15 December, 2013

Smart Spending Part II: Get What You Need

To smartly spend money involves thinking about the purchases you make, before you make them. To do this, you must reign in on how much you spend, and what you spend your money on. Buy what you need first, and if you have money to play with afterward, then you can spend money on what you want. It takes determination, self-control, and perseverance. But, it's worth it.

Get what you need, and only what you need by sticking to a list. Write down everything you need, and nothing you don't. Remember to take the list with you and to look at it to make sure you get everything on it. I know some people who are great at making the list, but they either take it with them and forget to look at it, or they forget to bring the list with them in the first place.

Now that you've made your list, and checked it twice, have everything on it you need, and nothing you don't, now is the time to work on your savvy shopping skills. Do your research on what you want to get so you know how much it is, where it’s the best price, what its worth, when is the best time to get it (during the year), if it's on sale, if it often goes on sale, or if it's more likely to go up in price. Once, you've done that, set a budget, and stay within it. These are all things to consider, when you are doing your research skills in store and, or online. There are many great websites, and apps that will make this process easier for you, and help you in saving money.

When in the store (or online), look at only what you need to get, do not allow yourself to get distracted by the other products, specifically those that you are more keen on buying. Shop like a man. Look at your list, then go directly where you need to go to get each product, and do not let yourself browse if you can help it. It will make it easier if you do not let yourself get distracted. I find when I walk into stores, determined to pick up the specific items in mind, that I never buy any other items. This works best when I am time constrained, because I do not have the time to browse. Which brings me to my next point; limit your time to shop, and prevent buyer's remorse. Let's face it, when you have limited time to get something done, you stay on track trying to find that specific item you're looking for, instead of taking your time to check out other things. The more time spent, the more you see, the more money you're likely to spend. However, if you never see it, you'll never buy it.

Smart spending is all about taking it back to the basics of less is more. Something being on sale, or looking pretty in the store doesn't mean you should buy it. I'm sure we all know that feeling of "I can't leave without it", only for it to sit around at home, never being used. That is why you write the all important list, and stick to it. Prevent impulse decisions and financial woes later. The key to smart spending is to buy what you need for the best price, not all the things you might want for any price.

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