What You Need to Know About the Art of Spending Money
There is an art to spending money. If you learn about it and then put its techniques to work, you'll soon find that you can buy more of the things you want to have and pay less to own them.
I call it "strategic spending."
Learn About Real Value
The first thing you need to do is learn the true value of things. This will keep you from overpaying for them.
When you buy something in a retail store, you are not really paying just for the item, itself. You are actually paying for things like packaging, transportation, storage overhead and other associated costs.
If you can find ways to buy that eliminate some or all of these things, you can purchase the exact same items for far less than you would pay for them in a store!
I first learned about this option years ago when I began to attend auctions.
The biggest eye opener was one that was held in a huge warehouse that had high doors on both sides. Semi trucks full of products would roll through, stop and then open their doors. Men would then begin to pull a variety of products from them.
These were put up for auction and were sold to the highest bidder for pennies on the dollar!
Everything was new, and many products had brand names on their labels.
This experience made me realize that things I was paying hefty sums for in stores could be had for less if I made it a point to find alternative ways of buying the things I wanted to have.
Search for Alternative Shopping Venues
Auctions are just one method of doing this. You can also by many products if you
- buy off-brand items,
- shop in stores that sell discounted merchandise,
- buy sale items,
- shop online,
- attend garage and estate sales and
- purchase items in thrift shops.
You would be amazed at the things you can find in such places, many or most of which are brand new or just barely used.
Think Outside the Box
You also need to learn which items are worth "using" and which are worth paying for.
For example, you may think that it's a good idea to buy a boat, but once you realize that this is a very costly item you won't use much, you may find other ways to enjoy boating that cost you little or nothing.
For example you can
- make friends with people who own boats and offer to share day use costs with them if they’ll let you join them once in awhile for some fun or
- Simply rent a boat for a few hours each month that you can use for your own enjoyment.
Doing either of these things frees you from all of the costs of buying, insuring, storing, repairing, outfitting and maintaining a boat and provides more money for other things you may want to have.
Furthermore, this choice will save you a great deal of time and effort that you might prefer to spend on other pursuits.
Sacrifice a Little to Gain a Lot
If you learn to do without a few minor things in order to be able enjoy those that are more important, you can save a bundle.
For example, when dining out do you really need to order the most expensive meals, drinks, alcohol, dessert and side dish?
Why do this when you can have the same basic meal at the same place for much less money simply by
- drinking water,
- avoiding the side dishes and
- excluding dessert?
By doing this you'll find your food will taste better, you'll do a better job of sticking to your diet and your tip and taxes will cost much less!
Generally, non-alcoholic drinks add up to a third of the cost of your meal and side dishes can easily cost upwards of $5 each.
For example, if the cost of a basic dinner for two is $25, taxes are $1.75, coffee is $2 per person and the tip is 15%, your total cost will be $35.36.
However, if you drink only water and avoid the extras, you'll only pay $30.76 which means you'll save $4.60.
If you dine out twice a month using this technique, you'll save $110.40 per year! That's a pretty nice hunk of change to save for choosing to drop the cost of drinks, isn't it?
This is a perfect example of how you can make small sacrifices, enjoy something wonderful and not go broke doing it!
Choose Living Quarters Carefully.
There are many options people have in today’s world for how they wish to live.
Most opt for houses, condos and apartments, all of which can be expensive.
However, others choose alternative such as
- owning or renting recreational vehicles,
- living in mobile homes or
- building “little houses” that they can place on land they own or rent.
Location is also important. Living too far from your place of employment can become quite expensive and can also waste a lot of time.
If you spend an hour each day driving 10 miles each way to and from work, your driving an extra 1200 miles per year, If gas costs $2.50 per gallon and you get 30 miles per gallon, you're also spending an extra $100 for gas.
These are just some of the examples of things you can do with regards to where you live that can provide a good quality of life for less money.
Shop With Purpose
Many people see shopping as a form of social interaction. Buying things make them feel good, so they often spend money on things they don't really need.
A few dollars here or there may not seem like much, but those dollars add up. The problem is that when you really need or want to buy something specific, the money you wasted may keep you from getting the things you wish to purchase.
If you shop with purpose and find other ways to socialize, you'll be much better off financially as well as socially. You'll also have more money to either spend or save.
Use Transportation Wisely
We've been raised to believe that we must own cars, however, cars are not always the best means of transportation for people.
Much depends on your circumstances.
If you live close to your place of employment, grocery stores and hospitals, you might be able to get along without a car and, in so doing, save a ton of money.
Walking and biking are good exercise, and for distances you can always use car services such as Uber, use public transprtation or carpool with friends or coworkers.
On the other hand, if you drive a great deal for your job or family needs, or live far from stores, churches and the like, then you won't have a choice.
Even if you own a vehicle, there is no law that says you have to use it all of the time. The less you use it, the less it will cost to own!
If you do have to purchase a car, pay cash if you can. If not, put as large a payment down on it as you can and seek out the lowest percentage rate for your loan.
Take care of your vehicle, and it will last much longer than if you don't.
Finally, drive carefully. Accidents are very expensive and are also quite damaging to both car and driver.
I grew up in a cold weather climate.
After vacationing in areas that enjoyed beautiful weather most of the year, I decided that it would be better to live there year round than to wait every year in misery to take an expensive but brief trip to such a place.
For years now, I've lived in a gorgeous area that is just ten minutes from a world-famous beach. People spend fortunes to come here for brief periods of time, but I get to enjoy all of the benefits at no extra cost simply because I decided it would be best to live in a place like this.
People spend far too much on vacations because they think they must, but there are many places people can visit for relatively little money and still have a great time.
There are ways to save when traveling that really add up.
For example, when my husband and I stay in hotels, we insist on having a small fridge and a coffee pot. We then load up with foods that can be mixed with hot water, frozen dinners and snacks and thus pay much less to eat while on the road.
We also take advantage of deals that we come across while vacationing.
For example, one night we got to see a free concert run by the famous DJ Wolfman Jack that featured four of the greatest rock and roll groups of the 50's. We found out about it by going to the Chamber of Commerce to see if there were any deals for tourists!
The bottom line is that you don't have to be rich to have a good time, you just have to pay attention to what is going on around you and plan well.
Learn the Art of Spending
The secret to the art of spending is to be able to look at all of the alternatives that are available for any given situation and then take advantage of those thatwill give us the biggest bang for our buck.
My husband and I are not ashamed to drink water instead of coffee in a restaurant because we think it’s smart to do this.
This is because our spending strategy allows us to live well and save money doing it.
You can do the same, and if you decide to give it a try, you likely will become as happy as we are because you’ll have much less stress!
Do you think the advice in this article will help you to live a bit better?
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Sondra Rochelle