Financial Literacy for Everyone

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Smart Shopping

How to Spend Your Money Wisely

Spending can pay off.

Spending may seem like the easy part of managing your money, but there are many tips and tricks that can help you save big.

The key to spending is to stay within your means. Don’t spend more money than you have. As you plan to shop, make sure you keep your goals and your budget in mind. Sometimes, spending can also pay off in the long run. If you have your own business, you may need to spend money to be able to better serve your customers. For example, if you start a lawn mowing business in your neighborhood you’ll need a lawn mower, gas and potentially other landscaping tools down the road.

Think before you shop.

When you make a decision, you are often weighing a lot of factors — not just how much money you’re going to spend.

Before you make a purchase, look at lots of different options to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Rather than choosing an expensive pair of shoes at first glance, plan ahead to make sure you are getting the best value by researching quality and comparing pricing at multiple retailers — this is called comparison shopping. The exact same pair may be cheaper at another store.

If you want to go to a concert, there will be ticket features you want and features you need. When all you need is a basic ticket, you may sacrifice the features you want in order to save money, while still enjoying the concert.

The tickets you want

The tickets you buy

So many ways to save.

When you do finally decide what to buy, you’ll notice that you usually have a few options, such as name brand or generic items.

A name brand is recognizable; if you see one of their products you are likely to know the manufacturer. A generic brand item is one that typically isn’t advertised. Many grocery and multi-purpose stores have their own generic versions of products. Most of the time, there’s no significant difference between the two items besides price. Generic items are usually less expensive — making them a great saving opportunity.

Did you know?

If you buy generic cereal once a week instead of name brand, you could be looking at $50 in savings by the end of the year.

What might you take into consideration when you buy something new?