Guide

Home > Money Guide

When Spending More Initially May Save You Money In The Long Run

It would seem that when we as consumers spend money or go to buy something, there are a few things we are looking at and for when we make a purchase.

We want a fair price, value for money, and quality.

There is a saying, “penny wise and pound foolish”.

The saying is usually interpreted as meaning watching your pennies, but spending pounds, not watching the big money.

It can also be interpreted as trying to spend as little as possible on something, and not getting the best value or deal in the long run.

Research

When many of us are looking to make a purchase of a substantial nature, such as buying a new computer, furniture, or even something as expensive as a car, we do our research.

And researching an item has never been easier due to the Internet.  We can just get online, look up what we want to buy, get price comparisons and even read other consumer's reviews.

Then depending on the item in question we wish to buy, even buy it online.

Making purchases online is one of the first ways we may make an error in how we think we may be saving money, and that is due to shipping costs.

You buy something online and feel good about the purchase as you bought the item for £10 less than any other shop, only to pay £20 in shipping costs.

Obviously if an online retailer offers free shipping, that could be a good deal,  However, somewhere that seller has calculated the cost to them of shipping and it may be reflected in the price of the item.

One other consideration when making a purchase, and depending on what the item is you are buying or using, is the additional costs that item will be over time, and also how much the item may save you over time.

Also if you are financing the purchase, you need to consider that additional cost as well.

One philosophy to have when making a purchase is to buy the best quality item you can within the budget you have set for yourself. 

The old saying, “buy by price, die by price” can come true. 

The Rental Market

I was researching the rental market in my area, trying to get an idea of the average rents in certain areas, and also the average sales price in various areas as well.

Now one might think I did this research to show that buying a house is cheaper over time than renting a property.

That was not what my research was for or about, and I will get to that in a moment.

Depending on the area you live in, what average rents are, and if you can even afford a deposit, it can go either way as to if renting is more expensive than buying a property.

As a tenant you do not have the expenses associated with maintenance or upkeep, but you also do not gain any equity or value in the property.

What prompted my research was a new housing development was being planned near where I live, and the bulk of the houses were being built to let out.  A small number were to be sold and/or shared ownership, and a small number were to be owned by a local housing association.

What peaked my curious nature, was the differences between the rents to be charged for the houses.

I also was interested in the average cost per year to heat and have lighting, the average gas and electric costs.

The houses being rented out and managed by the development company had a higher than market rental rate.  By around £25.

The housing association's rental rates were less than the market rates.

In speaking with a representative of the development company about the higher rents being charged, the rep stated they are slightly higher than the market rates, however, the new houses had the highest energy efficiency ratings, which means tenants will have lower gas and electric bills.

In doing the math, if a house was being let for £25 over the average market rent, that adds up to £300 per year.

A three bedroom house in that area could easily have an annual gas and electric bill of near £1400 or more. 

The rep stated they estimated these homes to cost £1,000 or possibly less each year for the gas and electricity.

So even with the increased rent, a family could save £100 each year, possibly more if they found a cheaper utility provider.

In the long run, spending a little more each month, would provide a savings.

Appliances

When the time comes to replace a washing machine, fridge/freezer, stove, any large appliance, two things have changed over the years.

One is how we can research for such purchases, mostly only, then a bit of “showrooming”, and in the end we may make the purchase online.

Also technology, technology has improved the efficiency of many of our larger appliances, the same can be said of our cars.  They are also safer and more efficient.

Many appliances give rating factors as to how efficient they are, and their annual energy consumption. 

Once again, buy spending more initially, we may save more money in the long-haul due to reduced operating costs.

Some new washing machines use only less than half the water that older machines use, this saves you on your water rates.

In mentioning cars, reviewing petrol or diesel mileage is a must when looking at purchasing a new car.  And depending on your driving and annual mileage, it may be worthwhile to spend a bit more for a more efficient car.

As with all purchases, making up a budget as to how much you are planning on spending is the first step.

And as stated previously, sometimes the cheapest item may save you money initially, but cost more over time.  Especially when looking at efficiency ratings on some appliances, and how much you may be able to save over time.