The best things in life may be unnecessarily expensive for a lot of avoidable reasons. You may not be considering the local cost of living expenses. Or you may not have a budget. Or you may be more susceptible to paying for brand names than you may want to admit. Here is how to save more money on life’s most expensive items.
Life’s Most Expensive Items
The hard truth is that we make life’s most expensive items expensive in the first place.
One of life’s most expensive items is the home.
Everyone wants to own, but most don’t appreciate the expense of owning one until they sign a mortgage agreement.
The typical cost of a new home in the United States is $374,000 right now. Since states have been loosening their Covid-19 mandates, the real estate market has really been taking off. The price of a new home was well over $400,000 not long before the pandemic started.
Still, buying a new home is one of life’s most expensive items. After all, most people must take out a loan in the form of a mortgage to buy their first home. And even after that, you have to spend 15 to 30 years, or more, paying off that mortgage.
So, how can you save money on a home, one of life’s most expensive items?
Live in a Low Standard of Living Area
You can start by living in an area with a low cost of living standard. If you live in a large metropolitan city area, like New York City or California, the average price of a home could range anywhere between $500,000 to $1 million.
If you don’t mind living in a medium-sized or small city in Texas, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Indiana, or Ohio for example, then you can live in a comparatively nice home for $200,000.
Here is a list of what a $200,000 house in every state has in amenities.
If you are into DIY work and have carpentry and electrician skills at least, you could buy a cheaper fixer-upper and upgrade it.
Calculate how much square footage you need to live in to be comfortable. Unless you plan on expanding your family, it will be cheaper to live in a smaller home.
You should keep track of your repair and maintenance bills and home insurance premiums closely. Then you can cut out what you don’t need on your coverage and save more on your insurance.
And have your home professionally inspected from top to bottom once a year. It’s the small problems that we don’t see, or ignore, that later on become the most expensive problems to fix.
I’m not trying to be insensitive by insinuating that a dog or any large pet is an item. My point is that unless you get one from a non-puppy mill shelter, you will pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy a purebred dog.
And since a dog is a living creature, you will pay a lot of money to take care of it over its lifetime.
So, one of life’s most expensive items is dog ownership.
But there are a few ways that you can mitigate costs.
Don’t feed your dog human food. A dog eating pizza looks cute, but a dog can become obese, hypertensive, and develop other health problems from eating human food. So that means more expensive veterinarian bills for you.
The typical veterinarian bill is $700 to $1,500 annually – and that cost includes the need for prescribed meds.
Make sure you feed your dog dry dog food on a schedule every day. You can add water or a little wet dog food to it to make it seem pleasing to your pet. Dry dog food is cheaper than other alternatives. It’s high in protein, low in fat, and healthy for your dog. And if you keep it properly stored, it will keep for a long time.
Invest and obedience training and play with your pet to save your furniture and interiors. Restless, ignored animals stuck in cramped interiors will chew on food, furniture, or begin hiding items.
Life’s most expensive items can sometimes be arbitrarily and subconsciously decided on by us.
It is usually our own mistaken assumptions equating cost with equality that transforms everyday items into life’s most expensive items.
When we pay for the most popular consumer goods, we are usually paying for the brand name.
The old “Pepsi Taste Test Challenge” of the 1980s proved that. And it wasn’t just about Pepsi or Coca Cola either. Barring specialty flavor sodas, all sodas basically feature the same ingredients, and most taste the same.
And the only way to get people to realize it in the 1980s, and save a little money, was to blindfold them and watch their astonishment when they couldn’t differentiate different brands by taste.
Get into the habit of buying generic consumer products of any kind whenever possible. And I am not just referring to soda either.
If you buy generic grocery items only then you could save $1,000 or more annually.
You could save $1,200 or more annually by buying generic prescription drugs whenever possible. (Americans can save $10 billion collectively annually if everyone bought generic prescriptions.)
Can you guess the average cost for headphones? It’s $40.
One of the most popular headphone brands is Beats By Dre. The entry-level models cost $100, but you could $300 or more for some models. Are you buying $300 headphones for the craftmanship or the fact the brand is named after one of the world’s greatest rap producers?
The point is that if you want to save more money in life, buy generic whenever possible.
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Watch Your Finances to Save on Life’s Most Expensive Items
At the end of the day, you may be subconsciously paying more money for items in a world where everything is already expensive.
Develop a budget. Differentiate between need and want when you are buying things. Sit down and consider every cost you may have to take on when making large expenses.
You are probably making affordable items life’s most expensive items without realizing it.
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