Sometimes saving money gets made into a more complicated process than it needs to be. Magic formulas, fancy investments, and intricate ways to cuts costs or save extra dollars get shoved in our faces daily on many of the major news sites. However, sometimes it’s the simplest of actions that work the best. And in our family, when it comes to spending money – or saving it – we often just have to ask ourselves a few simple questions in an attempt to reason out our purchases before we make them.
Will it save money?
Some of our favorite purchases are things that will save us money down the road. Whether it’s flour and yeast to make our own pizzas for just pennies on the dollar of what it would cost us to go out for pizza, or spending $10 for a small space-heater to lower our utility bills each winter, sometimes the best question we can ask is, “Will it save money?”
Will it pay off later?
Sometimes we don’t necessarily need a particular purchase in the near term, but it could pay off down the road. For example, when we’re out shopping and we come across deals on things like toothpaste, soap, cleaning supplies, long-lasting food products or foodstuffs that can be frozen, discounted non-seasonal clothing, and similar items, even though we don’t need them at the moment, we might buy them at a reduced cost to save ourselves money later.
Will it save time?
Sometimes saving time equates to saving money. As a self-employed person, time is money to me; therefore, sometimes purchasing productivity-enhancing products helps me increase efficiency and save money at the same time.
For example, if I can make two $10 product sales in one hour, my hourly rate equates to $20/hr. However, if I can spend $200 to upgrade my computer or printer or whatever technology is necessary so that I can then make three such product sales in one hour, even though I’ve spent $200, I’ve increased my hourly rate significantly and will have recouped my investment in just 20 hours of work.
Is it because other people have it?
It’s easy to be caught up in the world of what other people have. We’re probably the last ones among our family and friends not to have a flat-screen television. And even though it’d be nice to have one, it’s not necessary. Sure, their televisions are nicer than ours, and yes, they have clearer pictures; but we don’t really care. Our living room television cost us just $10 at a garage sale, and it works just fine. We don’t let peer pressure or trying to keep up with the Joneses push us to spend more on unnecessary consumer purchases.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.