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Smart Shopping: Buying on a Budget

Need some general tips for smart shopping? Here’s our quick list of things to consider for all your purchases, big or small.

Smart Shopping

How do you get the best value for your dollar without using up all your spare time? How can you make decisions about consumer transactions, and not spend hours or days researching the purchase? With smart shopping habits and knowing how to manage your time, you can maximize your money and get the most value out of your everyday purchases.

Smart Shopping Considerations


Smart shopping habits come from research. Consider the purchase; what will you be expecting of it? Make a list of the uses it will be put to. For example, a vehicle purchase for a small home-based business would probably have different uses than a family car used for ferrying children around.

Tie the research time to the dollar value. You need to spend much more time researching a large purchase, such as a car or house, than you would a small appliance.

Know where to look for the information you need. Check with friends, or neighbors, and find out what their experience has been. This is an especially good idea with vehicles. You’ll find that everyone, even strangers, are willing to share how they have felt about a purchase, whether its a vehicle, appliance, or anything else. Your findings may surprise you.

The public library and online directories are incredible sources of information of all types. They have consumer buying reports, industry reports, and vehicle and tire recall lists, to name a few of the potential financial research materials available.

Why Bother?

In most provinces, the seller of goods may choose to repair, replace or refund your money, at their discretion. Where does that leave you if you’ve managed to choose a lemon and signed your life away on a loan to finance it? Take the time to research your purchase and there is a good chance you will be satisfied.

How about financing? Do some smart shopping for financing before you go looking for the item you need to finance. You’ll know how much you can spend, and probably get a better interest rate too. Feel intimidated about asking for a loan? Do your homework, bring proof of income and assets to the interview, and prepare a monthly budget so the loans officer can see your professional approach. Negotiate the interest rate if you can. Don’t forget: the market is very competitive for your business.

The Importance of Smart Shopping

As our brief overview has suggested, smart shopping can help you maximize your purchases and help you make the right financial decisions. When it comes to your money, there is little to lose from doing your research and taking the time to make sure you are making the right decision.

- Article by Marg Spina