In the current economic climate, everyone loves a bargain. We are being stretched from every direction. Our salaries are decreasing relative to the cost of living, we are being charged more for everyday items and people are thinking of new things to charge us for every day. That’s why it is important to make sure that we get great value for the money that we spend.
Warranties: When buying an electrical item, the salesperson will try to persuade you that you need a warranty for it. Weigh it up, though — think of the item that you are replacing. Even an extended warranty will probably only be for a maximum of five years. If you are replacing your television, how long did you have it for? Did it go wrong? Only around 3% of televisions break down within five years, i.e. within their warranty period. The likelihood is that you are either replacing a very old television that has broken down, or you are upgrading. Do you really need a warranty?
Travel: We all spend a notable amount of money each year on getting from A to B. Are you doing this in the most cost-effective manner? Do you drive three miles each way to get to work and pay £50 per month for gym membership? Why not cycle or run to work, saving you petrol money and gym membership. You may even find that as a family you could cut down to one car by taking this approach. The same thing can be considered if you are driving and paying for parking. Could you get there quicker and cheaper by train? You should also consider season tickets, bus journeys and car shares.
Timing Your Purchases: If you are buying a relatively high-value item, the chances are you don’t need it immediately. You might have time to shop around and even put off your purchase for a few months to get it at the right time. Consider summer sales, winter sales and seasonable times to pick up things such as skis or surfboards when their period of use is over for the year and lots come on to the market. Another area where timing is key is the purchase of used cars in the UK. According to the This Is Money financial website, a great time to bag a bargain on a used car is when the new registration plates go on sale. The market becomes flooded with used cars and garages are more likely to do a deal to shift some of their stock.
All of these ideas can be translated into virtually any area of spending. Put some time into researching the different ways of saving money on major purchases. The likelihood is that you spend a lot on heating bills. Could you switch providers or just turn the heating down by a couple of degrees to save hundreds of pounds a year? What about banking? Would a different current account give you an interest-free overdraft or pay you to bank with them? It is wise to perform your own personal financial review every year to make sure you are spending wisely.