Category: Money

Buy Used & Save Big

Used stuff that you can save on.

Everyone loves something new, but things do not remain new for very long. You buy a new car and you can claim it as “your new car” for a few months and then it becomes just “your car”. That is a nice “new shirt” but wear it again and you are wearing a “shirt”.

The point is, the value of new quickly wears off but the money that you spend on that new item lingers for a very long time. Instead of buying new, save big on the initial depreciation and buy used. Your bank account will thank you.

Yes, there are some things that you want to buy new, like clothing, but there are some things that should always be bought used. Here is our list on things that you simply must buy used.

  1. Automobiles
    This has to be number one on the list of things to buy used. A new car might be $30,000  but you can buy it used for $24,000. It might have 10,000 miles on it, but it will still have a factory warranty and be in great shape.
    In this case, take the $6,000 that you saved and put int into your retirement savings. If you buy a new vehicle every 5 years, that is 6 vehicles that you will purchase in that time which equals $36,000 in savings buy purchasing used. And, that does not even include the compound interest you would earn on that money.
  2. Books
    Okay, most people buy eBooks these days, but there are still some people who prefer holding an actual paper book in their hands. If you are one of those people, you probably also like to splurge for the hardback copy that looks nice on the bookshelf.
    Why spend $20 to $30 on a new hardback when you can go to a used bookstore and pay less than half of that price. New releases are typically half the cost of new and older titles can be a quarter of the list price.
  3. Exercise Gear
    People are fickle. They get it in their head that they want to start working out and go out and buy a bunch of gym gear. Then, they stick with it for a month, maybe two. After that, this gear becomes just another place to hang the laundry.
    Take advantage of peoples lack of motivation and save big on exercise gear. You can get very lightly used equipment for about half of what you would pay at the sporting goods store.
  4. Lumber
    Have a little home improvement project in mind? Before you run off to the big box store for lumber, check Craigslist. People tend to overbuy on construction materials or just simply change direction in the middle of a project. Score great deals on dimensional lumber, plywood and a whole lot more.
  5. Major Appliances
    Did your built in microwave go out? Chances are good that you can find an exact replacement on Craigslist for it. People are always upgrading kitchens and that leaves a plethora of major appliances on the market. Choose from dishwashers, ovens, refrigerators and washers and dryers. Many of them will be in nearly new condition and cost a third of the retail cost.
  6. Furniture
    I am never a big fan of purchasing anything with cloth used, but wood furniture is fair game. If you need a new entertainment center, hutch or a dining table, used is the way to go. Even bed room sets can be had for a fraction of new, although I would skip in the used mattress.
  7. Moving Boxes
    Yes, boxes are relatively cheap costing about $2 a piece. If you are moving though, this can get expensive quickly. You could easily spend hundreds of dollars on boxes, especially if you purchase specialty boxes like wardrobes.
    What happens when someone moves to their new location with all those boxes. They unpack and then are left with stacks of cardboard that overwhelms the recycling bin. All they want at that point is for someone to come take those boxes for free. You can be that person and can save in a huge way. Look once again to Craigslist and pick up stacks and stacks of lightly used free boxes.
  8. Recreational Trailer
    Camping trailers are just like exercise gear. People think that they are going to get one and then take the kids out every weekend camping. It is a noble goal, but one that rarely comes to fruition.
    If you are thinking about a camping trailer whether it be a bug tandem axle unit or a small pop up camper, turn to the used market first. These things lose value quickly, especially when you find a motivated seller who wants their poor decision out of the driveway.
  9. BBQ Grills
    If you have a truck or a trailer and are looking for a BBQ, take a look at used ones. These things get dirty fast and people do not want to move them, especially when moving out of state. This is where you can save big. With a truck or trailer, you can easily move these things without much mess and possible save hundreds of dollars.
  10. Video Games
    Thinking of picking up a new game for your system? If it is a new release and you are not a serious gamer, give it a few weeks.
    New titles generally go for around $60 and are quickly picked up by hardcore gamers. They play it, win the game and then move on to the next big title. This is where you swoop in and score your game for half price.

Do Your Kids Appreciate Money?

Parents holding a childs hand

A strong understanding of money and finances will set your kid up for life. Unfortunately, most parents neglect to teach their children about how money works and the value of money.

To do things right, you need to start early. You might think that your child is too young to be taught about money but think again. If your child is 5 years of age or older, it is time to start talking about money. Don’t worry, it is not as hard as you think.

Here are some places where you can start.

Set An Example

This is the most important thing that you can do to teach your kid about money. Believe it or not, they are watching you and learning from you all of the time.

If they see you buy whatever you want, they will do the same. If they see you price shop and save, they will do the same.

Try to make your child a part of your financial decisions going forward. No, they will not understand everything at first but it will gradually sink in.

When you get paid, let them watch you pay the bills. Show them how you put money into savings. When you go to the grocery store, show them how you price shop with coupons and purchasing generics. These are daily lessons that will serve them well.

Give Your Child An Allowance

Too often these days, parents just buy their kids whatever they want. The kids see you pull out a plastic card and they magically get everything they want.

If you want to spoil your children, that is one thing. You should not feel guilty about wanting to give your children things, especially if you worked hard for what you have. Perhaps you should change the way that you give them these things though.

Instead of buying them things, let them buy their own things with an allowance. If you want to spoil your child, fine, give them a hefty allowance. It changes things when they actually have to take out their own money and buy things. They still get what they want in one hand, but in the other hand, they see that they have less money. It will help to show them the value of the dollar.

To make things even more of a lesson, have them earn this allowance. If they have to work for their money, they will not throw it away as easily.

Teach Your Child To Save For A Goal

It is never to early to learn the power of saving money.

When you take your child to the store, let them shop with their new allowance. Show them what they can afford with the money that they have and what they do not have enough money for.

Then, introduce the concept of saving. Show them how the money that they have now can buy them little toys. If they want a big toy, they will have to save their money until they have enough. So, they can have a little joy now or a lot of joy later. Keep showing them bigger and bigger toys, that take longer to save for, as their saving discipline increases.

Show Them How To Save

For a child, the impulse is to spend their money just as quick as they can on what they want. They generally do not understand the concept of price shopping. Open there eyes and it will be a lesson that they never forget.

If they want a toy that costs $20, help them find it for $15. When they see that they have money left over when they were going to spend it all, they will remember. Soon, every time they want to buy something they will be asking you if there is a coupon for it.

Introduce The Concept Of Budgeting

At the beginning of the week, when your child gets their allowance, sit down and help them budget there money.

If they get 20 dollars a week, give them 20 singles and a few envelopes. Help them put a few dollars here and a few dollars there.

A child’s budget could be 2 dollars for candy, 10 dollars for toys, 5 dollars for a new app and 2 dollars for saving. Teach them to organize there money to meet there needs over the course of the week. If they come up short, it is a lesson for next week.

You can also use a budget worksheet like this one from Carrie Elle. It can help your child find the best way to use their money and teach them a little math as well.