Sorry guys for not posting my Thursday Thought on Thursday. Let’s try it on a Friday this time. Hmm?
What I want to talk about is money. I find personal finance extremely interesting – it’s like a game, where you try to manipulate what you have, earn more along the way, and move closer towards your dreams. It’s a giant topic so I won’t dwell too deep today, but I do want to talk about money.
I don’t think you can achieve financial independence by reducing your spending only. As you age, mature, and grow so do your needs and wants. Ultimately you should be working towards earning more. But that doesn’t solve the issue either. THE most important factor in the financial independence formula is proper money management. If you make a lot of money but spend it in ridiculous ways and end up racking up debt anyway, no amount of money will ever be enough. Building good strong habits, and learning about budgeting is key. No matter how much money you have spending it in a smart way is important.
Buying something of equivalent value, and no added benefit for a higher price is stupid. If something costs more it better be superior in quality or differ at least in some way. There are many reasons why one product can be more expensive than the next – quality, craftsmanship, brand name, better/more ethical processes etc. And I’m happy to pay for that. If I’m buying a winter jacket, which is essential for Canadian winters, I’m happy to pay more for one that will keep me warm, will maintain its shape and appearance, and hopefully last for several seasons. It is when there is no difference between items that I don’t see the need to overpay.
So without further ado, my little rant/tips for the day on making your money go further
1. EBay: We’re all familiar with it but what is EBay best for? While I’m sure that it’s great for collectibles and unique items, what I’ve discovered is that EBay is great for accessories. Everything is made in China anyway so why not get it directly from the source? I always select the Free Shipping option, as not to be surprised or discouraged from my purchase, and filter by price and end date. This is seriously fool-proof. You essentially get factory direct prices without all of the markups related to retail and international shipping.
Example: I went to Jamaica last year (absolutely incredible by the way) and I wanted to buy a keepsake for myself. Seeing as I hate knick knacks (they take up space, but what are they for?) I decided to get a beautiful piece of jewelry that looked unique. I thought I was getting a one-of-a-kind made-in-Jamaica piece, and for $20?? Excellent! A little while later, when I was back in Canada perusing EBay I came across the exact same necklace, only in a different colour. The price? $1.75. Yes that’s a nice profit margin.
So, I repeat, if it’s made in China anyway why not get it from the source, and cut out the middleman. While I know that brand names can be important when it comes to staple purses, if you’re thinking scarves, headbands and costume jewelry head to EBay.
2. Groceries: Yes, I do understand that stressed out, cooped up chickens are different than the ones that run around grazing and playing with their friends. Fine, those chickens might be better for you and thus more expensive. Then there’s the ‘Dirty Dozen’ – 12 products which are recommended to be organic due to pesticide residue. BUT what about the rest of food?? If there is no added benefit, I’m not paying for the brand. It’s food. You eat it. You don’t put it on your counter to admire the packaging. Hell, take it out of the packaging and serve it on a pretty platter if it makes you feel better. I just don’t understand why non-organic vegetables in the higher-end grocery stores are 3 times more expensive than those in cheaper ones. And yes I’ve tried both. Identical qualities. And if you think that the savings are measly think again. Grocery shopping is at least a weekly adventure, and there are 52 weeks in a year. If you’re savings $20 a trip (quite frankly it’s definitely a lot more than that) $20 x 52 = $1040. That’s more than a grand in your pocket. Vacation anyone?
There are a gazillion more such examples, but let me spread them out as not to burden you on this beautiful Friday. Have a look at my “Points I love” post for more ridiculously simple tips which don’t require any change or effort, but keep more money in your pocket.
You work hard for your money, you should be able to enjoy more of it!