Does It Pay to Save?
It seems pretty logical that when you have the option to spend less, you should. Whether it’s saving on groceries, clothes or airfare, the end goal should always be to pay less… right? WRONG. This may come as a surprise, but sometimes spending more money upfront actually leads to greater savings in the end. While there aren’t necessarily hard and fast rules about when you should spend more, there are four S’s to help you determine if something is a smart savings idea.
What are you sacrificing to get a lower price? Spending some time clipping or downloading coupons during TV commercials or online ads won’t take much away from your day. Adding multiple unnecessary layovers to get a cheaper plane ticket, however, might – especially if you’re on a tight schedule or are an anxious traveler.
We all love getting a good deal, but compromised safety shouldn’t be part of the package. Safety can mean a lot of different things. For physical safety, new parents are often warned not to purchase used car seats, since they don’t know the integrity of the seat or if it’s been in an accident. For financial safety, we’re all warned not to forego saving for retirement just to have a few more dollars in our wallet now.
How much does the purchase mean to you? If you’re buying a drink at a football game, upgrading to the souvenir cup may not make much sense. The reality is, it’ll most likely lose meaning within a few days, if not hours. However, if you’re buying a frame for an irreplaceable family photo, preserving its sentimental value may make it worthwhile to spend a bit more on a better quality piece.
Is the item you’re purchasing going to last? Do you need it to? A pair of flip flops for the beach isn’t worth more than a few bucks, but investing in well-made winter boots may be worth the extra money if you can get a few years’ use out of them. You may even save money in the long run by not having to replace a cheaper pair each year.