Please enjoy today’s guest post. I definitely feel the need these days to save as much money as I reasonably can! Perhaps you feel the same way!
Shopping can be a lot of fun, particularly when you’re searching for something exciting, like a vacation or a new house. However, every time you buy something, you also need to deal with the stress of knowing that you’ve taken a chunk out of your bank balance. That’s a chunk that could have gone into your savings account, or emergency fund.
So, how do you deal with this fact? For most of us, refusing to spend money on anything non-essential ever again won’t be realistic. Instead, we it’s easier to think of ways that you can reduce your spending each time you shop, so you can feel more comfortable about your financial habits.
Here are some top tips that could save you a fortune, whatever you buy.
Spread the Costs of Big Purchases
Sometimes, you’ll find it’s much easier to spread the cost of a big purchase out over an extended period of time, than try to buy everything at once. As worrying as it can be to borrow some money for your new car or kitchen extension, it’s often a lot less stressful than pulling all the cash out of your emergency savings in one go.
Spreading the cost of big purchases over time can also help you to build a better credit rating. This ensures that if you ever need to borrow money in the future, you should be able to get a better deal on your loan. Consider the long-term benefits of borrowing the cash you need the next time you have a big ticket item to buy.
Know What You Need “New”
There are some items in life that we can’t buy second-hand. Things like underwear, food, and even baby supplies are only really trustworthy when you get them vacuum-packed or sealed from the store. However, there are a lot of other items that you can access without spending a fortune on a “new” label. For instance, if you’re keen to get your hands on a new smartphone, it might make sense to hold off for a few weeks.
It doesn’t take long for people to decide that they’re bored of their phone or can’t afford to keep it. When that happens, second-hand versions of gadgets appear in stores and online, available for a fraction of the “new” cost.
Embrace Generic Brands
There’s a reason why the world’s biggest companies spend a fortune on advertising. They hope that you’re going to fall in love with their brands and refuse to buy anything else. In some cases, we even convince ourselves that certain brands of food or toiletries taste or work better than their generic counterparts. The truth, on the other hand is that most essential items are made with the same ingredients.
If you’re nervous about switching to a generic brand, consider switching just one item on your shopping list each week or month. That way, you can open your mind to the possibility of trying new things. If you really hate the brand you switch to, you can always switch back.
Sell Your Old Stuff
How much old junk do you have sitting in your cupboards or taking up space around the house? It’s easy to convince yourself that you shouldn’t throw items away after you paid good, honest money for them. However, the truth is that if these products are just taking up space, they’re better off out of your house.
Selling your old items has two big benefits. First, it allows you to clear some space around your home, so it’s not as hard to keep everything looking neat. Secondly, selling old objects gives you an extra dose of cash that you can put into your emergency fund or savings. You can even use the money you earn on old products to fund new ones.
Compare Your Options
Finally, if you’re trying to save money whenever you shop, stop going for the first price you see for the item or service that you want. More often than not, if you’re willing to look around, you’ll be able to find a better deal elsewhere online.
You can save money on a huge variety of things just by comparison shopping. Try it the next time you need to renew your car insurance or upgrade your broadband. Staying loyal to the same old brands and businesses doesn’t always give you the financial bonus that you would expect. Be willing to play the field a little.