Career,  DIY

How To Become a Smarter Consumer

I am very cheap when it comes to certain things and I love getting a good deal. I am a proud member of why spend more when you can pay less club. I do appreciate good quality, so there are things that I am more willing to spend money on than others. I have certain rules I live by, to ensure that I am allocating my money wisely. 

Don’t Pay to Use Your Own Money

This is a huge one! I can’t believe how many people do this. It seems so simple. I used to get unlimited debit transactions through my bank because I was a student. I never carry cash, so I would put the $1.75 tea I get in the morning on my debit card. I realize that it is silly to buy tea, when you can bring your own and just ask for hot water… but oh well I was a busy student. Nevertheless I got used to putting every little transaction on my debit card. This is a terrible idea since I am only given a certain number of transactions before I am charged per transaction. I finally took note of it and decided to use my credit card for the bulk of my transactions and pay it off twice a month. I do twice a month so I can keep track of my spending. I used my free transaction through my debit card for paying off my bills and I will usually take out a bit of cash to have in the event I can’t use my credit card. Credit cards also collect points, so instead of spending money to use my money, I usually can redeem something with my points. It is just a small change, but you will notice the difference at the end of the month. 

Compare Shop

The internet is a portal for endless information. When it comes time to buy a big ticket item, I take the time to read about it online. I also turn to the internet because more often than not there is a better deal to be had. Retailmenot is a website I check religiously. There are coupons for literally everything! If I am going to purchase something I usually search in Retailmenot to see if I can get a better deal.

Invest in the Right Items

I have shopping problems, I will go to a hardware store and leave with at least four or five items that I don’t need at all. I understand that the struggle is real. Retail therapy tends to get the best of me. I try to plan my wardrobe at the beginning of every season. I go through my seasonal clothes and decide what I would like to donate or sell, and then I find the holes in my wardrobe.

If something isn’t on sale, I usually let myself sleep on it and decide at the end of the week if I still really want it. I also try to convince myself to only buy the things I need. If I want a trendy item, I go to Forever21 or H & M, because I know it will go out of style and I don’t want to invest too much money into a fashion piece. Jeans, bags, shoes, jackets, I will wear for years so I spend more money on them.  

Don’t Carry a Balance

This is another one that seems like it is common sense but a lot of people do it. I like to track my spending, and if I know I am over spending I will cut back. I will skip going out for a nice dinner or decide not to get my nails done and put that money towards my credit card debt. I only allow myself to have the necessities, until I pay my debt off. 

Carrying a balance just eats up your money. Credit card interest is very high, so if you aren’t able to cut back and pay off the balance, a line of credit is a good option. The interest rates are lower and this will allow you to buy some time.  

Don’t Do Automatic Withdrawals

I used to have automatic withdrawals on my cell phone bill, until a friend of mine mentioned that her cell phone bill is always wrong. I started checking mine regularly and 50% of the time there is an error with the billing. It does take up more time in my day, but I will set a side the time once a month to look over all my bills and make sure they are correct before paying them. 

These are all just small changes that I have incorporated in my life, but I do notice the difference. Travel is a big part of my life, so I always want to make sure that I can put money away for it. Changing my habits and becoming less of a consumer is the best way for me to achieve this. I want to spend my money on memorable experiences as opposed to material items. I just have to keep reminding myself of this. Making small changes, can add up over time. 

Vancouver based lifestyle blogger. Visit my blog and discover travel guides, fashion tips and recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *