There are people who are literally fortunate enough to purchase whatever they want without much thought on what their bank account looks like afterward. If you’re reading this you’re probably not one of those people and need to budget when you shop, like the rest of us. However, shopping can still be fun and fruitful even with limits with coupons, sales, credit jewelers, and low introductory rates as tools that can help you save money. So, if you want to learn how to shop without breaking the bank, continue reading and put more in your bag while keeping more in your wallet.
Need or Want
One of the most difficult parts about buying anything is determining whether it’s a need or a want. While it’s ok to buy things you want, try to figure out how often that thing you’re buying will actually be utilized. Your needs are the essentials for staying alive like food and water, but your wants are those objects that increase your quality of life such as nice clothes and jewelry. If you’re trying to avoid breaking the bank, make a list of items that are high priority and focus on those first, avoid buying products or goods that lack practicality where you can so you ensure they’re used often.
Whether you’re buying groceries or a car, you should always compare prices to get the best deal. If you have singled out a specific product, do some research and see who offers the lowest price and at a reputable seller. Often times you may see a lower price than other retail stores if you’re a member or have a subscription service, sometimes extra charges like shipping can actually make the price higher so stay away from that. The internet is a great tool to use as a Google search can either give you different prices locally and in online shops or alternatives to what you’re looking for.
As mentioned already, the internet is a great tool to use when shopping. Most online retailers sell direct to customers as they require almost no overhead costs which means that the competition to get your business turns into lower prices. The good thing about shopping online is that you may find resources like those found at credit jewelers with perks you wouldn’t normally discover in a brick-and-mortar shop. Shopping online may also be a lot easier, most large chains offer free pickup which makes you feel like a real VIP when pulling up to your store of choice. Free shipping to stores or your own home means you save time and money, just avoid falling into the trap of matching the minimum purchase for free shipping by adding things you don’t need to your cart.
Subscribe and Save
I mentioned earlier that you shouldn’t sign up to a subscription service just to get free shipping or a lower price on one item, but if you’re a frequent shopper it may be worth it. Not all subscriptions or reward memberships are created equal, sometimes stores offer very little in return for your $5-$10 a month, and it adds up quickly when you’re out hunting for deals, making your costs rise at a store you may only frequent bi-annually. Instead, look into one of the many free reward memberships featured at various retailers, they may send a lot of junk in your inbox but you can always filter those out to get coupons and announcements on products you know you’ve been eyeing for a while but just wanted a discount on. Place likes Amazon offer Prime which is great for buying almost anything, it also comes with a slew of free media like movies and TV shows all while giving you special deals, free shipping, and other perks.
Credit can be tricky, there is so much in the fine print of the terms on a line of credit or a revolving credit card that could do serious damage to your credit score or wallet. Using credit can be tricky but it can also help when you have figured out that your purchase is a need or a serious want, and you have budgeted for it, you just have to be aware. Credit jewelers are the perfect example of how you can really win when making a purchase with credit, they normally keep very low rates because the items you are able to purchase are limited to what they have in their storeroom, and they can sometimes offer to charge no interest if paid within a certain timeframe. For your typical credit card, you may need to swipe it because the sum is a little bit out of reach from what you can afford today, and that’s ok; just make sure your interest rate is low enough so that you’re not paying off clothing three seasons from now. It’s simple to protect your wallet and credit score, use only credit cards that have low or no balance, have zero percent interest at an introductory rate or low interest, and pay over the minimum required on time.
It can be easy to shop without breaking the bank if you follow some of the rules listed. We all deserve to splurge on ourselves every once in a while but if you’re seeking to maximize your financial potential then a budget comes in handy to prevent hurting your pocketbook. Use the resources that are out there to save, get discounts, and utitlize credit in a healthy manner, that way your next purchase can be more satisfying and meaningful to you.