Monday, October 20, 2008

31 Things to do before Christmas – Do your homework

(This is #11 of 31 in the 31 Things to do series)

Do Your Homework

Have you ever spent more on something than you had to, only to find out about it after the fact? Most of us have, I know I have way too many times. When it's happened to me it was because of a couple reasons, both of which were my fault. Number one - impatience, and number two - procrastination.

Impatience has costed me because there's been situations when I have wanted something, like right now, and didn't want to take the time to shop around. Of course when you are impatient like that, you are an easy target and the merchants love you.

Procrastination has costed me because there have been times when I knew that I was going need something eventually, but I put the purchase off and in the process missed a deal and ended up spending more had a purchased before. Or because it is now an emergency situation, I have to buy the first thing I can get, no matter what the cost.

Whether we suffer from impatience or procrastination, we can help ourselves by doing a lot more research before we spend our hard earned dollars. With a simple internet connection (which you have if you are reading this), you can save yourself a lot of money. And you can also save yourself a lot of time. Remember the days of running from store to store looking for an item? That is no longer necessary in a lot of cases. A lot of retailers will allow you to order items on line that are not available in their store, and they will ship it to their store for you to pick up there, free of charge. This is an excellent service which wasn't available to us just several years ago.

I don't have a real method for researching products on the internet, I'm sure there are some good tips and websites you can find out there. I usually just do an internet search on whatever I'm looking for and then just check the different sites that come up. I can tell you I saved at least $20 and ended up with a better product by doing this when I was researching for the digital camera I recently bought. To me, twenty dollars is a lot of money to just give away so the time I spent researching it (about an hour or two) was worth it to me.

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