The most basic principle of personal finance is to spend less than you make and do something of value with the difference. This often drives people to spend less in every situation, but is this really the right step?
There are many situations where a little more money translates into much less spending in the short term and a higher quality of life in the long term. The key is to spend money wisely and to consider the long-term benefits. It’s about being frugal and not cheap.
Here are five examples of this phenomenon.
Shop fresh and healthy
At this point, it’s pretty clear that the more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains you have in your diet, the better. At the same time, highly processed foods are generally less healthy than minimally processed or unprocessed foods. In short, if you stick to the grocery store merchandise section, you are doing the best that you can for your long-term health.
The problem, of course, is that many production options are expensive. You can find some bargains in the produce section, but when you get away from a handful of cheap plants the cost can go up significantly. However, this is a cost that is well worth it.
At first it might feel like you spend a lot on products, but it usually just replaces other items that you would also spend a lot on. Processed foods are not cheap, nor are most types of meat. Depending on what you buy, the prices can be quite comparable. In fact, vegans and vegetarians – the ones most obedient to a plant-based diet – were spending an average of $ 23 less on groceries per week than those on a diet high in meat.
And while your final grocery bill could be higher for a week of healthier meals than if you bought mostly processed products, it wouldn’t be significantly higher.
In the long run, your health will improve if you consistently choose a diet that includes more plants and more minimally processed or unprocessed foods than before. It might cost a bit more today, but it will save you tons in the long run. Spending money on healthy food is a smart choice.
Take care of your belongings, especially your home and your car
Maintaining things can be a hassle. It is usually low in cost and time, e.g. B. with the purchase of a small tool for at home or an appointment somewhere.
However, you take care of your belongings significant Extends the number of useful years you get from the article. When maintenance adds years to the amount of time you can get out of an expensive device, your car, or part of your home, it’s a huge cost saving.
A good approach is to create a home and car maintenance checklist. Stick these things on your calendar at the right times and only worry about them when they come up. Sure, you will have a few small expenses and small chores along the way, but if it means many years of reliable cars and equipment, it’s well worth it.
Buy reliable things
If you pay more for a reliable version of an item that you use frequently, it pays off in the long run. This is especially true if you intend to use it during its normal lifespan and You are ready to invest a little time and money in maintenance.
A great way to check reliability is to check the ratings on an unbiased publication such as Consumer reports. Put a lot of emphasis on reliability and put a little less emphasis on bells and whistles that you probably won’t be using.
This applies to things like large appliances, but especially your car. Buying a reliable car and driving it until it really wears out (carefully following the maintenance schedule in the process) is the best way to get the most out of it.
This is of course expensive in the short term. The reliable item usually has a higher sticker price. However, if it takes much longer, the cost per year of operation will likely be lower. In addition, you will have a lot less headache because you simply don’t have to worry. It will be easy job.
Save (real) time
A big reason people spend money is for convenience. We all need more time, but the question is, what do you do with that time saved?
In the time that you save, think about what you will actually be doing instead of just buying convenience items because they are convenient. If you spend a little extra buying pre-chopped onions for a recipe, what are you going to do with the 10 minutes you save? Are you going to do something really valuable or are you going to flip through social media posts?
If you pay more for convenience items to save time and then do nothing deeply valuable with that time, you get stuck.
On the other hand, when you buy a convenience item and then use that time in extremely valuable ways, e.g. For example, to do something meaningful with your child that you wouldn’t otherwise have done, or when you are doing extra work on a project that is personally important to you. It pays to spend a little more on convenience.
Buy in bulk
The sticker price of bulk goods is always higher than that of small packages. The bulk packaging paper, for example, is huge, as is the sticker price. If you buy in bulk, you will leave the store with a larger grocery bill than if you bought smaller packages. However, buying in bulk has two enormous advantages.
First, the price per unit is often a little lower. You can buy six rolls of toilet paper for $ 3 or 36 rolls of toilet paper for $ 12. The cost per roll in the $ 3 package is $ 0.50, while the cost per roll is only $ 0.33 in the larger package. That adds up, although you’ll need to check prices to be sure.
Second, it saves time because you don’t even have to think long about buying toilet paper. It’s an errand that is becoming far less common. You are less likely to have to walk to the store to get toilet paper, which also saves you money.
Buying in bulk is a great ploy to keep your expenses down in the long run as it is not only cost effective in the long run, but it also keeps you away from tempting stores.
Spend more to live less
Of course, life offers many opportunities for people to spend stupid money. Here are five times when more money translates into less value and less enjoyment.
- Often deal in cars. Most of the cost of a car is bottled in the transaction itself, especially new ones because they depreciate so quickly. The best way to get value from a car is to buy a reliable, low mileage car, drive it for as long as possible, and maintain it well along the way.
- Buy “cheap” versions of things you rely on. While you might feel like you’re saving money upfront, buying the low-end version of something you rely on is likely to fail much sooner than other options, and it won’t work well while you’re using it either .
- Buy things that you don’t use or cherish often. If you already have a few items and most are tucked away on shelves or closets, buying another one isn’t a good call.
- Spend money on unforgettable things. Look at your credit card and bank statements for the past few months. How many of the non-essential expenses do you actually remember? How many of them still feel worthwhile? Don’t lie to you! If an issue doesn’t stick in your memory or doesn’t make you happy, it’s fine. It’s useful feedback. The expenses that you do not remember and with which you are not yet satisfied can be greatly reduced in the future. This is an exercise for separating needs from needs.
- Keep up appearances. It is a natural human error to believe that people notice us a lot more than they actually do. It actually has a name – the “spotlight effect”. Don’t spend money to impress other people as you simply won’t get any value for those expenses. If you want to impress, impress with character as that type of impression is free and positive.
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