TTAH Tuesday #3

Looking to cut back on spending?

OK, this is going to sound simplistic.  And it is.

Re-evaluate everything you purchase.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I really need this item?  When I’m not sure, I don’t buy it and see if I missed it.  Usually I don’t.  There are two benefits to doing this… the first is that it prevents hasty purchases, and the second is that if I eventually think I really need the item, it gives me time to shop around for the best price.
  • Can I live with a cheaper, generic substitute?  A lot of what we buy – especially for the kids – is store-brand items.  They hardly ever notice a difference in quality.
  • Can I get this product cheaper elsewhere?  (for example, in bulk quantities at BJs)
  • Can I live with a different, less expensive form of this product?  To give you an example – I like Tide and used the liquid for years.  Switching to the powdered form AND buying in bulk saved us quite a bit, with no difference in the quality of laundering.

I have been told (by my mom) that I’m not much fun to shop with.  I’ve often found myself carrying something around at the store, only to put it back before I get to the checkout because of question #1 above.  It’s true.  I don’t buy a whole lot of “extras”.  (Oh, and one of my secrets to spending less is to simply avoid Wal-Mart if at all possible).  🙂

But I also think the discipline of spending less than you make is extremely important.  And it’s allowed our once-frivolous-spending-double-income-no-kids selves to become a family of five on one income.  That’s definitely worth it.

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