Since we have to shop for almost everything we need, it's a ...

Since we have to shop for almost everything we need, it's a ...

Smart Shopping Since we have to shop for almost everything we need, its a good idea to learn smart shopping techniques. A smart shopper can save thousands of dollars a year over an impulse buyer. Who is a Smart Shopper? Someone who Researches purchases Plans purchases Compares products Considers alternatives You will save a lot of money by being a

smart shopper. Research Check on features - get what you need and not more. versions, each with a larger price tag. Do you need the extra features of the higher priced version? Quality Competing brands often have different reliabilities

Check consumer publications and websites Consumer Reports (subscription, online, library) Many websites have user ratings (Amazon.com) Ask friends for recommendations Planning your Purchase Look for sales some items go on sales periodically Sales people will often let you know when an item will go on sale if you ask them Sometimes stores will honor sale prices for 30 days after you buy a product

Often prices are lower online than at the store Online specials Some sales are seasonal Compare products and stores Visit different stores or websites Discount stores Read the reviews of the online stores too! Customer service, refund and return policies Read advertisements Look for coupons or coupon books When buying items that come in units, compare unit cost

Example groceries (per pound, per ounce, per liter, etc.) Make sure your comparisons are like-in-kind Example Computer prices may be package deals including monitor, others do not Sometimes similar or same products are sold under different brand names or model numbers Brand name items may have higher price since youre paying for Consider Alternatives Rent or borrow instead of buy Examples: video games, DVDs, books (library) Wait many things fall in price after theyve been

on the market a short while Build it yourself save money through kits Example: Battery charger for iPods Buy used items eBay, Amazon.com used items, B&N used books Returned or opened merchandise Overstocks Impulse Buying

Impulse buying (something that you didnt plan) is a good way to spend a lot more than you expected. Stores are arranged to promote impulse shopping Grocery stores milk, bread typically at the back of the store Items placed at eye level will sell more Lots of small, high mark up items at the checkout Sale items at the entrance Loss Leaders get you into the store to buy other items at regular prices Bait and Switch steer you to a higher priced alternative

Understand the moods and feelings that can affect buying decisions Dont go grocery shopping when hungry everything looks good! Make a list (a shopping plan) and stick to it People sometimes buy to make them feel better Envy shopping (keeping up with someone else) Name brand status What is a Budget? A budget is a written account of your expected and actual income and expenses. Basics of Budgeting Develop financial goals

Determine income Determine expected expenses, considering our goals Put together a plan to match income with expenses. Tips for decreasing expenses For each expense determine whether its a need or a want You need food; you may want a soda, but certainly dont need it

Examples of things that people think the need, but really dont: cell phones, cable TV, magazine/newspaper subscriptions, high speed internet, snacks and sodas, entertainment electronics, computer games, new CDs & books, expensive clothing, etc. Review of the Process At the beginning of the month you create your budget this is how much you expect to spend, how much you expect to make, and how much you expect to save. During the month you record your income and expenses. At the end of the month you compare your plan to your actual data. If youre spending more than you

make, youll normally have to adjust your budget for the next month. Use the information youve gathered to put together your budget for the next month.

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