One of the tricks of International Money Saving that is so often passed over too readily is very, very simple: NEVER Buy New!
Except for antiques and some vintage wines (that are not in the realm of the thrifty in any case), most items are never more expensive than when they are brand new.
The fact is, you pay a premium for new items that is difficult to justify.
There are a stack of ways to avoid buying new, but the best way to save money altogether is to get items for free. Not possible? Check out the Freecycle movement.
Freecycle (www.freecycle.org) is designed to keep items out of landfill by giving away unwanted goods to people who have a use for them. This really simple idea is great for filling a first time home with tables, chairs, sofas and even dishwashers and washing machines. I filled my first rental flat with freecycled goods – and gave it all back away when I moved abroad too, thereby completing the circle and putting less pressure on the environment – and my wallet!
Freecycling saves you going to the tip, as other people come and collect your unwanted goods, too.
But, its not always possible to get things for free, so the next best is to Buy Second Hand.
There are lots of places to pick up second hand bargains, including:
- Garage and loft sales;
- Car boot sales;
- Charity shops;
- Free classifieds sites.
When buying second hand, make sure, above all, that you check the condition of the goods you are purchasing, and be very careful if buying online that you buy from a reputable seller who actually has, and will send you, the goods, before parting with any cash!
If you Never Buy New, you'll save yourself thousands over the course of a year, and tens of thousands in a lifetime.