When you do decide to spend your money, you want to make sure you get the best price. You don't want to spend $15 for a CD if you could have gotten it at another store for $12. There are lots of great ways to save money and be a smart shopper - if you know what to look for.
Comparison shopping means you compare prices at different stores before you make a purchase. You don't have to get your parents to drive you to every store in the universe, though. You can do a lot of your comparison shopping online. Most large stores have websites where you can check the price of an item.
If your family gets a newspaper, you might already know that every Sunday the paper comes with a huge pile of ads from local stores. If you know you want to buy a certain DVD, you can check the sale ads to see if it is on sale anywhere. Sometimes stores print coupons in their ads that save you money on purchases as well. It's also important to know that if you buy something and the store puts it on sale the next week, you can usually go back and get the difference between what you paid and what the sale price is.
If there is a store you shop at a lot, ask if they have a shopper's card or a discount card. Many stores have special cards that give you extra discounts or earn you points toward a free purchase when you use them. You may also receive special coupons or offers in the mail. The store may require that only adults can have cards. If that's the case, ask your parents to sign up for one for you.
There are lots of great ways to save money on things you want to buy. Try some of these ideas:
- Second hand stores. Second hand or thrift stores are a great place to find incredible buys and unusual items you can't find anywhere else.
- Clearance rack. Most stores have a clearance rack or discounted section with items they have marked down to sell quickly. You can save half of the regular selling price or more by checking this section of the store.
- Yard sales. People sell things they no longer want at yard sales, tag sales, or garage sales. Lots of times people whose children are grown want to get rid of toys, games, books, and other kid's items and are willing to sell them for pennies. Check out the yard sales in your neighborhood to see what's for sale!
- eBay. Your parents can help you look for great prices on things on eBay.com, a website that is like a big garage sale. People list items they want to sell. If you're interested, your parents can bid on items. The person with the highest bid wins!
Avoid buying on impulse when possible. Stores are designed to convince you to buy things. They don't really want you to take the time to think things over. It can be really tempting to snap up a T-shirt or a cool set of gel pens. You can spend a lot of money on these kinds of purchases if you aren't careful.
The better plan is to go home and think about it. Consider how much it costs and how big a bite that would take out of your weekly budget or your savings. Think about other things you might want to buy or things you are saving for. Weigh these things in your mind against the cool thing you just saw in the store. You might still decide you want to buy it.and that's OK! Once you've thought it over, you know it's something you really want and something that is worth that amount of money to you. You might also decide that you don't really want it, or you may not want to pay that much for that type of item. That's OK, too! Making these kinds of choices makes you a smart shopper!
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