Saving Money - Are You Doing Enough?

It is estimated that we, as consumers, waste an average of 30% of our paychecks on items we don't need or pay way too much for the items we buy. Since 1990, spending is up 30% and debt is up an astounding 80%. What this tells us is, the average consumer is not only buying more but putting much more of a strain on their parcheck, forcing most to overextend themselves with their credit cards.

To become a savvy shopper takes more than just knowing where the best deals are. You need to develope a new attitude. A new way of doing things. This new attitude must become a way of life. If you fall back into your old way of shopping, you run the risk of becoming a bad statistic. The average revolving credit card bill for Americans now stands at over $8500 and shows no signs of letting up. This is not the direction a good money saver should be moving towards.

Finding the best deals takes patience, good timing, and lots of prudent reasearch. Just like saving for retirement or picking stocks, learning how to become a great shopper takes commitment and organization. When you are organized, you are better prepared to spend wisely.

Shoppers are not born, they are made. This holds true no matter how much you make or where you work. It takes understanding of how stores are laid out, how sales are set, and what tricks marketers use to lure you in and close the sale.

Most consumers are in the dark when it comes to how manufacturers think. If you think like a marketer, you will be able to buy with confidence because you have the inside information that can aid you in getting a better deal.

A thrifty person is not someone who buys on impulse but rather, knows how much they have to spend, how much they can spend, and whether spending the money now is a wise choice or not. Impulse buying is the bane of every intelligent shopper but one that all of us have done at one time or another.

A savvy shopper uses all the tools available to them and makes their decision based on information provided by those tools. These tools can aid in overcoming the relentless hard sell that marketers rely on to make you buy.

Whenever you go out to shop, whether it is to your local mall, the supermarket, or online, there are rules that must be followed in order to get the most value for the least amount of money.

Here are five ways to stay within budget and still get value.

1- Always make a list. Know what you want to buy beforehand.

2- Shop and compare prices and terms before you buy. Remember, the first price you see is not always the best. Use it as a starting point and a guide.

3- Stick to an amount you are willing to spend and don't go over. This will save your pocketbook unneeded grief when the credit card bill comes in.

4- Ask yourself if you can live without the item. Don't fall into the habit of rewarding yourself with an item because you've worked hard or you've been a good person lately. Excuses don't pay bills.

5- Keep a price book with you at all times and use it as a guide to get the best price.

Shopping doesn't have to be a chore if you prepare yourself beforehand and organize your priorities. If you can do this, you will succeed at becoming a saving money expert.

Barry Ferguson is known as "America's Saving Money Man". He is the author of two books called "How To Stop Wasting Money" and "The Saving Money Mindset", and has 15 years of practical, real world experience saving huge amounts of cash every time he shops! How much do you want to save?

In The News:

A Not So D.U.M.B. Use of Money  Waco Tribune-Herald
Smart Money Moves to Make Before Year End  Kiplinger's Personal Finance

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