Everyone likes to see their penny stretched as far as it can go, but it’s not the simplest of tasks—at least, that’s what companies would have us believe. Let’s think for a moment about what a business represents. Are they trying to provide you with an amazing product? Sure, but at the end of the day, they’re making money from you and that is the primary purpose. You could argue that many companies around the world are innovating and giving us new products to help us improve our lives, but doesn’t that mean they’re just thinking up crazy ideas to get more money from us?
Adopting a cynical mindset
It’s a cynical way of thinking, but it’s necessary if you want to stretch your money and stop being scammed by companies. Let’s use a very classic example; the MSRP, or the manufacturer's suggested retail price. This is a price set by companies as a list price, it’s the price that the item should be sold at. If you buy directly from a manufacturer, that’s the price you are going to be paying. In other words, it’s the “full” price. When you buy something like a laptop or a phone directly from the manufacturer's, you’re expected to pay the entire full price for the base model of the phone. Some people would enjoy paying the company directly, but would you enjoy paying 10% more just to get it from the manufacturer?
Now compare that to going to a phone carrier and getting the same phone. Not only do you pay zero interest on the phone, it’s also cheaper, comes with extras such as your phone plan or additional accessories, and you don’t have to pay it in a single lump sum. In short, don’t always go to the most reputable source for a widely used product. Do your research, adopt a cynical mindset and try to always look for great deals if you want to avoid unexpected costs—especially on the internet.
There is a time and place for quality and reputation
If you’re going to buy something like a big-name fashion branded bag or shoes, then you have to buy those from a reputable retailer—there’s no question about it. That is one of the few situations in which quality and brand names matter, but for something like tissues to blow your nose, do you really need to spend extra?
The services you use will also heavily affect your spending. Let’s say you want to indulge in a bit of casino gaming but you aren’t sure what services to use. If you do your research and look up which casinos are certified, you’ll find that there are many fake websites and scams on the internet that should be avoided at all costs. When it comes to giving your money to a service on the internet (even if it’s a casino) you have to look for quality services that protect your interests and have a reputation that speaks for itself.
Knowing when to spend money on budget options and when to invest in quality is the key to clever spending. As a consumer, it’s your duty to wade through all of the nonsense that’s infesting markets and retailers to find a deal, so start researching and spend your money cautiously.