I’m terrible with money and the more I have of it the worse I am. I just wanted to point out a few great articles I’ve come across recently that speak to the topic of spending wisely.
Breaking the brand loyalty bond and save money. You willingly pay a premium as you return time and time again to the brands you know because you know them. There might be a good reason for it but it might just be because you just failed to consider alternative brand’s offerings. For me, these brands are Always (who wants to risk it with “feminine hygiene”?) and Heinz ketchup (no catsup for me). I’ve become less strident in my loyalty to many brands because I don’t want to be snob about things and just be happy with the stuff I can get my hands on. There’s a catch 22 here: by giving brands less attention and reassessing them constantly I may just be giving them more of my mental energy. What do you think?
Shop for groceries less frequently. I’ve been doing this and IT WORKS. Studies show that more frequent trips to the store mean you tend to spend more. You know how this works: you go out for tomatoes and you come back with higher priced items like cheese and packaged frozen foods that are “for later”. Because they’re convenient or perishable, they tend to be eaten first putting you back on the “there’s nothing to eat” cycle. Again, the art of making dinner just with what’s in the house is frugal and easier than I thought.
Beware products that count on your future dissatisfaction. This article on the software cycle updates on iPhones versus Android, brought this home for me. In a nutshell (and without the geekery), Android phones are built on different “flavours” of operating system software that are only supported (updated) for a window of time. This means your Android phone is likely to feel stale as newer applications don’t work on the phone and it’s still under contract so you’re stuck with an obsolete not-so-smart phone. This is a lesson that applies to phones as to other relatively cyclical goods like clothes. Buy things that will last and you’ll be happy with in the long run. For me, this means avoiding the siren call of H&M.
Lifehacker’s follow up post to the one above on brand loyalty deserves a final mention and a summary here.
Things ALWAYS to buy generic:
- Over-the-Counter Medications
- Cleaning Products
- Pantry items like flour, sugar, and Spices:
- Infant care
Things NEVER to buy generic:
- Toilet paper and paper towels (!!!)
- Garbage Bags
- ….feminine hygiene products <— I added this one to the list.