You’re living within your means, you’re saving, you’re investing…you’re basically avoiding all the financial pitfalls, which is great. However, there is one important part of the journey to financial freedom that you’re probably not paying attention to; saving money by paying the least possible for good quality. If you’re not constantly asking, “Can I pay less for this?” you are making a mistake.
For people who live/have lived abroad, this is part of everyday life and both retailers and consumers know it. There are people who actively look out for and collect coupons so they can pay less for stuff, actually wait until items are on sale before they buy, and unashamedly patronize stores that sell quality goods for cheaper- all very strategically and deliberately.
Saving money in this way allows you to invest it, bank it, or spend it on other things you need. Next time you are about to pay for a product or service, ask yourself, “Can I get the same thing for less?” Being frugal isn’t the same as being stingy, and it is actually one of the traits of people who create and sustain wealth. They don’t just dish out dough because they can afford it; they make sure they’re getting the best deal possible.
Here are 3 reasons you may not have adopted this practice:
- You think less expensive means poor quality: Unfortunately this isn’t always true. That one brand is more expensive doesn’t automatically make it better than others. There are successful businesses in the world built on this premise, including stores. Many times, the cheaper option is just as good. I’m a fan of Nestle products, but their NIDO toddler milk is TWICE as expensive as Peak’s toddler milk. Is Peak a crappy brand because it’s more affordable? No.
- You are lazy: You would like to do this, but you really can’t be bothered to look for a less expensive option, especially when it’s not like you can’t afford this one. To free yourself, what you really need to do is be convinced of the merits of being financially smart. When you set goals, you can see more easily what the money you save by being thrifty does for your budget, and this will ginger you up.
- It’s just not natural to you: This is understandable, but you must recognize that the habits that build wealth— delayed gratification, savings, investing, etc.— don’t come naturally either; they are learnt. When you exercise these muscles, your character becomes stronger and your life better for it overall.
Go ahead, save some money!
About the author: Joy Ehonwa is a writer, editor and online proofreader who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a copy-editing, ghostwriting and transcription business, and blogs at www.anafricandiva.wordpress.com and www.girlaware.wordpress.com