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Top 5 Areas for Spending and Saving - The Dollar Stretcher
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Top 5 Areas for Spending and Saving

Brad Tuttle, a blogger with Time.com, asked a number of people involved with frugal living what things they would and would not spend money on. It's an interesting question. He's running the answers on his blog.

I like the question. Being frugal, at least to me, doesn't always mean getting the cheapest item possible. It's a matter of balancing the cost of the item, the quality of the item, and the level of quality you need for your use. So here are the answers that I came up with.

Where The Dollar Stretcher looks for savings:

Anything disposable. If you're going to use it once or twice and then trash it you don't need quality. Throwing away the fewest dollars seems to make a lot of sense.

Generic foods. Frankly, I don't care which brand of instant oatmeal I eat. The cheapest is just as good as the name brand. There are many grocery items where the generic is a great way to save some money. No need to pay for name brands' marketing efforts.

Utility bills. I can't see spending any more than necessary for utilities. It seems silly to let lights burn needlessly or air conditioning escape to the outside. I don't know if the power company has an award for their best consumer, but even if they did, I don't want it.

Play clothes. For daily living I just want practical. I don't need the latest styles or designers. Clothes for work and play should be functional. So I look for good quality and the lowest price I can find.

Status items. Fancy watches, club memberships or having the latest toy really doesn't interest me. Spending to get others to think better of you seems like a foolish activity.

 

Where The Dollar Stretcher is willing to spend a little more:

Tools. Specifically those that are needed for my job or that are used frequently at home. Nothing worse than having an inferior tool break at a critical time. And, in this case there's a reason that some tools are cheaper than others.

Cars. I admit that I'm a car lover, but that's not the reason. By spending a little more when I buy, I get a car (if used) that's more reliable and will need fewer repairs. I'm also willing to pay a little more for a car that has the options that I want. That way I won't be tempted to replace it in a few years to get the options that I don't have on my current ride. In both cases, spending a little now will save me more later.

Dress Clothing. Fortunately I don't have to dress up too often. So a good quality suit or sport jacket can last me for years. Buying a timeless style and good quality makes sense. It's also a good motivator to keep me from gaining weight so I can still wear the clothes already in my closet!

Education. In almost any form. For myself and for my kids. College, continuing education, books that can help my career, anything that helps me learn more about myself, my work and the world around me. This might not be true for everyone, but if you look at life as an adventure, you'll want to keep asking questions and looking for answers.

Memories. The truth is I'm sentimental. So spending a little to make, record or remind me of good times is worthwhile to me. Hard to put a pricetag on a good memory.

You might want to come up with your own lists. It's a good way to challenge how you think about spending money. If you do, I'd love to see what you think. Just send me an email with your conclusions.

Keep on Stretching those Dollars!

Gary

 

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better late then never on this.. Used car do your decetive work on and have someone you trus6t look it over go to carfax to see if its all lajeit if not then do not buy it this is one subject about car you all need to be aware of be catiouse I have seen way to much in 14 years in the car business to know whats they did and the new ones are really be warry of.. Do title history with the state only not the little rink key dink place or if you like getting ripped thats your choice and do alot of law search in titles then you have it made it takes a normal person about lets say 3 hours me it takex 2 hours but rather safe then sorry and the rest of the email above me good advice there COOL

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About Gary

For more than 25 years, Gary Foreman has worked to manage money effectively. Prior to starting The Dollar Stretcher, he was a financial planner and purchasing manager. While helping clients manage their hard earned money as a financial planner, he applied commonsense, time-tested techniques during the turbulent 1980’s. The experience convinced him that you didn’t need to hit the lottery to accumulate significant wealth. Following that, Gary had an opportunity to learn more about how to get the best value for a dollar spent in the corporate world. As the Purchasing Manager for a computer manufacturer, he was responsible for supervising over $10 million in annual purchases. Gary began The Dollar Stretcher website <www.TheDollarStretcher.com> and newsletters in April 1996. Over 300,000 readers benefit from the time and money saving ideas presented in The Dollar Stretcher newsletters each week. His mission is to help people "Live Better for Less". He also provides private label newsletters for companies wishing to provide money saving information for their clients and/or prospects. Gary lives in Florida along with his wife of thirty years and their two children. Much of his time is spent working with the men's ministry of his church. One of their ongoing projects is the "Holy Smoke BBQ" which sells bbq on Friday nights with the profits going to support local foster kids and orphans. When he has a free moment you’ll find him restoring a Checker station wagon nicknamed “Two Ton” or cruising in a '65 Impala SS Convertible with doo-wops playing in the background.

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Gary is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who edits The Dollar Stretcher website <www.stretcher.com> and newsletters. You can follow Gary on Twitter.com/gary_foreman
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