All to often, we don’t really think before paying for our purchases!
I’ve been guilty of this too! I use to get a bill in the mail and just write a check and mail it in. But today, I’m here to tell you that this is not the best way to go about paying bills, and I’m going to explain a better approach towards your bills.
Thinking Before Paying
When a bill comes in, you should ask yourself “Is this bill for the best service and price for this particular service or purchase?”
A great example would be bills from insurance companies. Every few years, you should go shopping for a cheaper price for your various insurance needs! We routinely jump to different car insurance companies. This saves us hundreds of dollars versus just sticking to one insurance company.
We do this because most insurance companies know that you don’t want to go through the aggravation of switching companies, since it’s a bit of a pain! So over the years they raise the fees on you more and more, effectively milking you for all they can.
I actually hate to change car insurance companies, but doing so will save me hundreds of dollars… so I do it anyway!
After a while, you kind of get familiar with the process and it does get easier each time you do this rotation!
Charging To Save Money
First let me start off by saying that I pay my credit cards in full each month. Okay with that out-of-the-way, when possible, I like to charge expensive bills to my credit card(s) as much as I can!
I only have reward credit cards, so this give me an instant discount on the purchase price whenever I use it! While 1% or 2% isn’t a huge discount on the cost of the product (or service), every little bit helps.
If you put some thought into it, you should use certain credit cards for certain purchases. I say this because some credit cards provide higher reward points for certain types of purchases.
Thinking Outside of the Box
- First, do you really need to make that purchase? Why not try to find alternatives or try repairing the item that you are thinking about replacing?
- Next, can you buy used (ex. cars), that could save you some big buck on high ticket items like automobiles!
- Have you check out freecycle.org? This is a no brainer if you are aware of the site’s existence.
- Check out eBay, Craigslist and other online sites for deals.
- Can you borrow the item (like an edger) from a neighbor, family or friends. Doing this is especially good from a tool to accomplish something that is needed very infrequently (again, the edger is a perfect example).
- Can you use your credit card reward point for the purchase?
- Buy the item at deep discounts or when special are going on.
- Haggle if possible… I couldn’t hurt!
I see so many friends buying at the wrong time of the season (don’t go coat shopping at the start of winter) and on things that aren’t really necessary.
I would advise mulling over a purchasing decision on something you want to buy for at least 1 week if possible. During this mulling week, try to think of ways you can get it for free, or reduce the cost of the item. You’d be surprise what solutions you can come up with or comes your way.
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