Admit it. Not all your purchases can be classified as wise spending. There are many things that you regret having bought. Some are due to impulsive buying, or the lures of your external environment. Time and again, financial experts share the importance of saving money for investments such as real estate or stocks - which entails strict budgeting, setting aside some funds for savings, and focusing on your needs. But what if focusing on your savings does not work? Wouldn't you rather focus on your spending? If you are able to save P20,000, how can you best spend it?
Compare and Calculate
The good news is, if you want to save money, spending is not a sin. Spending is, in fact, inevitable to enjoy your life and helps the economy grow. Fortunately, there are ways to spend your money for your needs, and even a few of your wants, without having to overspend. In other words, spend wisely. For example, spending on famous brands may be well worth it if the product will outlast cheaper brands. Consider this: a branded rubber shoes worth P5,000 that will last 5 years over a P2,000-worth that will last a year? Comparing and calculating the “life” and cost of different brands will always lead you to a wise choice.
Before purchasing, it is also wise to compare prices. With a little data-gathering, you will be surprised to see how merchants sell the same products at different prices. (This is especially true for appliances, travel tickets, and electronic gadgets.) You may also consider buying second-hand products at thrift stores where prices easily drop for products with ever-changing models and styles.
Find a Good Deal
Watch out for good deals. Promotions are frequently posted in newspapers and magazines, and even in the internet. Credit cards not only offer wise buys on installment basis at 0% interest, they also give you points as rewards for your spending. So for those who want to resist on buying, think twice before getting rid of your credit cards. You might get a good deal for an essential purchase.
What Do Other People Say
Another way to ensure a wise buy is to consult those who have actually tried the product. For example, when considering a hotel or travel itinerary, search for blogs of those who have had an actual experience in those places. For gadgets, study the features and consider the comments of those who have used the model and its features. It’s a way to ensure that you are buying something that meets your expectations.
Invest On Your Best Asset
What is your best asset? Yourself. If you think about it, almost everything that you spend for has a limited lifespan EXCEPT those that contribute to your personal growth. Nowadays, many universities and government or private entities offer skills training, entrepreneurial seminars, and other short courses at P20,000 or less. Find one that suits your interest or is related to your present field. The knowledge you gain is a valuable investment that may lead to you to new avenues, career growth, and better opportunities.
Does Your Vacation Give You Real Vacation?
Many people look forward to weekends as a chance for vacation. Early on within the week, they plan their itineraries and pack their bags, so come Saturday, they head-on to a full-packed weekend. The result? They come home feeling more tired than their 5-day work. This is because people fail to consider other options to enjoy a relaxing weekend without having to travel far from their home. Consider an urban or condo living where there are nearby theme parks, spas, hotels, sports clubs, and other recreational venues right in the heart of the city. Don’t they offer the same relaxing experience and fun-time with family and friends without having to travel out of town? As a result, you get the same vacation experience while saving cost and time for transportation.
Spend and Save
These two S’s do not necessarily contradict. Yes, it’s possible to spend and save at the same time. This happens when you’re spending for an essential need that turns out to be an investment. For instance, leasing a condominium and thinking of it as your forced savings. With a rent-to-own deal, the P20,000 you spend monthly on lease turns into a real estate investment while providing yourself a home. Now you wouldn’t have to spend a lifetime paying for rents. Once you’ve owned it, you can aim for an early retirement.
The Only Thing That Money Can’t Buy
We have tackled all the wise ways to spend your money, but we haven’t talked about the only thing your money can’t buy – time. Think about the time you spend daily in going to school or to your work place; add to that the traveling time for errands and other essential trips. Multiply that by 5 and you get the time you spend weekly on the road. Wouldn’t you wish you have spent it for something more enjoyable, relaxing, and worthwhile?
This is why spending wisely would also mean choosing the right location for your home. If your home is like a typical city condominium in the Philippines, which is conveniently located near public transport stations, offices, schools, shops, and other business establishments, there can be substantial savings on fuel or commuting costs, and yes, your valuable time too. With today’s modern condo design, you can enjoy convenience in a comfortable living environment, plus added perks such as easy-cleaning, maintenance, security, and recreational amenities.
The bottom line is, wise spending isn’t a short-time decision. It is a habit, a discipline that ultimately forms a lifestyle. The keyword “wise” also denotes careful thinking. Ask yourself before spending: “Do I need it?”, “Will I use it?”, “ Am I getting the best price?”, “ Will it add value to my life or to my assets?” If the answer is YES, then you’re in for a wise buy.