The secret to spending less on your big purchases

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As the cost of living rises ever higher in the UK, we are all seeking ways to minimise our spending. From cutting down on non-essential purchases to taking steps to lower our energy use in the home, recent data tracking consumer purchasing is proving that reducing monthly spending is front of mind for many – a trend that will likely continue throughout 2023 as the majority of salaries fail to keep pace with rising interest rates.

However, try as we might to be frugal with our salary, there are some big purchases that are unavoidable. Whether it is replacing a broken washing machine or moving to a larger property to accommodate an expanding family, these types of purchases are often urgent and unexpected. Help to reduce the impact that these big buys can have on your finances by employing these secrets to spending less on your significant purchases.

Do your research

It might sound obvious, but a surprising number of people do not shop around when making a significant purchase – especially if they have a specific product in mind. Make sure that you are comparing all brands that offer what you are looking for, taking advantage of the wealth of information and customer reviews that can be found online. You should also explore in physical shops if you live nearby as often there are special discounts available in-store.

Shop second-hand

Particularly for big purchases that are going to play a significant role in our daily lives, we usually to buy want something brand new that feels totally our own. However, nearly-new second-hand products are often just as good at a fraction of the price. For example, purchasing high-quality used cars from a local dealership guarantees a well-running vehicle that is more cost-effective and eco-friendly than the latest models. Shopping second-hand also goes a long way to saving you money when you refurbish your house, or if you need to buy a special item of clothing.

Watch out for sales

If you can afford to wait a while, keep an eye out for sales throughout the year so that you can find what you are looking for at the best price. These sales are often around key holiday dates, such as on Boxing Day immediately after Christmas or during the Easter bank holiday weekend. The UK also has sales on Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving in the USA. The biggest discounts tend to be on household appliances such as televisions or home furnishings, and you can typically make savings as significant as half-price.

Make off-peak purchases

There are certain times of the year when there are trends in consumer purchasing. For example, following family discussions over the festive period, many people start planning their next holiday abroad between Christmas and new year. Similarly, spring is the most popular season for buying engagement rings. Being aware of – and avoiding – these peak purchasing patterns means that you are less likely to get caught out by inflated prices due to limited availability.

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