How much are you really spending?
Have you ever browsed around the mall and seen a “must-have” item? Have you noticed that it seems like everyone is wearing brand X Jeans or sports shoe? The majority of shoppers have noticed an expensive item that everyone seems to own. You may think to yourself, I really want to have that item.
For example let’s discuss jean brand XYZ. The designer jean is a popular must have brand. Let’s just say that this pair of jeans cost $100 a pair. You run out and purchase this pair of jeans. Imagine that they are cute and popular but not very comforter able. After wearing them for a few weeks, a new fad roles around. Jean brand ABC is now the must have clothing item.
You really want to be in the popular and fashionista crowd. You know that you want to own this pair of jeans. You begin to ask yourself are they cute? Are they stylish? Are they comforter? Many shoppers will forget about comfort and price and just run out to make this purchase based upon a magazine ad.
How do you know if you are making a wise spending decision? Ask yourself how much you are really spending. If you bought jean XYZ for $100 and wore them four times. When you divide the number of times that you wore this must have pair of jeans by the cost of the purchase, You will find that you spent a grand total minuet tax of $25 for the pair of jeans each wear.
Compare this to Jean brand ABC. ABC jean may look the same, pass off as the brand name and be the most comfortable pair of jeans you have ever worn. You purchase this pair of jeans for $50. You have paid half the cost of brand XYZ. You now own a more comfortable pair of jeans. Compare the cost for the same number of wears. You have now spent a total of only $ 12.50 for each wear of jean ABC.
Was it really worth buying the uncomfortable pair of XYZ Jeans at the rate of truly spending $ 25 a wear compared to Jean ABC at only $ 12.50 a pair with more uses to follow.The idea is to decide how much do you really need or want an item? Is it in your budget to actually purchase this expensive pair of jeans when you are purchasing the name on the tag? If you see Purse A and it is a $200 purse and a $20 purse with similarities but different brand name is available., Is it feasible to purchase the expensive purse and change purses with the season or ensemble that you are wearing?
Now, you must remember to consider quality as well. If the more expensive item will last longer and is made of a higher quality and it will be used often, then it may be the right fit for your wallet. However, if the less expensive purse is poor quality, you may end up buying 6 purses in the same amount of time that you could still be using purse A.
It is a great lesson to teach children in relation to spending their own money. If you know that you will only use an item a few times, you may not want to overly spend just because you have the money. It is important to have an idea of what kind of a life this item will have. If you know that your child likes to eat yogurt everyday for breakfast, then buying a higher priced brand with the same nutritional value may be a good fit for you. However, if you are hoping to introduce a picky eater to yogurt, you may wish to purchase an equally nutritious store brand that may not be consumed prior to its shelf life expiration.
Remember when trying to live a frugal lifestyle, consider where and how you are spending your money. For instance, the popular Cricket craft matching cartridges are sold in a local Ann Arbor, Michigan store for $79.99 for a new title. The same exact brand new never opened cartridge can be purchased online on EBay by a reputable seller for a fraction of the cost. The instant gratification of the purchase may not exist but you could save a great deal of money on the purchase.
Always consider the pros and the cons of spending your money. Shop for options, compare brands and compare stores. You should also consider checking your local newspaper, store flyer or online retailer for the possible existence of a coupon. Always think your purchases through, especially large ticket items.
Until next time, Buckle down the hatches on your Ann Arbor Wallet! If you would like to learn more tips about spending frugally, subscribe at the top of this page for email delivery of your next frugal tip. It may save you a great deal of money!