Showing posts with label Consumer Information. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Consumer Information. Show all posts

Friday, October 25, 2013

Making a Big Purchase? 4 Things to Consider Before You Commit

Whether you are in the market for a new home, apartment or vehicle or something on a smaller scale like an appliance or television, it is always important to take certain things into consideration prior to making a large purchase. While there are numerous things to keep in mind, these things are the most important. 

Do you need it?

Avoid making an impulse purchase you will regret by honestly asking yourself if you really need whatever you are considering. Ask yourself if it is a necessity or a luxury purchase. Before making a final decision that you need it, determine why and when. If it is a luxury purchase, think about what impact, if any, it will have on your budget. Big purchases are not the type of purchases that can be rushed—you need to carefully think about what you are buying, the pros and cons, and compare the differences in brands. If possible you should think about these types of purchases for a significant period of time, to ensure that you aren't rushing into anything. 

Can you afford it?

Whether your purchase is a necessity or a luxury, take a close look at your budget to make sure you can afford it. When possible, pay with cash, but do not dip into your emergency fund to do so. Do not use a credit card or make payments unless doing so is absolutely necessary. Before taking on a payment of any size, though, be sure that your budget has room for the extra payment. You may need to wait to make the purchase until you have a larger income or a more flexible budget. Do not assume that you can “find the money” to pay for it after committing to a payment plan. It is best to have the money before hand so you don't run into any problems down the road. 

Have you done your research?

Research is an essential step in making a final decision regarding a large purchase. Read product reviews from both professional reviewers and consumers, and compare features among numerous models. When looking to purchase a home or apartment, do your homework regarding the neighborhood and schools as well as things like average utility costs and property taxes. When buying a car, ask a professional about any questions or concerns you have and test driving is sure to help you avoid buyers remorse. Auto experts who often show the Kia Soul in Utah to potential customers have found that people who don't spend at least an hour looking at the car will definitely have buyers remorse afterwards. These dealers of Kia Salt Lake City always suggest that their clients “investigate” and test drive the car more than once, and often on multiple days.

Is the timing right?

The right timing is important when it comes to getting the best possible deal. If you do not need the item right away, you could save yourself hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars by waiting for a good sale or shopping at the right time of year. If you are making a major electronics purchase, for example, shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the best time to get a good deal. Appliances are often on sale during the summer holidays - Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. If it is possible to wait until one of these sales comes on to replace an old appliance, device, etc, it could be worth the wait.
Keeping a few simple things in mind before buying any big ticket item allows you to make a good decision that you will not regret. In addition to ensuring the best deal, careful considering prevents you from buying the wrong thing or something that will not be put to use.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

10 Products to Cut From Your Household to Save Money

When people are looking to cut their budget, they try to find clever ways to save money. Some will reduce services such as cutting the cable bill, or the cell phone bill, and others will start clipping coupons to save on their family's needs. However, another source of saving is to simply stop buying things your family doesn't actually need. Below you will find ten items that are easy to cut from your family's household to save money. 

#1 Shower Gels

Using a shower gel while showering can feel quite nice. However, you don't need to buy expensive shower gels to do the job right. In fact, bar soap is much less expensive than shower gels, and it accomplishes exactly the same purpose. If you can't live without the exfoliation benefits that come in many shower gels, you can accomplish the same task with a little sugar and a cheap dollar store loofah. In addition to lasting longer and being cheaper, bar soap is less likely than shower gel to be wasted. This is especially true if you have young children in the house. Many bar soaps are also scented like your favorite shower gel, so you don't have to give up any delicious scents to save money either.

#2 Aftershave

Many men buy aftershave, but how many actually use it. The truth is aftershave is a truly unnecessary expense. Instead of buying aftershave, use a shaving cream that features a good moisturizer. If you or the man in your life like to use aftershave because of its scent, it is vital to note that scented aftershave doesn't last near as long as cologne. Even layered with cologne, aftershave adds remarkably little to the lasting scent of cologne.

#3 Gym Membership

Gym memberships are a splendid idea in theory. However, for many people the memberships are simply unnecessary and a waste of money. To make this matter even more expensive, many gyms require a yearly contract when you sign-up. This means if you lose interest or simply don't have the time to use your gym membership, you still have to pay for it. When considering a gym membership, be honest with yourself about your intentions. Another alternative is to find local classes that allow you to pay by the class instead of making you sign a contract. If you pay by the class, you are only paying for the time you spend working out, and not time you thought you would spend in a gym.

#4 Washing Machine Cleaner

Washing machines are just like any other major appliance in your home, which means from time to time, you must clean it. Failure to clean your washing machine properly can result in clothes that aren't thoroughly clean, and a funky odor coming from your machine. While cleaning your washing machine is necessary, wasting money on expensive washing machine cleaners is not. Instead, take a look in your cleaning supplies, and you will likely find everything you need to get your washing machine sparkly and odor free. The best homemade washing machine cleaner includes adding vinegar or lemon juice to your machine and running a full cycle. If you are worried about odors, run the machine on its hottest cycle to get rid of any smell in the machine. To avoid the musty smell that invades many washing machines, make sure to leave the lid open after you empty a load of laundry into the dryer. For best results, you should leave the lid open until the machine is totally dry on the inside.

#5 Cord Organizers

No one wants to have a pile of messy cords hanging or piled on the floor. However, it also isn't necessary to buy cord organizers to handle this type of mess. Instead, use bread ties or garbage ties to neatly and safely nestle cords together. You will accomplish the same look, and won't have to spend an extra dime to achieve this. After all, you are probably buying bread or garbage bags anyways, so why throw away the ties?

#6 Fabric Softener

Fabric softeners are recognized for keeping close fluffy, reducing wrinkles, eliminating static cling, and for being a bit pricey. To avoid spending money on fabric softener, you can use a tennis ball in the dryer to fluff clothes and help reduce wrinkles. A simple way to eliminate static cling without using fabric softener is to crumple a small ball of aluminum foil and toss it in the dryer.

#7 Excessive Auto Insurance

Many people buy car insurance and never take a look at the policy again unless they need to file a claim. Instead of just burying the policy in your file cabinet, you should go over the policy at least once a year. In some cases, you could be paying for excessive auto insurance that you just don't need. This is especially crucial if your lifestyle changes, you pay off a car listed on the policy or you move. Looking over the policy every year and reducing the coverage that you simply don't need can help you save a great deal of money.

#8 Tax Preparation

In life, people can count on two things; death and taxes. In fact, taxes have to be filed every single year. If you pay to have your taxes done, you could be wasting a ton of money. Instead of paying a tax preparation company or an accountant to do your taxes, you can file the return yourself. Many tax filers actually qualify to file their taxes for absolutely no cost. To learn more about do-it-yourself tax filing, you can visit

#9 Stain Remover

No matter how careful or neat you are, everyone probably experiences a stain or two in their life. Whether it is on your carpet, your upholstery or your wardrobe, stains can happen anywhere. A trip to any drug store will leave you with tons of expensive options to obliterate the stain that you incurred. However, you can remove many stains with ease, and with items you already own in your home. Popular stain removing items that you probably have in your cupboard include vinegar, shaving cream and dish detergent. So, the next time you are tempted to run out and buy expensive stain remover, think about the items you already own, and see if you can remove the stain without spending any money.

#10 Drain Unclogger

A clogged drain or a clogged toilet can be an incredible nuisance. When this occurs many people go to the store and purchase do-it-yourself drain uncloggers. While these products usually do the trick, it also comes with a hefty price tag. Fortunately, you don't need these type of products to handle many simple pipe clogs. In fact, a combination of baking soda and vinegar will often unclog the toughest clogs imaginable. Better yet, this homemade drain unclogger is also a healthier option for the environment and your family.

Using any of the tips above will help you spend less. It is important to remember that just because you have always paid for something, doesn't necessarily mean you have to. The next time you think you need to buy a certain product to meet a particular need, take the time to consider if you truly need to buy it, and whether you can get the same results with something you already have in your home.

Kevin Beene is a financial consultant who enjoys sharing his tips on saving money. His articles appear on a number of lifestyle and personal finance blogs. Visit for quotes and more information.

Reference: -- products-you-dont-need-to-buy-because-you-already-have-them-in-your-home 

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