Tuesday, May 22, 2012, AM | 1 Comment
In these tough times, you are not alone. We are all in this together. We have, hopefully, learned our lesson to avoid unnecessary spending during the most recent recession. We have to change our mindset so that we spend less and save more. Here are a few things you can do to protect your bottom line.
Know in advance what you want to buy
Internet is a super place for window shopping. Whatever you need to buy, do price and model comparison online among retailers and discount stores.
You don’t have to buy the latest model. Six months to a year model might be a little less expensive.
Don’t buy if you can’t pay in full
If you use a credit card, make sure that your buying spree and more importantly your payment later is more manageable.
Stop buying on impulse
The malls and other shopping places are swarmed with customers in these shopping times – the most recent Mother’s day and the upcoming Father’s day.
Some stores will give a discount if you sign up for their store brand credit card. Experts agree to not do that.
Don’t sign up for in-store credit cards especially if you are already behind your payments.
Also your credit score will thank you, since the store will check your credit score before they issue a credit card to you. Every inquiry to your credit report can lower your score.
Don’t be bashful to ask for a lower price. If you cannot afford to pay retail price, you might not have to. When shopping online, if the “live chat” feature is available, use it.
You can instantly communicate and haggle with store representatives. They are often more flexible with discounts.
And at some brick-and-mortar retailers, such as jewelry stores, offering cash can get you a better deal. Always ask about unadvertised discounts or sales.
Pay on time
The mantra of my blog is pay on time. If a credit payment is a day or even an hour late, your interest rate can skyrocket without giving you notice.
Pay more than the minimum, a lot more if you can.
Beware of payday loans which charge extremely high interest rates.
Find budget help
Use the financial calculators available on websites and blogs. Search for one using your favorite search engine.
In a Nutshell
Don’t overspend. Follow your financial needs instead of wishes. You can fulfill your money needs but you will fail and feel miserable if you keep attending to your wishes.