I have a habit of scrutinizing each purchase before I spend money on it. I can suggest many useful strategies for saving money. Procrastinating to take advantage of sales, using store brands, and using two or three different grocery stores are all ways that I’ve spent wisely to save money. One author I’ve read suggested that spending carefully as opposed to freely is like having an additional third of your income! The key is to make sure you’re as satisfied and have your wants fulfilled even though the amount you spend is less. Even with practice, you will be trading some of your time in order to obtain the best value for what you spend. I have found doing so to be justified.
Obviously you will spend more time shopping for a car than a tube of toothpaste. Saving money is a tough combination of “grunt work” and creativity. You have to go to the store anyway; why not do some quick price checking while you’re there? Sometimes the most expensive brand is the best value. Why buy something you won’t use? If you’re buying online, a quick google search should lead you to about the best price for something. You’re on the computer anyway, why not take an extra minute or two and try to save money? I’ve saved three to four dollars buying books online per book. Not a big deal, until you realize you can save fifty cents, a dollar, or more on hundreds of items that you will buy throughout the year. Spending a small amount of your time shopping for the best price may result in hundreds of extra dollars in your savings account for emergencies.
Some items may only be bought new, some may be bought used with no problem and some items are in the used market but aren’t really a good buy used. I bought a very nice fish tank and stand after searching through some want ads (Craigslist is probably the best source for used items as I write this). After some bargaining it was about a fourth of the cost of a new tank and stand and I’ve used it for almost ten years.
Obviously non-durable goods can only be bought new in most cases. So if you enjoy a certain brand of toothpaste, stocking up when it’s on sale or finding the cheapest place to buy it might be worth a search.
You may want to consider paying full price for certain goods or services. For example, a quality hotel room, although expensive, can be a better buy than constantly worrying about what type of room or location a hotel consolidator will give you.
Most experts seem to agree that a used car is an overall better deal than a new car. Doing the research and thoroughly having the car examined before you buy it is critical. I have found that even $150 per month of repairs on my twenty year old car is better than a $150 per month car payment – with higher insurance premiums and tax and title fees.
A new car can be a better deal than a used car in some instances. Some models don’t depreciate significantly after a year of use, so the new car at a slightly higher price is a much better deal than taking a chance on a used car.
Spending wisely is possible in a variety of ways. Price shopping at various retailers is a good idea for new items. Buying used is wise if the item will fill your needs as well as something new. Many methods exist for buying more goods and services with the same amount of cash if you’re willing to discover and use various ways of doing so.