Thank you to Guest Blogger Kay Elizabeth Carter.
Spending money, even on grocery or household items, can seem like a puzzle. What do you need today? What’s on sale? What is worth more for the value? Do you buy store brand or brand name? Do you buy in bulk or smaller? To help you answer these questions, we’re sharing our ideas for spending money wisely to save long-term.
Pay off Debt
By spending money wisely and paying off your debts now, you’ll be able to enjoy financial freedom sooner. Whether you’re thinking about retirement planning, starting a family, or buying a home, having a financial plan to get you from where you are today to where you want to be in the future financially starts now.
Begin by reviewing college loans, car payments, mortgage, and credit card debt and see what debts you can pay off. Remember, you didn’t accumulate this debt in a day or a month so paying it off will also take time. Review your budget to see where you can make changes to create cash flow to save for retirement and other special expenses while also paying off debt. Then contact Shanna Tingom of Heritage Financial Strategies, to develop a financial plan that meets your goals.
Know the Per Unit Price
When you head to the grocery store, take notice of the per unit prices. Make a list of what you buy regularly, take note of per unit pricing, and watch for sales. While it may cost less to buy two small jars of peanut butter, you may get more for your money if you buy one large jar. If it makes sense for your family to have a bulk amount and it makes sense financially, then buy in bulk. You might not need a bucket of peanut butter but staples like shampoo, paper towels, and toilet paper usually come in bulk packages that offer economic per unit pricing.
Spend money wisely to save long-term for retirement
Spending money wisely doesn’t have to be something at the forefront of your mind every single day. Automate savings. Ask your employer if you can auto save to a retirement plan and then put an additional amount directly into a traditional savings account. Don’t think of it as money lost. Think of it as a bill that you’re paying to yourself. Once you’ve maxed out your employer savings options, talk to a financial advisor who can guide your next steps.
Invest in quality items
If you buy the cheapest product on the shelf, you’ll probably end up buying another item in a few weeks if it breaks down or succumbs to wear and tear, ultimately costing you more money. When thinking about big items like your refrigerator or dishwasher, consider investing in high-quality items. Appliances that make your house more energy efficient and are more durable may cost hundreds of dollars upfront, but it is well worth it in the long run thanks to big energy savings and trusted longevity. If you’re worried that buying a new appliance for your house will cost too much money, don’t worry. Check the home warranty or product insurance plan to see if a replacement is covered (this is usually applicable to items that have broken down to normal wear and tear, so if you fall into this category, be sure to take advantage of these cost-savings).
Dishing out money may be hard and you may not see the benefits immediately, but growing your savings and being smart about your finances is all about patience. Start spending money wisely to save money in the long-run so future you can be grateful for the investments you’ve made.
Kay Elizabeth Carter is a writer from Raleigh, NC. When she isn't writing about personal finance or home improvement, she enjoys reading, traveling, and taking long walks with her dog. To read more of her work, check out the Kay Elizabeth Carter website.
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