If you're still new to the whole adult thing, you might find that there are far more instances in your daily life where you have to spend your hard-earned money than you might have expected.
This can bring up some serious financial dilemmas. You may even find yourself having to cut out a lot of the other stuff you wanted to buy because of the need to pay for something much more expensive than you foresaw.
What you might not know is that on many of the regular expenses in life, you can actually save a good deal of money by getting around paying the full retail price for them. Keep reading, and you'll discover nine of the best ways you can save money by not paying the sticker price!
If it's time to get frugal, it's time to start collecting coupons. The Sunday paper is filled with a variety of coupons, and you can find some at the front of many grocery stores.
When you go grocery shopping, make sure you keep a list of what you need. This way, you'll save time by being able to check each item off one by one rather than meandering throughout the store. Plus, you won't have to turn around and burn gas to get back to the store once you realize you forgot something!
And one last thing: if at all possible, buy in bulk. When you buy a large amount of one item, you'll often get it at much cheaper than if you were to buy each one individually over time.
2. Your Vehicle
If you're in the market for a new car, don't pay the sticker price. Seriously -- you don't have to.
Practice your haggling skills and figure out just how low the dealer will go. Simply asking for the lowest they'll go might save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
But if you already have a car and need to make some repairs, never go with the first mechanic you call at the price they quote you. Tell them you're shopping around for a fair price, and try several other shops. Odds are you'll find one who can perform the work you need at a significantly lower cost.
Don't spend more than you have to on your entertainment. Instead of going out and buying expensive brand new movies and music every time they're released, go to thrift stores and other used retail outlets to purchase them.
Whatever you do, don't pay for full-priced cable or satellite unless you absolutely have to. And if you do, make sure you have it in a bundle form that includes high-speed Internet so you can save a little on both bills.
These days, there's hardly any reason to pay for monthly services like cable, because face it -- most of what you want is available on a far cheaper subscription service like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
And if you're into reading, go get a library card! Libraries have most of what you'd be looking for anyway, at zero cost!
One of the things young adults should never pay full price for is clothes. You can find so many ways to get the clothing you need, even for work, at discounted prices. Here are a few ideas to explore:
- Thrift or consignment stores sell clothing you can wear to work, often with designer labels or the tags still on the garments, for a fraction of the price you pay at a department store.
- Outlet stores carry discounted clothing from the previous season. For example, you can buy for next winter in the spring.
- You can get no-cost clothing by setting up exchanges with your friends of items that no longer fit or didn't look right on you.
Eating out doesn't have to be expensive. You can find so many ways to save. Join frequent diner clubs for free appetizers and desserts, or download the restaurant's app for bonuses. You can also look for coupons in the paper or on the restaurant's website.
6. Hotels and Car Rentals
If you are going away, you want to stay in the best place for the lowest price. Luckily, you can find many websites that will identify that place for you and get you ready for an excellent vacation. Check out discount hotel and travel sites as well as apps that will ping you if a better rate is found on your hotel. Often you can package your hotel and car rental for an even more significant discount.
You can also consider renting a house or condo if you are planning a more extended stay. Airbnb or Homeaway rentals may be cheaper than getting a hotel, especially in a popular vacation area.
Between all the sales that stores run and looking for "bump and dent" discounts given on floor models with very minor scratches, you can get appliances for much less than their list price. You should also explore used appliances as long as you can get a good history when you make the purchase.
You can often find appliances for sale through friends or in local marketplaces. In those cases, make sure to haggle so you get the best possible price on your washer, dryer or other appliances.
When you buy an expensive item like a new computer, a phone, a TV, or even a vehicle, the seller will often encourage you to purchase an extended warranty that covers your product beyond the manufacturer's warranty.
Unless you're especially prone to breaking your valuable possessions, there's no need to fork over this extra dough. In all likelihood, the money you spend on that warranty will amount to nothing more than a higher price on the item itself.
Think about it like this. The money you would spend on that warranty can simply be saved and used to pay for the repair later on if it actually does break. Warranties are definitely items to never buy at full price.
9. Your Credit Score
Like we mentioned in our blog post detailing how to make a correction on your credit report, you should never pay to have a company send you your report. In the past, this may have been necessary, but no longer.
All you really need to do these days is head over to a website like Credit Karma that allows you to see your credit reports from the three major U.S. credit bureaus. From there, you can keep track of how your scores change and make any corrections necessary all from the comfort and affordability of your computer or other device.
See, there are plenty of major things in life you never truly have to pay full price for. But if you do find yourself running into too many expenses, there's always the option of a quick and easy personal loan from Atlas Credit to keep you running smoothly! You can apply in person at any of our Texas or Oklahoma locations, or you can fill out your application online.
And for more helpful tips and tricks for your finances, take a look at some of the other posts in the weekly Atlas Credit blog, such as tips for paying off debt and saving on holiday gifts!