When you want to save money, you can do almost anything. You can wait outside for a long time on Black Friday just to save a small amount of money on a TV simply because a lower price appeals to you. When you break down the amount that you want to save, it is probably much less as compared to the amount that you would have been paid if you had spent that time working. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that a person earned an average of $22.87 every hour in March 2011. Instead of spending every hour trying to save money, you should value that time accordingly. The following are 5 money saving moves that cost you and the reasons they may fail to pay off.
Gas is a major cost in the lives of many people. If you opt to commute to wpork, it can really add up if you fill up that tank. Hence, consumers are always trying to look for the least expensive sources of fuel in town. However, you only manage to save a few cents per gallon because gas stations offer competitively priced fuel and maybe one or two dollars on every fill up. It feels good when you get the best price on your gas. However, you are using more gas and wasting your money and time if you are driving around town to look for gas that is cheaper by one cent.
2. Promotions and Sales
You may consider a sale or promotion that costs you money counterintuitive. However, the store makes you think that it is offering a deal when it is not when it does it right. It only preys on consumer sales psychology. You can actually end up spending more money than you wanted in order to get something at no charge if a retailer is having a promotion where you buy two and get the third free.
3. Variety is not Actually the Best thing for the Groceries you Want to Buy
Some consumers plan out the stores they should hit in order to get the best specials by scanning their weekly grocery fliers. Sometimes this can add up to significant savings. However, if you calculate the time you spend driving from one store to another, parking, looking for the product, queuing in another line to pay the cashier, loading your groceries in, and driving to another store, you are wasting a lot of time in order to get a can of beans that is cheaper by three cents. You may be saving this amount but if you have to take more than 30 minutes and waste gas to get there, then it is actually costing you money.
4. Shopping Online does Add Up
Online shopping is a good way of quickly comparing prices and ensuring you are getting the best prices for goods. You can also save more money because some sales are specific to using the online store of the company. However, you can only save money if shipping is free. If you want to purchase one book, you can find it for less on sites such as Amazon. However, you may as well look for it somewhere nearby instead after you make payments for the shipping.
5. Out-of-country Ordering and Cross-border Shopping
You can save money on the surface if you cross over to the country or region nearby especially when you want to take advantage of cheaper prices and currency changes. However, in addition to the additional costs that you incur when you travel, use up your valuable time queuing at the border and coming back, you can be dinged when you pay duty when you are traveling back to your own country. You can also experience this when you shop online from a different country.
When you want to save money, you should consider the kind of opportunity cost you will experience. If you actually want to save money while shopping, you should not only value the cost of the time that you spend doing so and factor in additional resources and costs that are associated with getting the best deal but you should also get a NI number so that you can get compensation for any possible losses.