Smart Shopping: How to Save on a Major Purchase
If you are like me, big purchases are stressful for you. It does not matter if I have the money saved for the purchase, I still find it stressful. Spending a large sum of money is not easy for me. I would imagine that it is not easy for most people. You either see your bank account balance drop, or you see your credit card balance increase dramatically. I do not like either of those options. However, I realize big purchases have to happen. We need to buy items such as cars, houses, appliances, just to name a few. Before you start to think the worst, you should know that it is possible to save on a major purchase.
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You can continue reading to find out how to save money on some important life events. You may even be surprised at some of the ways you can save money.
What Is Considered a Major Purchase?
We all make purchases throughout our lives. Some of us love to shop and do it often. Others of us hate it and do as little shopping as possible. There is online shopping, which has made shopping much more convenient. There are also the people who coupon shop. Some use a coupon here and there while others have made it into an art form. Personally, I do not understand how to coupon but I have not take the time to learn. I know people who save a ton of money couponing, but it seems to me, they are buying a ton of items they do not need. However, it does not negate the fact that there is a huge savings and it is possible to save on a major purchase.
This may still leave you asking, “what is a major purchase?” A major purchase is considered something that is a big ticket item, such as a house, car, appliances, furnishing for the home, and electronics. Some even consider sports equipments and trips to be large purchases. According to Forbes magazine, almost 45 percent of people who answered their survey have a difficult time completing a sale for a big purchase item.
Weddings Can Suck The Money Out Of You
I do not want you to think that I am against weddings. I am not, at all. However, I do think there is a ton of money wasted on weddings for the wrong reasons. Getting married is a big deal and an emotional time. Many play on those emotions and entice people to spend large sums of money on items that are not really that important. That being said, I would like to talk about ways to save on a major purchase, like a wedding. One easy way for saving money when it comes to a wedding, is to plan ahead.
When you plan ahead and begin to save the money you need, it helps guide your decisions. You should create a list of the items you must have at your wedding. These items are non-negotiable. Then you can determine how much they cost and begin to save for them. You can create another list of items you would like to have. Same thing here, you find out how much they cost and determine which ones mean more to you and save for those.
When you create these lists, it gives you a good idea of what you really want at your wedding. This makes it easier when you feel the emotional pull to purchase something. You can look at your lists and determine if it is on either one of them. Perhaps it is something you did not consider and you are willing to remove an item from your must have list and replace it with something different. Budgeting is incredibly important when it comes to a wedding. If you can, try to save money for at least a year to pay for the wedding. This puts you in a better position as you begin to start your life as a married couple. And you don’t have to think about how to get out of debt later.
Some More Ways To Save On That Special Day
There are some other ways you can save on a major purchase, such as your wedding. There may be some things you did not consider when it comes to wedding day savings. Before you have your heart set on one particular item or way to do something, consider these tips. Believe it or not, there are ways to save money on just about every aspect of your wedding.
Date – If you do not have a specific date in mind, be flexible. If you plan your wedding for an off time that is not typically considered wedding season, you can spend less money. Typically, June is prime time wedding season, so choosing a different month can save you a ton of money. Also, choose a Friday night or Sunday afternoon to get married and you can save up to 50 percent of the cost. Saturday is the day most people choose to get married and they pay for it.
Dress – Wedding dresses are expensive and you only wear them one time. You can get a second hand dress and save a lot of money. You may be surprised at how well people take care of their wedding dresses. Do not think just because it has been worn, that it is second rate. At least take the time to look at some resale dress shops to see what is available to you.
Food – The food and drinks at a wedding are incredibly expensive. You can make the bar a cash bar so that your guests have to pay for whatever they drink. Many people do not like to do that, so there are other ways to decrease the cost of alcohol. Some venues allow you to provide your own alcohol, so you buy it and bring it and they will serve it. This cuts the cost tremendously. You can also choose to have only beer and wine. These are cheaper options than liquor.
You can also forego a wedding cake and have various desserts instead. A wedding cake can cost close to a thousand dollars and most of them do not taste great anyway. You can have several other types of desserts that your guests may like better.
Moving Without Breaking The Bank
Moving is a stressful time before you even think about the cost of it. It can be incredibly expensive for you to move. If you have to move, or you have determined that moving is the best thing for you right now, then you should arm yourself with some tips to help you save on a major purchase associated with moving. One of the best ways to save money on a move is to do everything yourself. If you can enlist your friends to help with the promise of pizza and beer, you really can see a lot of savings.
There are many different moving services that you can use, but they all come at a cost. There are some items associated with a move that you cannot change the cost. For example, you might need a deposit and first months rent for a new place. You may buy a house and need the closing costs. These costs typically cannot be changed and you have to accept them.
There are other ways to save money on a move. You can do all of your own packing. You can get some friends you trust and ask them to help. Make sure that you label all of your boxes with the room name and the box contents. This is helpful when you are unpacking. You can rent a U haul and literally haul your stuff yourself. You and your friends can load up all your items into the truck and drive them to the new location. Once there, you and your friends can move the items from the truck. This is really only an option if you are moving locally. If you are moving someone that requires a plane trip, you may have to have your items shipped and that causes a huge expense.
No matter where you are moving, you should take this opportunity to down size. Now is the time to get rid of all those items that you no longer use or need. I am sure you have items that are sitting in a corner of your house collecting dust. If so, it is time to get rid of them. If you have items that you have not used in the past year, donate or trash them.
Will A Moving Company Save Me Money?
What if you really need a moving company? What do you do then? If you have decided that for various reasons, you need to use the services of a moving company, there are ways to save on a major purchase. The first thing you should do is compare moving companies. While you might want to pay attention to the final number the company gives you, do not be so quick to do that. Make sure you understand how the determined the total. You should also verify if that total is an estimate, or an actual figure. Some companies will quote you an hourly rate and you are subject to paying for how long they take to pack and unpack your items. While the figure may seem like it is a lower cost initially, it may cost you more money in the long run.
Make sure whichever company you use, they perform background checks on their employees and insure all of their moves. First, remove all the clutter from your home and make sure that the items you are packing are items you really want. The worst thing for you to do is pack and pay to move items that you are going to throw away in your new home. Make sure that you really want all the items you are taking with you.
Travel On A Budget
We all want to take time away from the stress of everyday life. Many of us cannot travel because it is too expensive. While traveling can be an investment, there are ways to save on a major purchase such as traveling. The most important way to travel without blowing your budget out of the water is to plan. You should determine where you want to travel and when. When you have an idea of the location, you can begin to look for deals. Perhaps, you do not have a specific place in mind, then you can look for deals online.
I would caution you when looking online, many of these deals must be purchased and used quickly. There is not often a lot of time before the deal expires. You should be prepared to spend the money and travel soon. And you should also read all the fine print and make sure that you know all the details associated with the deal.
Consider traveling during off peak times. Depending on the location, off peak may be different times for different locations. For example, August is usually considered off peak for a hot location. You can save a significant amount of money just by changing your travel plans by a few weeks.
Can I Really Travel Without Spending A Fortune?
Yes, it really is possible to save on a major purchase, such as traveling. You may, however, have to be willing to make some compromises. So, you can choose to stay at a hotel that is one less star and may cost less money per night. You should do a lot of research about the area in which you want to travel. The more information you know about a location, then the more money you can save. While you are there, eat at local places instead of fancy restaurants. Many times, these places have better food and cost way less money. Find out where the locals eat and go there. You will probably get a better meal. Walk to all the places that you can instead of spending money on a car, taxi, or Uber. This can be a significant savings for you.
When you are deciding on the excursions in which you want to participate, find as many free ones as you can. You can do many things for free, you just have to look for them. Instead of paying for a tour, take in the sights on your own. Often times you can get a book or an audio version of a tour for free or a nominal cost and move through the tour at your own pace. Do not spend a lot of money on souvenirs. Many of these items are priced higher than normal and you forget about them or throw them away after a year.
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Medical bills are often something that many of us have to pay. The cost of medical care is increasing and insurance (if you have it) never pays enough. Medical bills add up quickly and before you know it, you have a bill that is thousands of dollars. While this may seem overwhelming and daunting, take a breath and know that there are ways to save on a major purchase, such as medical bills. Yes, I am putting medical bills in the major purchase category because they are. Typically, the medical treatment is something you need to have and you have no choice but to pay the bill.
One of the key points to remember when it comes to medical bills is that most medical providers understand. They understand that health care is expensive and insurance does not cover much. They know the cost of prescriptions is outrageous and they are usually willing to work with you.
Tops Ways To Decrease Medical Bills
I know you probably do not like that I am referring to medical procedures and health care as a major purchase, but it truly is. So, I am going to continue to refer to it as such. There are some ways to save on a major purchase like medical bills.
The first thing to remember is to be honest with the provider. Call them and talk to them about what you can and cannot afford to pay. Many times they will work with you on a payment plan. They may even be willing to take a partial payment. Some providers are willing to cut as much as half of the bill if you can pay that amount right away. They know it is better to take a partial payment up front instead of getting small payments for months, or years.
Another point to consider is talking to the medical provider prior to the treatment. If you are honest with the doctor or provider, they may be able to modify the treatment so that it fits into your budget. The provider may be able to find a study or trial in which you can participate that allows you to receive free treatment. Medical providers deals with insurance companies all the time and often the insurance company wants a request worded in a specific way to approve the treatment or care plan. If your provider is aware of your situation from the start then he or she may be able to work with your insurance company to ensure approval.
Can A Personal Loan Help Me?
If you need money quickly for a large purchase, you might immediately think of a personal loan, or personal cash loans. Does it make sense to get a personal loan to save on a major purchase? One way a personal loan may benefit you is it gets you money fast when you need to make a large purchase. If you need car repairs, or even a new car, or if a major appliance needs to be replaced, a personal loan is a great way to get money. If you have good credit, you may be able to obtain a personal loan with a low interest rate.
Paying the interest rate may be better than not having a car that you need, or having medical treatment that you need. When you obtain a personal loan, it may reduce the stress you feel about needing the money. Trying to find the money for a large purchase may cause a difficult situation to be even more stressful. When you know that you will have the money you need due to a personal loan, it can help decrease your stress. This may make the interest you pay worth it to you.
One thing to keep in mind is pay attention to the interest rate tied to your loan increases your monthly payment. You may want to do some rate shopping to find the best rate for your loan. The ultimate goal should always be to keep yourself out of debt. In some cases, a personal loan may be in your best interest.
Get Yourself On A Budget
This is one of my favorite topics. I know it probably is not one of your favorites, though. Yes, a budget is important. Yes, a budget is necessary. And finally, yes, you need a budget. If you do not currently have a budget, you should create one. If you feel like it is some form of forced control that prevents you from doing and buying the items you want, stop now. Stop thinking that way. Change the way you think about a budget and understand all the benefits. A budget helps put you in control of your money and your spending.
There are many apps and websites available to help you create a budget. These websites make it simple by providing you a form to list your expenses on one side and income on the other side. Once you see in writing how much you are spending and what you have left each month, that gives you an idea of what you can save on a major purchase. This list shows you where you are spending money each month. I bet you are spending money that you do not even realize. You probably spend more money in ways that you do not even think about each month. For example, how much money are you spending on coffee shops or convenience stores? Those are places that suck up a lot of money quickly and you probably do not even consider it spending money.
Save More, Spend Less
The best way to save on a major purchase is to save the money you need. Once you created a budget as defined above, it gives you a clear picture of who you spend your money. Once you know that, you can determine where you can make spending cuts. First, you should determine your goals. What do you want to do with your budget? Do you want to become debt free? And do you want to save on a major purchase? Do you want to secure savings for your retirement? It is helpful if you have a goal in mind to help you reach that goal. When you set a reasonable goal for yourself that is true to what you really want, it helps you reach those goals.
You should cut out unnecessary spending on items such as that gym membership that you do not use. If you have not been to the gym in months, cancel it now. You are wasting this money. You should also look at other subscriptions that you may have. Make sure that you really want and need those subscriptions services. If you do not, cancel them right now. If you do, change the rate as which you are receiving the items, or change it so that you request the items when you need them. This way you control when the items come and how much you are paying.
I have provided a lot of information on how to save on a major purchase. We all have to make major purchases at some point in our lives. Even if we have the money to pay for them, it is still nice to be able to save on a major purchase. As with any purchase, It is important that you ensure that you need the item and not make an impulsive purchase. Once you are sure of the purchase you want to make, you can begin to save for it. There are many ways you can save money on these items. You can also do research and find the item at the best price. Many large purchases are events, such as a wedding or a new home.
Julia Peoples is a long-time business manager focused on providing decision making assistance to the public. She works with people at key points of their lives who are making important retirement and financial decisions. She has had many articles published that educate the public on sound financial decision making.
Julia writes for those who are working towards financial freedom or a better understanding of how finances work. She has shared her financial insights with individuals on a one on one basis for years.