Archive for May, 2014

 

canstockphoto16293157Advertisers are doing everything in their power to get consumers to think as they do. Many of them have our best interest at heart while others do not. Their ulterior motive is to separate us from our money. For this reason alone it is in our best interest to educate ourselves on how to beat them at their own game. Here are methods you can use to become a smart spender and possibly save yourself thousands of dollars on everyday purchases in the long run.

 

First let’s talk about how advertisers are getting us to spend a lot of money at the grocery store. Most supermarkets have weekly sales advertisements appear in our mailbox with buy one get one free and other offers at deep discounts. They even have coupons that are fifty cents to a dollar off the regular price of an item. Many people buy these products because they think they are getting a good deal. What they don’t realize is that they are actually wasting money if they are not consuming it in the first place.

I’m not saying not to use coupons and take advantage of weekly sales. This can actually save you a lot of money down the line if you are a smart spender. Look at the item and ask yourself is this something that you need and will use in the near future. You should use this method with all of your purchases whether or not it has a cheap price tag.

 

Many are lead to believe that popular name brands are better than the generic brand products. You may be surprised that the name brands and store brands often come from the same supplier. The only difference is that one of them is packaged in a fancier box. If you find that the ingredients are the same (after comparing the labels) the store brand is going to be sold at a lower price.

 

What About Purchasing a New Car?

You should also use this strategy if you are thinking of buying a new car. Many car dealers offer a zero percent financing for a new car with no money down. This sounds great. However, you should be really careful by reading the fine print before you sign on the dotted line. The loan that you get from the car dealership will end up costing you more of your hard earned money on the back end.

Of course, you don’t have to finance with a car dealership. You can always shop around for a new or used car within your price range (if you have enough money saved up). This will save you a lot of money down the road.

You also have the option to visit your credit union and talk over terms of a loan. Credit Unions usually have lower interest rates than banks and the car finance companies. Whenever the car dealership offer you a deal on a car, believing that you will finance with them, kindly inform them that you have secured financing elsewhere and thank them for the deal.

Shopping For New Clothes

Many of us love to shop, especially for the latest fashion. Advertisers make consumers believe that we need their products so much that we have to be the first one to get that new pair of their jeans and expensive sneakers. What we often end up with is something that is overpriced when we could have saved money by buying a non-popular brand with the same quality.

What is an average consumer to do?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to learn how to be a smart spender. If you are tempted to spend money on an item, there is nothing that you need to buy that can’t wait a week or so. This will give you enough time to make your decision.

You can make that decision based on reading articles and reviews. Also look for better deals and cheaper items that have equal or better quality as the original. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to saving yourself some money.

 

You will become a smart spender by taking the time to weigh your decisions and find other ways to get what you want and need without breaking the bank. Take advantage of this method and watch your money grow in no time.

Will Borrowing Money Put You In Danger?

canstockphoto9530353Whether you are taking a trip to the mall or looking to buy a new home, the first thing that may come to mind is to use your credit card or obtain a loan. Many consumers are choosing to put things on credit simply because it’s a convenient way to shop. Borrowing Money has its  benefits as well as risk. The number one question you may want to ask yourself is will borrowing money put you in danger of getting in debt?

 

Excessive borrowing is becoming an epidemic in our society and it seems to be no big deal to a lot of people. It’s easy to just go in our wallet and reach for the credit card or what some people affectionate refer to it as “the plastic.” Some people get a high when charging things on their credit cards that they can’t afford.

 

If you fall into this category you are falling into a trap of getting yourself head above water in debt. For example, if you are purchasing a new sweater and you are using your credit card that has a 20% interest rate this will get quite expensive over time. Many people make the mistake of looking at the original price tag when making their purchases. When they receive the bill they are surprised how much they are paying for that item.

Many people also fall into the credit card trap by making the minimum payments on their bill each month. The credit card companies allow their customers to pay a small amount of money to keep them  paying on the debt for a long time. That’s how the card companies are making  big profits.

Imagine how much you will be paying if you made most or all of your purchases on credit. Even if you pay your credit card bill on time every month you are losing out on the possibility of building your own wealth. The amount of money you are paying in interest charges can be making you money if you stop being a borrower and become an investor. It could be put to better use in an interest bearing account instead of going to the credit card company.

 

What about getting a loan to buy a new home?

There is nothing wrong with taking out a mortgage to buy a home. This is a necessity for most people. It’s actually an investment because in most cases a home will gain value over time. However, you have to be careful not to give into the temptation of buying a bigger house than you can afford. You should ensure that your mortgage payments is well within your family’s budget.

 

Are you borrowing money that you can’t afford?

If you have a habit of making purchases on credit, you will be putting yourself in a hole financially. Take a good hard look at your buying and borrowing habits. Pay the maximum amount of money that you can on your monthly bill so you can pay off your debts as quickly as possible. Once you pay it off, put it to good use by investing in your children’s college fund and for your retirement to build a bright future for your family a lot sooner than you think.

 

canstockphoto11688989With the constant increase of gas prices, it has become important to look for various ways on how to save money on gas. There are a number of ways through which you can effectively achieve this and they include:

1. Change how you drive

A good number of people use up more gas than they are required to. By simply making some minor adjustments when it comes to how you drive, you will be able to cut down on the total amount spent on gas. A good number of vehicles available today have been set to realize the ideal fuel economy at about 55mph. Therefore, driving at a high speed or at a low speed will prevent you from maximizing your gas savings. You should also avoid braking or accelerating too hard.

2. Locate and purchase from cheap gas stations

In a good number of regions, discounted gas prices are usually sold within the same zones. When it comes to the main metro areas, such stations are usually concentrated within outlying suburbs. It is always advisable to keep off affluent areas when searching for a discounted fill. The reason for this is because individuals in such areas do not care much about prices and gas stations have realized this fact. Another reason for the high cost of fuel in stations located in affluent areas is due to the fact that the land in these areas is more valuable hence the high tax rates. This extra cost is usually passed on to the consumers. Gas stations located in close proximity to major expressway exits are more likely to be more costly than those located further away. By driving a couple of blocks away from the expressway, you might just find a better deal.

3. Locate the most suitable station

There are stations within a particular area which are considered as being price leaders. These gas stations are usually attached to wholesale clubs and department or grocery stores. In most cases such stations often maintain close to cost prices for the main purpose of attracting more people into their grocery stores where they can purchase items of higher margins. A number of these locations usually require memberships. The total membership cost must be included in the price. A good number of these stations also offer their clients credit which can be used in store purchases. This is usually given when you fill up your tank. This can lead to significant indirect savings. Gas stations with an in-house auto repair store usually have their gas priced at a higher cost.

4. Take full advantage of any available discounts

A good number of stations usually have discount coupons on gas purchases. These coupons are usually found in a number of places including the back of receipts issued by grocery stores, internet as well as mail coupons. A good number of stations will sell gas to you at a discounted price when you purchase specific items such as a car wash. Another great way on how to save money on gas is by using a gas refund credit card.

5. Look for alternative means to get to your place of work.

One of the most effective way of cutting down on your fuel costs is carpooling to work. This involves sharing or hitching a ride with specific individuals that work in the same company as you and also happen to live close to your home. A large number of companies have made things easier for their employees through available intranet sites or a bulletin board which contain information on suitable individuals you may carpool with.

Another excellent option is public transport. Here you can make use of a pass which are mainly offered at discounted rates. In as much as you are required to pay each time you make use of public transportation, the overall cost is usually less costly when compared to driving yourself to work with additional parking fees. Other viable options of getting to work include: riding a bike or walking. Both of the mentioned options also offer additional health benefits as a result of the workout involved. However, this is mostly suitable for individuals who live within the same area that they work.

By making use of the above mentioned tips on how to save money on gas, you will finally be able to cut down on your fuel cost. This will also enable you enjoy other benefits such as improved health as you begin to regularly walk to work.

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