If you want buy better quality items that last longer it will probably mean that you will have to spend more money on them. In the long run it will be worth it because you will not need to replace them so often, but in the short term you will usually need to come up with more money to buy the items. This can be tricky for some people, but there are things that you can do which could help you. Some people may just assume that getting a loan will be the answer, but there are alternatives to this.
- Sell things you no longer need – it can be good to take a look through things that you have and see if there is anything that you no longer need that you could sell. By selling them you will be able to make some money and you will be able to use this towards buying more expensive items. You may wonder how and where you can sell things, but there are lots of options. You will need to pick the option that works best for the type of items that you are selling. For example, you could choose auctions, social media pages, car boot sales, table top sales or classifieds. It will depend on whether you are prepared to post items out to buyers, if you want to hand them over in person when they collect them or sell them yourself on a stall. Some items will be suited to different types of selling as well, with items of lower value being better for car boot sales and higher value items being better for auctions. It can be good to research what sorts of items are being sold in these ways so that you can make the best decision as to which will be the best for you.
- Only buy essentials – if you cut down what you are buying to just things that you really need it will mean that you will be spending less money. The money that you are saving can be put towards a fund that you will dig into when you need to replace something and want to spend a bit more to get something that is good value for money. It can feel like you are depriving yourself to start with as you might be used to being able to buy anything you wish without a thought. However, make sure that you focus on the reason why you are doing this and it will not be so bad. You will be able to buy the things that you want and need, they will last longer so you will not have to spend again so soon and this will mean that you will have money available to buy yourself more things in the future.
- Save as much money as you can– make sure that when you are holding back on spending and making money form selling things that you put the money aside towards buy new, better quality items. It can be wise to set up a savings account so that you will be able to put the money in there that you are not spending so that you will have somewhere to draw the money from when you do decide to buy something. You will also be moving out of your current account and therefore that will make it harder for you to get tempted to spend it. You will also find that you are more likely to get interest paid on the money if it is in a savings account compared to if it is in a current account as most current accounts do not pay interest.
- Do some extra work – it could be easier to work extra so that you can get the additional money that you need. This could be preferable for some people than others and for some it might be easier than others as well. Taking on more hours in your current job could be the best option or some people, but the opportunity may not be there for everyone. It could be that you will need to find work elsewhere. You might be happy considering some evening and weekend work, if you have a job where you do conventional hours. However, you may find that this will be too difficult for you to fit around family and other commitments or because you feel that it will be too much for you. However, you might find that doing some freelance work, temporary work or online work could help. You will not be committed for doing this sort of work long term or even regularly and therefore it can be better because you will be able to fit it more easily around other things. You can use it to get a bit of money when you need it and then stop when you no longer need to.
Many of us will try to find the cheapest products when we are buying things. This is because we want to either be able to buy as much as possible or we want to make sure that we are not spending more than necessary. However, this is not necessarily the best thing to do. We really should be looking to get good value for money. This will enable us to make sure that we are making the most of the money that we are spending.
- What does good value for money mean? Many of us make the mistake that good value for money means that the item is the cheapest available. However, what it actually means is that the item gives us the best for the money. This could mean the best quality, service or whatever. For example, imagine you are comparing chocolate bars. The cheapest bar might give the most chocolate for what you pay, but you may not choose it because you prefer the flavour, texture, packaging, health benefits, manufacturer or other things about an alternative bar You probably do not always buy own brands and avoid big brands and there are many different reasons for this. However, there are also some people that will always buy the more expensive items or those which are branded because they think that these offer good value for money. They assume that paying more will ensure the quality is better. This is not always the case though and it is so important to make sure that you actually try out different products to see which you actually think is best. If they are cheaper products then you could blind taste them and decide whether the ones you are buying really are the best. If you are comparing more expensive items then you will not be able to afford to do this, but the closest you can get would be to ask people you know for recommendations or to read reviews.
- How can we know what is good value for money? We all have our own individual ideas about what offers good value for money for different things. For example, if you like small carrots, then you might be prepared to pay more for them, but someone who prefers large ones would pay more for those. Therefore, this means that there is no definition of whether a specific product can offer good value for money as we all have different opinions on what we are looking for and what we consider to be good value. This means that we have to establish in our own heads what we are looking for first and then see what fits with that. Obviously, we do have a limit on what we can afford to pay or are prepared to pay as well and it is getting a balance between these which is how we will manage to find the items that offer us the very best value for money.
We will need to investigate the products so that we can work out whether they will match our expectations. With cheaper items, such as food, we can try different things but when it comes to more expensive things such as loans or cars, then we will not be able to do this. We will have to rely on past experience, asking other people and looking at reviews to find out what we are prepared to try. This can make it much more difficult, especially if there are things which we know very little about and cannot find much information on. It can be a good idea though to find out as much as we can using the retailer’s website, manufacturers website too if appropriate and perhaps talking to the customer service department about it. Online reviews and rating can be very handy although there is always a risk that they might be biased. Have a look at plenty of them and this will reduce that risk and also trust your own judgement. Asking people you know will also reduce the risk of bias as it is very unlikely that they have any reason to be biased.
It might feel that this is too much hassle, but it can make a big difference. It will probably mean that you will end up spending more money on some things and less on others and in the long-term it should help you to save money as you will not need to replace things so often. Just make sure that if you are buying things like furniture or clothing that you get classic styles and designs and then they will not go out of date as quickly as more fashionable items which tend to soon look aged because within a few months they will no longer be current.