We’ve spent a lot of time in these blog articles addressing the umbrella theme of saving money – a lot of time. Whether it is how to save money outright, or how to actually begin the process of having a savings beyond next week’s laundry money. We discuss tips & tricks that can be applied, as well as the landmines that may prove to be challenging to your objectives & will to save. But what happens if there isn’t a sale? What happens if there isn’t a coupon? And the final garage sale stop of the day didn’t result in a treasured find? How do we refine or restructure our thinking towards making the best purchase for our money? Some characteristics for purchasing products in the business world can very easily be applied to your personal buying habits to help you save money.
The primary characteristic in saving money on any product or service is cost. First, it is important to determine how much you want to spend on the product or service. If you are an impulse buyer, this might be a bit tougher to navigate. However, if you have the opportunity to plan your purchases, you can investigate price ranges on products in sales advertisements & online websites, and in the case of some purchases, buyer’s magazines, such as Consumer Reports. Services can be investigated through online website sources, especially those that compare specific services. In any case, if you determine a range or limit of an acceptable cost for a product or service, you are taking a step towards appropriate spending & savings. However, determining your purchase by cost alone may not help you make the best purchase for your money.
The quality & value of a product or service should also be considered, and if possible, measured prior to purchasing. Of course, we can approach this concept from many angles – volume, quality, quantity, etc. Any of these factors may cause you to sacrifice on another; to get more volume or quantity, you may sacrifice on quality, or vice versa. Some people take the approach to pay more for quality. However, if you do your brand homework, you may find, for example, an equal quality television at a lower price, only because the brand name is different. My grandmother fondly says to me in these situations “do all the research you want, and then buy the best;” insinuating that you’ll always get the best satisfaction by buying the best quality. Again, perspectives vary. Another factor to consider may be less tangible and more subjective.
Service should always be considered when making purchases. Of course, the product you are purchasing may be a service – house cleaning, snow plowing, etc. So, it is important to gauge the quality of that service by the provider. Also, service provided by the retailer as you are buying a product can be considered, such as how well the store employee is able to answer your questions on a product. With some products, such as televisions, computer equipment, or lawn mowers, you will need to consider the level of after-purchase services that may provide for peace of mind, or whether a warranty would be worth the cost versus just buying the next newer model.
The factors addressed, as well as others, can lead you to the best decision on you purchase for you. The important strategy when you are working from a budget on purchasing items is to utilize the best information available. Coupons and store sales help, but let’s be honest, when the television makes up its own mind to not work anymore, or the refrigerator has seen its much better days, it may not coincide with the best time of year to buy those items. Utilizing cost, quality & value, and service levels as factors to consider when making a purchase can help you find your best decision and a level of savings.