Seek Wise Counsel to Save
By Shannon M. Medisky
I’ve said it (many times) before, and I’ll say it again because it’s worth repeating: misery loves company, but money savers like it (and financially benefit from it) even more. Many hands, eyes and efforts make light work, including making tight budgets work better! So if you’re looking to save money, then seek the fiscally-sound counsel of others to help you in your efforts.
Friends and family are your number one resource for such counsel. They’re the people who know you the best. And they’re likely already aware of your specific needs and preferences as well as what may or may not potential help you. Capitalize on this relationship by reaching out to them for advice, insight and input before making any major purchase. You may very well save yourself the headache of bad purchase and save your bank account from a big and unnecessary dent. Whether it’s learning from their own past purchasing mistakes, getting a heads-up on the best place to make the buy or just a friendly warning on whether or not all the product’s promises are true, taking the time to ask those you know is well worth the extra effort.
Wise counsel can be sought virtually, too. Do your due diligence by searching for reviews online. Even if you plan to make your purchase at a traditional brick-and-mortar store, the benefits of hitting the information superhighway cannot be overstressed. Available on demand and at your convenience, such reviews not only make you more confident in your decision to purchase, but also enable you to get a broader spectrum of unbiased opinions. Time, after all, is money. And it’s far less time consuming to jump online and learn about a product’s cheap construction or unwarranted hype than it is learn about it first-hand and then stand in line to make a return. Be safe, don’t be sorry.
Store employees and cashiers are also a great source for wise financial counsel. Before plunking down your plastic or grabbing your green, stop to ask store employees if they’ve seen a lot of these products purchased and/or returned. They’ll likely be able to tell you if they’ve seen a flood of turn over either at the cash register or the customer service desk. An added bonus? They may be able to discreetly alert you to any upcoming sales and discount opportunities, enabling you to postpone the purchase for a more fiscally-rewarding time.
Last but not least, Consumer Reports is an incredible resource for consumers looking to get value as well as savings. Completely unbiased and always timely, Consumer Reports offers in-depth reviews and ratings of nearly every product out there. While a paid subscription is necessary to access much of their site, a trip to your local library will likely reveal a plethora of past editions of their printed magazine. And if you’re making a major purchase such as a home appliance, car or an electronic gadget, doing due diligence with such a highly reputable resource is not only a sound investment in keeping more money in your wallet, but also helps ensure you’re making a purchase that will serve you well in the years to come.
Photo credit: MarkHaertl
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