A testimony from Lena
9 years ago (when our oldest child was only 16 month old), we purchased a used swing set from a friend of a friend. We knew it was something that she could grow into and would get lots of use out of, as well as her 3 siblings who followed in the next few years.
It was worth the great price, but the swing set was definitely starting to show its wear. It was starting to rot and wobbled so much that it made me nervous when all our kids were on it.
We decided to look into purchasing a new, stronger set. However, after lots of research and shopping I couldn’t find a pre-made set with everything that we wanted for less than $2,000 — and we were not willing to spend that much!
As a family, we decided to start saving for this large purchase — and here’s what we did:
- We put all our loose change and $1 bills in a jar. When it was full we would each take a guess at how much was in it before taking it to the bank.
- We had a rummage sale and set all of that money aside for the play set
- We took our time and shopped around for the best deal.
- We built our own to save money.
Once we had the money, we did some more shopping and finally found a hardware and instruction kit at a big box home improvement store. We decided to purchase the kit online by using a discounted gift card (purchased from ), a cash back rewards program, and the store’s free shipping offer for a total cost of $145.
Another home improvement store regularly has an 11% off everything sale, and that was where we went to purchase all of our lumber and screws.
It took us about a week to build the play set with much of it getting done in the evenings after supper. Our four kids helped us measure, cut, and screw everything together during that time. Then I stained the whole thing and we were ready to enjoy it!
It’s a comfort to me knowing that this play set is SO much stronger than the previous one — I know that it will last us a good long time.
In the end, the whole thing cost us just under $700, with a little over $300 of that being saved in our change jar!
The kids were proud knowing that they had played a big part in saving for, and building the set — and we were thrilled at how much we were able to save by being willing to take the time and effort to build it ourselves.
Lena lives in a small town with her husband of 11 years and four children, whom she homeschools. They’ve been debt-free for 3 years and loving it! They love to share their story and encourage others who are seeking financial freedom.
Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? .