Already almost 50% off. Still a lot of money though. I was able to negotiate it and ended up getting it for $300.

We used it a lot and it always met all of our expectations. It was solid. A great product. But like everything else, especially with a family, you transition from one stage to another and things end up in the garage. After a season of not using it, I decided it was to part with it.

I posted an ad in the same places where I buy used and in no time I had over 100 hits. Long story short, I was able to sell it for $290.

Think about my $10 loss, versus the loss of the person I bought it from who paid the $500+. Not to mention the tax savings! You buy a $500+ item and you may end up paying up to 8.75%, depending on where you live in Illinois. No thanks! I am not again paying taxes, but before I even touch my salary a big chunk of money is already taken out. If I can save myself some money by buying used items, I will. In this case, just in taxes I saved almost $50. Plus about $200 by choosing to buy something relatively used.

Many times we fall prey of our emotions. We think we deserve a treat. Go to the store with the perfect temperature and upbeat music and walk out with a bag like everybody else. We want the cutting edge technology or gadget everybody is talking about.

Well, nothing more sobering than an estate sale. You walk in and you see room after room full of clutter and items that at some point were also “the thing to have.” Now, there they are; being sold for pennies, and if they don’t sell they make their way to the garbage. Think about the fortunes we spent on crap that we don’t really need, and that after a while we just give away or trash. It’s not just something you throw out or you lose money on, it’s hours of work and time in our lives that we invested to afford those items and now we are just disposing them; we are disposing our lives!

Remember the best sale is the one you don’t buy.