Money Saving Tips: 5 Ways to Save Money on Big Purchases
You’ve got your eye on a big purchase, something you’ve dreamed of owning. So, now what? How do you know when it’s the right time to buy an item that isn’t really a necessity? Well, the first step is to evaluate your current financial situation, including how much money you have in your savings and investment accounts, and the bills you currently owe. Are there any significant expenses you anticipate coming soon? Do you expect any negative impacts on your finances in the predictable future?
If a review of your finances suggests that, yes, it’s reasonable to consider splurging on a big purchase, then it makes sense to determine how you can save money to get the best deal possible.
In this post, we’ll get into money-saving tips, tricks, and hacks to help you save money when buying a car, getting engaged, planning your wedding, going on a cruise, or buying a boat. We’ll also show you how using SoFi Invest can help position you so that you can potentially afford the purchases of your dreams.
Little-Known Dealership Incentives
Although it’s true that many incentives offered by car dealerships are widely advertised, some stay under the radar. It’s possible to save literally thousands of dollars off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) if you find the right incentives, so research them before visiting a dealership. Then, look at them with a discerning eye. Are there strings attached? If so, are they conditions you can live with or are they deal breakers?
You can find 2018 car incentives at sites like RealCarTips.com for purchases and leases. According to their July 2018 article , the average incentive is about $3,500, with the biggest potential discounts currently on sedans. Right now, production has increased and there is sales stagnation, so this could be the perfect time to find the car deal you’ve been looking for. Many car manufacturers may “have hidden rebates that result in as much as 28% off MSRP.”
Autoblog.com is another great resource for finding new car incentives and rebates, and you can apply filters to your searches by makes, styles, prices, recency, or location. If you’re interested in a vehicle from a certain manufacturer, it’s a good idea to check their website before visiting a dealership—and there is nothing wrong with asking a dealer what incentives are available because they can often offer certain incentives at their discretion.
Ways to Save Money on that Sparkler
If you want your beloved to have the stunning engagement ring of their dreams, know that you can get it more affordably in the summertime. Why? MentalFloss.com explains how, since June is the most popular month to get married, jewelry stores are doing well selling wedding rings, but not necessarily engagement rings.
They often keep prices low on those diamond dazzlers through the end of August. And, here’s when it’s best not to buy an engagement ring: from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day, because that’s the peak season for engagements.
The average engagement ring, according to TheKnot.com , costs $6,351. If you want to get the most beauty for your investment, you could choose gold rather than platinum, because the latter is 30 times rarer.
But if you love the look of platinum, consider getting white gold for the same look at a better price (you can make sure prongs, though, are platinum, because this metal is stronger and will protect the stone better). If you choose an emerald cut stone, the diamond will look bigger—and this cut is timeless in style.
Save Money on Your Wedding by Timing it Right
There are multiple ways to save money on your wedding without choosing another dress, venue, food, or cake. It’s all about the timing. For example, consider shortening up your wedding planning time because shorter timeframes cause you to streamline and focus on what really matters.
Or give yourself more time, and watch for seasonal sales. Your flower girl’s dress, for example, might be on sale at Easter, while silver decorations have killer prices around Christmas.
Also schedule the big day during off-peak times, when venues and vendors are more willing to negotiate. Consider virtually any time in November, or from January through March (skip Valentine’s Day!) and you’ll probably get a good deal. Also, skip Saturdays. You can often get better deals if you get married on a Friday evening or a Sunday.
Stretch Those Cruise Dollars
If you’re picturing yourself on a tropical beach, drinking fruity concoctions while getting a relaxing massage, you’re probably the ideal candidate for a cruise. And although it’s easy to blow your budget on cruise extras, there are also plenty of ways to hold onto your hard-earned cash while still enjoying every minute of your vacation.
Cruise trips are typically considered all-inclusive, but you may find that the specialty restaurants on the ship aren’t included. To save money, you can enjoy the free dining venues, which are likely to provide good eats. But if your heart is set on that intimate little dining room, ask about dining packages that offer discounted rates.
Resist the urge to over-tip and don’t use their ship-to-shore calling services unless it’s absolutely necessary. Wait until you’re at a port and then use an Internet café or other location with complimentary WiFi. Or if you cannot do without being connected, buy a package on the first day as that’s when you’re likely to get the best deals.
Ways to Save Money When Buying Your Own Boat
You might, instead, dream of owning your own boat. If so, be crystal clear about the purpose of your proposed boat purchase and don’t overbuy. Also make sure that you genuinely will have time to enjoy this big purchase. If the reality is that you’ll need to work lots of overtime to afford your boat, then this strategy seems counterproductive, and renting may be a better choice.
To make sure you get the best deal possible and don’t buy more boat than you need, network first. Chat with people online who own boats, attend boat shows, and otherwise educate yourself so you don’t overspend.
When you put your money to work, you have so much more flexibility in purchasing big-ticket items—because you can afford them. SoFi Invest helps you to set investment goals, along with creating a plan to reach them, and shares how to save money every day.
We aim to reduce some portfolio risk by investing in thousands of assets. And we automatically rebalance investments when needed.
We invite you to take advantage of a complimentary consultation. You can let us know if you’d like a SoFi Invest overview, or if you’d like to get help in managing your debt, want advice on home ownership, help planning for children, or just need a financial checkup.
And there’s nothing wrong with telling us you have your eye on some luxury purchases. That’s why we’re here—to help you achieve your unique dreams.
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This information isn’t financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on specific financial needs, goals and risk appetite.
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