There are thousands of answers to the question of how to spend less. But this article isn't about the specific ways to pay less for this or that item. It is about the few basic methods to spend less and still get everything you need in life.
Don't Buy It
This is perhaps the most obvious way to spend less. It is also perhaps the way that is most commonly overlooked. Whenever we buy something we clearly think it is worth the price at that moment. yet how often do we later realize that it doesn't have quite the value we thought it would have?
For example, you might buy some gadget and then notice a year later that you haven;t used it more than once. There is a simple way to avoid this: wait a week to buy. If you get in the habit of procrastinating on purchases you'll still buy the things that are truly important to you. But there are many purchases that won;t be made if you wait a week.
Then there are the things bought that are never really analyzed in terms of their total cost. You buy a snow mobile for example, and use it only eight times in the years that you own it. If you did the math you might find that it costs you $500 per use or more. So do the math!
This is the usual way we try to spend less. Using coupons and sale-shopping fall into this category. The following is another way that you may not have thought of trying.
Learn to negotiate. We tend to think that learning negotiating skills is for business people and those in sales, but why not for you too? If you can occasionally save $50 on a large appliance or $5,000 on a home it might be worth your time to learn a few "tricks of the trade," right? I have even paid half-price for a new book in a traditional bookstore using simple negotiating tactics.
Look For Alternatives
This is really another way to spend less for the same thing or for something similar. But it is often forgotten when we are buying things. It's easy to think that you just need to find cheaper planes tickets for you trip to Florida, for example, and forget that there are other wonderful places to go that nay cost you hundreds of dollars less.
This is true even with small purchases. You may be used to eating fresh fruit, for example, but it may be just a habit. You might enjoy blended "smoothies" in the morning just as much, and pay less for frozen fruit you use for them. Look for alternatives and you can spend less - sometimes a lot less.