Saving money can be hard, and there is a fine line between saving money and wasting less money… this article looks at saving money in a slightly unconventional way – as it takes into account the notion of value rather than cost… meaning, sometimes getting something ‘expensive’ in the short term can actually save money in the long term.
- PAYING WITH CASH RATHER THAN TAKING ADVANTAGE OF A STORE CARD
Everyone loves a discount and this is what stores are counting on when they ask if you would like to apply for a store card which will give you a substantial discount on future purchases. Of course, you’ll most likely have the greatest of intentions in terms of paying it off in full when you get the first statement, but it’s all too tempting to just pay off the minimum payment each month. Also, you can often find yourself buying things you don’t need as you have a store card, and the total balance can add up pretty quickly. If you are able to stay on top of your finances, then a store card that offers a discount is a great way to save money – but if you’re likely to overspend, miss payments, or just pay the minimum monthly installment then store cards can be a recipe for financial disaster.
- LEASING A CAR RATHER THAN OWNING ONE.
Depending on your age and driving history, car insurance can be extremely expensive. Along with the capital outlay of purchasing a reliable car, taxing it and keeping up with the somewhat costly requirement to service and MOT the vehicle – owning a car can be a very costly affair. If you don’t need a car all the time, then consider renting one from a reputable car rental company as and when needed; there are plenty of deals for less than £99 per week, which when you consider a week’s worth of temporary car insurance can be almost that much – is a great bargain.
Then, there’s the idea of leasing a car. Some leasing companies have great deals on long term car leases, and it means that you don’t have to worry about the ‘behind the scenes’ costs of running a car. This guide to car leasing maintenance can explain how elements such as maintenance packages on leased cars work. Whilst in theory, leasing can be a cost-effective way to ensure you always have a hassle-free new car parked on your driveway, it is worth considering that you are paying for the car, almost like a service rather than a product – as you never own the vehicle yourself.
- BUYING A MORE EXPENSIVE PRODUCT RATHER THAN A CHEAPER ONE
A lot of times people are focused on getting a cheap deal, when what they should perhaps be more concerned about is getting good value! See, you can buy a cheap car for instance, but that doesn’t mean it’s good value – or will even save you money in the long run. If you consider how much some ‘cheap cars’ cost to repair, or in the event it breaks down on the motorway and you need to pay for recovery – buying cheap can be a false economy.
Buying products on sale, however, is a completely different kettle of fish. Buying things on sale is great, as long as you were going to buy the product in the first place – because often times, we are motivated to purchase the sale item just because it’s on sale; irrespective of whether we need it or not.
Try to avoid buying cheap products, as you tend to get what you pay for, and the saying “buy cheap, buy twice” is often proven to be very true! However, this doesn’t tend to apply on items such as supermarket branded food items; there are likely to be the same quality item as non-generic brands; just in generic packaging.
- INSULATING YOUR HOME
It can be expensive to have all the common insulation for your home like double glazing, cavity wall insulation, and decent loft insulation. Sometimes you might question whether it is worth it from a financial point of view. However, it is surprising how fast it can all add up when the heat your boiler is generating (at a significant cost) is literally escaping out the walls. The great news here is that there are lots of schemes available to help you pay for environmentally friendly energy conserving materials, so dig in online, and arrange for your home to be more energy efficient.
- BOOKING A PACKAGE HOLIDAY RATHER THAN BUILDING YOUR OWN
There are many options to find cheap flights and booking a hotel independently is now just a few clicks on a screen; even a few taps on your mobile device. Many people have the notion that arranging their holiday independently means they will save money, but actually, what you don’t have that the tour operators do have are economies of scale – meaning they can negotiate hard discounts with properties that drive prices down to rock bottom; the tour operator won’t normally pass these savings onto you, unless they are struggling to fill rooms, in which case you can find some exceptionally low package holiday deals available; as an example, you can often find half board deals to turkey for around £120 pp and self catering deals to parts of Spain and Portugal for around £89 pp for a week (including flights). Check out teletext holidays for some inspiration and price comparison.
- REGULAR CHECKUPS WITH THE DENTIST OR OPTICIANS
These check ups do cost money and perhaps each time you are given the all clear you are left wondering if you could have skipped it this time… but with these regular check-ups, you can can receive early treatment of issues that are slightly wrong before they turn into something major.
- PAYING SOMEONE TO DO YOUR TAXES RATHER THAN DOING IT YOURSELF
There are some great programs out there to help you do your own taxes, but if you have anything complex, paying someone to do them will potentially lead to huge savings. They know what tax code you should be paying, what tax exemptions you are entitled to, and the great thing is the cost associated with tax preparation can deducted in next year’s taxes!
- BUYING THE MORE EXPENSIVE FUEL
Some people will drive out of their way in order to find a bargain on fuel… however, whilst fuel might be a few pence cheaper down the road, one needs to consider how much it will cost in fuel to get there and back! Don’t be tempted by the cheaper fuel unless it is truly worth it or is naturally on your route.