Last month as part of our Money Savings Tips, we asked Are you struggling financially? This time we’re offering some general money saving tips to help you save money in Minnesota, as well as not spend money you don’t have to.
Sometimes an offer is a good deal, and you don’t want to miss out on things just because you weren’t expecting to buy it. You’ll be annoyed if you missed out on a deal, because you were too focused on not spending money, rather than saving money.
Here’s some of our general money saving tips to help you save money.
11. Don’t buy things just because they are cheap or right in front of you
Everywhere you go there are sales, special offers, and bargains. With tempting displays and clever marketing, you can quickly end up spending more than you thought you would, in stores you’d never normally go in.
Remember, 50% off still means that you’re spending money on something you didn’t even know about, or want, a moment ago.
12. Don’t buy things on impulse
Think about whether you actually need something.
Ask yourself things like:
- When will you use it?
- How will it add value to your life?
- What’s wrong with your existing one?
Again, 50% off a power tool might be a great deal if you’re a construction worker, less so if you’re not.
13. Could you find it cheaper elsewhere?
If you’ve determined that you do need it, have a look online and see if you can find it cheaper.
Depending on what it is, perhaps buying a used one, or a lesser model, might offer considerable savings.
Remember that you can use your smartphone to look on popular shopping sites, and perhaps the brand itself might have an online store.
14. You’re in the right place at the right time
If you do find what you need, for less than you’d expect to pay, and you can afford it, then it makes sense to buy it.
Perhaps your supermarket has offers on the items you normally buy. It makes sense to stock up on things that will last and will be used.
Beware of buying things like cheap fresh food as it often goes off before you can use it, meaning that you waste money.
Also, think about how long things last and how much you will use them.
- Buying half price winter clothes in summer make sense
- Stocking up on the half-price dried or tinned goods you normally buy makes sense
- Buying lots of tomatoes because they are cheap could see you having tomatoes every meal for the next 2 weeks!
15. Try looking online
Remember that many items are cheaper online than in traditional stores.
If you can wait a day or so for delivery, and save money, then why not buy online?
Sometimes you will need professional or expert advice, or to try things for yourself, so buying from a traditional bricks and mortar store can make sense and help you avoid an expensive mistake.
- You might need the specialist advice from a car parts store when choosing oil
- You might simply want the cheapest replacement power cable for your laptop
- Buying clothing online can be difficult if you’ve not bough from the site or brand before
- Buying consumer goods, or things like books and food, will be the same wherever they are from
- Only you will know whether the difference between buying in-store, and online, will be worth it
16. Don’t fall for advertising
We know it’s hard, but try not to fall for advertising.
A product or service that seems too good to be true, probably is.
Maybe it is worth trying a different product or service if you’re not happy with your existing one, but if you really expect a shampoo or drink or those new pills to revolutionize your life, you’re likely to be disappointed!
17. Don’t buy things for the kids just to keep them quiet
Whilst you may be tempted to get the kids something to play with or eat to keep them quiet, it can backfire.
They’ll soon learn this method, and expect a treat all the time whether you’re just going to the store, or visiting friends and relatives.
Perhaps you could keep some suitable toys in the car, or let them take their portable games consoles with them for longer journeys.
18. Don’t buy things just to cheer yourself up
No matter how bad things are, retail therapy is never the answer.
Perhaps lunch with a friend or colleague will solve your problems much better than buying more golf clubs or shoes you know you’ll never wear.
Why not try calling a friend or going for a walk instead?
If that doesn’t work, doing something extravagant like buying a fancy coffee, indulgent piece of cake or tub of ice cream is much cheaper than buying everything in sight.
19. Don’t buy things to get “revenge” on someone
Buying things just to get your own back is pointless.
Just because your wife has bought some new clothes for work, it doesn’t mean you need to go and get a new hi-fi system or a power tool (unless you need one of course!)
20. Buy out of season
If you’re not bothered about having the latest model, or look, then you could make big savings by buying out of season.
- Could you get cheaper garden furniture in the winter?
- Could you pay less for your snowblower or skis in the summer?
- Could you get your Christmas things in January instead of November?
- Could you get the kids’ clothes for next summer in October instead of May?
- Could you book your next summer vacation when you return from this one?
Saving money is about spending wisely, and not avoiding spending altogether.
Sometimes a deal is too good to miss, or there’s an offer on products you buy anyway, so you’d be foolish not to take advantage of them.
However, with advertising and clever marketing, you might currently be spending more than you thought, on things you don’t really need or use.
We’ll be posting our next 10 money saving tips next month.