Making Smart Spending Decisions to Fuel Your Adventurous Spirit | Caravan Sonnet

Making Smart Spending Decisions to Fuel Your Adventurous Spirit

October 26, 2019



Life is expensive.  There are many basics in healthcare, transportation, and quality of life in which the costs don’t slide in scale based on people’s means to pay for them.

Adding to that challenge is the diversity of options for services and products that can easily escalate the cost of something that would otherwise be affordable. This can happen with people never being aware of more affordable options. This is doubly true with services we rarely need or products we buy once every few years. Research is key to setting yourself up for success and avoiding such a fate.

Here are a few examples of products and services where costs can quickly escalate and some things to keep in front of mind to help defray the worst of the costs.

Dental work
Dental work can be expensive, so do your homework. Some procedures offer a multitude of options, not only in how the procedure is accomplished but also how your pain is managed. Each methodology comes with a different price tag that must be considered. Some can be prohibitively expensive.

With dental work, a lot of focus is given to the comfort level of the patient. The idea of drilling, removing, adjusting or repairing teeth can create a lot of anxiety for people. Services have developed over the years that allow a higher degree of selection to reduce that anxiety. If you’re not familiar with these methods, do your research when seeking a dentist to find one that meets your preference and your price range.

Don’t forget about insurance in this process as well. Depending on the policy, not only could certain procedures be only partially covered or not covered at all, the same goes for the dental professionals themselves. Insurance companies often offer handy online resources to confirm whether a site or procedure is covered. But, when in doubt, call them.

Thankfully, there are more options and resources than ever before. So, a little research can mean a lot of savings, something that is bound to make anyone smile.

Buying a car
One of the more stressful, expensive expenditures a person or household can have is buying a car. Besides the multitude of different cars one can buy, people must factor in loan terms, projected maintenance and gas costs, insurance costs and more.

Research is a lifesaver when it comes to not spending more than you can afford. Buying a car is a years-long decision and while you might find a price tag much lower than what you feared you might spend, the car could be a gas guzzler and the loan terms could be terrible.

A lot really boils down to three factors if you’re trying to save money: miles per gallon, monthly payment amount and length of the loan. Planning around these three variables is key to managing the cost of the investment.

A few additional miles per gallon in fuel efficiency can mean hundreds in savings annually. And a great monthly payment isn’t useful if the car takes seven years to pay off.

One example of a way to find an affordable car is to purchase a used car from a rental company. The companies replace their fleets annually, selling well-maintenanced vehicles with about 40,000 miles for much lower prices than could be found on a standard car lot. Each vehicle will have been treated differently by renters, so more inspection is needed on the front end prior to purchasing, but it is an excellent way to make a big purchase that has a smaller impact on your finances.

Furniture
There are few things more stressful than buying furniture. When poorly chosen, it’s the ultimate “I-told-you-so” purchase that serves as a daily reminder of that bad decision. What’s more, it’s a decision that can be bad because of both aesthetics and price.

There is precious little in the way of cheap furniture that is also stylish that also lasts. Buying furniture is truly a combination of understanding that you get what you pay for and not compromising on your standards for aesthetics and comfort.

Striking the balance is not easy. But finding a nice couch that is dirt cheap means it may not be comfortable and it almost certainly won’t last. Thankfully, if you’re looking for quality, a lot of furniture stores offer “same as cash” deals that allow people to buy on credit and won’t charge interest provided the debt is paid within the amount of time specified in the deal terms.

Don’t go cheap, don’t sacrifice comfort for aesthetics or vice versa.

*contributed post*

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