Bad credit loan lenders can be a great source of relief if you run into a financial sticky patch. But you should still try to formulate a solid financial plan to keep your head above water. This involves saving for sound investments in the future and not draining your funds on frivolous purchases.
Unfortunately, not every U.S. consumer shares this mindset. In fact, according to a recent survey from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and the Consumer Federation of America, a majority of households are saving money for a short-term purchase, such as a car or vacation, rather than their children’s college tuition.
Specifically, the survey found that 60 percent of consumers have started saving for one of these major purchases, while just 49 percent put money away for their children’s education. This share is down from 56 percent in 2022.
In today’s economic climate, high unemployment, stagnant incomes and the falling overall net worth of households has made saving for these goals even more difficult. Meanwhile, these factors have not only had an impact on long-term goals, but many families are starting to find it hard to pay for basic necessities, such as groceries and gasoline.
This development has caused a growing number of household to look for ways to cut corners and stay frugal. However, according to Yahoo Finance, it’s possible for you to be frugal to a fault.
Remember, Free Doesn’t Always Mean Free
While there is a well-known saying, “the best things in life are free,” when it comes to your budget, this isn’t always true.
At grocery stores a popular promotion is the “buy one get one free” offer. These deals are often reserved for more expensive branded items, rather than generic goods. Many consumers see “free” and jump at the opportunity, when it fact, buying two similar store brand products can actually be more affordable.
Meanwhile, many online stores offer free shipping. However, you often have to spend a certain amount of money to take advantage of this promotion. This can also cause you to spend more money than you wanted to, when it may be cheaper to get what you need and pay the standard shipping charge.
Your local dollar store can be a great place to find deals, but there may be some drawbacks that leave you short changed.
According to the website, Consumer Reports recently ran tests on certain products found at many dollar stores, and found some may actually be unsafe. This was most prominent among electrical devices, such as extension cords and lamps, as these items were often missing UL labels certifying they were safe for consumer use.
Additionally, when running tests on dollar store vitamins, nearly 50 percent of these products actually had fewer nutrients than advertised.
Although fast food chains let you buy a ton of food for the whole family at a bargain price, the long-term health issues, and subsequent financial strain, could make visiting these restaurants too frequently not worth it.
Food from fast food restaurants is often filled with saturated fats as well as sodium and cholesterol, which can lead to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease and other serious ailments, according to Yahoo Finance.
While purchasing healthier food may be more expensive, the long-term benefits to your health and wallet may be worth the added cost.