The Crazy Cyprus Deposit Tax: Could it Happen Here?

The stereotypical ultra risk-averse move, in terms of handling savings, is to “stuff money under the mattress”.  It’s there, under your control, and not subject to anything crazy happening.  Of course, when people could simply put money in a federally insured bank account, why would anyone stuff money under the mattress?

While the rates today at banks aren’t exciting too many people, they’re at least a bit higher than keeping money in cash at home.  At least you’ll lose money relative to inflation at a slower rate!  Chalk one up for the banks versus the mattress.

However, based on what has been happening with the Cyprus deposit tax controversy, perhaps banks in some places might not offer better rates of return.  With potential deposit taxes having discussed as quite high for owners of high deposit amounts, it seems like that would be a low ROI situation.  Chalk one up for the mattress versus the banks.

Now, the idea of taxing deposits is one that may be alarming a lot of people across the globe.  Just thinking about the idea of hard-earned money just being taken from a bank in the form of a tax, to bail out a larger entity, is enough to cause great concern to many people.  Of course, those of us here in the U.S. (and Canada, I would think) aren’t likely to immediately view this as something that will happen here.  Rather, it just seems like a desperate attempt to help a desperate situation elsewhere across the world.

That being said, could it ever happen here? What are the chances?

Hard to say, and who knows what would ultimately happen there. Regardless, this turn of events overseas is one to pay a little bit of attention to.  Thinking about it, if money is needed for bailout purposes, what is to stop a percentage being taxed in this way? Or, in reality, taken away from the person who earned it?  It seems like a crazy and dangerous notion today might eventually seem more “normal”.  Maybe we just haven’t been sensitized to this yet.

So, if there are assets that are traceable and recorded, they could be taken away in this type of scenario.  It gets me thinking about whether or not hard assets such as gold and silver may maintain some extra importance in this type of future.  I’ve asked before if gold is overrated, and if silver is a good investment.  The thing is, the notion of a world where a member of the European Union was a part of deposit taxes wasn’t in mind the time I wrote those pieces

What Does This All Mean?  Well, there might not be any reason at all to overreact.  Perhaps it’s just something to be aware of, that tough circumstances can lead to bad things like this becoming possible. 

Oh, and maybe we can still laugh at the notion at stuffing money under the mattress – but just not laugh quite as much as we once did.

My Questions for You

What are your thoughts about the idea of a deposit tax?

Do you think this is something that could actually happen where you live?

Would this development at least get you to think about the possibility of defensive measures with money?

Spend to Save: 4 Car Maintenance Tasks You Should Pay For

I generally prefer not to spend money frivolously.  Okay, if you regularly visit here, that’s not exactly a newsflash!  In fact, you mightCar_maintenance even be similarly inclined when it comes to being interested in sensible spending as a part of your approach to personal finance.

Of course, there are are times when we need to spend money.  It’s a theme I’ve touched on lately, and this topic fits into that framework.   One of these times is when we need to make sure that we do the right maintenance and repairs.  We’ve explored the topic of saving money for home maintenance, and how it’s important to make sure we take care of keeping things in good shape before big problems occur.

The same concept applies to car maintenance.  It’s almost like taking care of our health, and relating it to money.  Of course health itself is paramount aside from money concerns, but if we eat well and keep ourselves fit, it can only help us financially.  With car maintenance, if we do the right things along the way during the life of the car, we may be able to enjoy car longevity and avoid spending extra money.  As far as that money is concerned, if we need to spend it we might have to utilize cash loans, but doing the right things regularly can help us control expenses better.

So, here are 4 car maintenance tasks that are worth spending money on:

Oil Changes

When you get an oil change, you’re taking a step that can keep the engine safe from heat and friction.  There are also additives included that can help your engine in a variety of ways.   If you don’t change the oil, the impact on the engine can be devastating.

It’s simple and doesn’t take much time.  I know there are a few folks that want to do this themselves, but considering the concept of time is money, I will use a coupon and go someplace to get the oil change done.

Tire Maintenance

So, how do you “maintain” tires? I think it’s multi-faceted.  One way is to make sure that you regularly check tire pressure.  Having the right pressure can help the health of the tire (thus avoiding shortening its life), and can also help with fuel efficiency.  Another way is to rotate tires.  I’ve done this every few oil changes, but what’s best for you might depend on how you drive your car and the type of car and tires.

Also, needless to say, replace tires when this needs to be done.  This is of course good for safety.

Air Filter

These things aren’t overly expensive, but they’re important.  If the air can’t flow, it could impact the cleanliness of oil as well as the ability to keep the engine working properly.  It’s something that’s not top of mind, but if you don’t change it, the performance of your car can suffer.  Meaning, you could end up spending a ton of money you wouldn’t otherwise want to.  So just check it periodically, and change it when needed.

Fluid Levels

Certain fluids are important for your car’s ability to work right.  Transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant, and the like are all vital to keep an eye on.  It the fluid levels are low, your car might not function properly and there could be risks of breakdown and maybe even safety in certain cases.  Monetarily, it’s worth it to spend when necessary.

My Questions for You

How often do you perform these car maintenance tasks?

Do you do any of these yourself, or do you pay others to do them all?

Do you have any others to add?

Check For Money Leaks

At one time, I had a home where I noticed some moisture by one of the windows.  At first, I thought it might have been some condensation, based on the recent weather.  Basically, I just looked the other way.  But then, after some heavy rain, I noticed that there was once again moisture by window – but more this time.

It was clear that there was a leak there, and it needed to be fixed.  Yet I delayed, or more accurately procrastinated dealing with it.  I suppose I just wanted the problem to go away, or maybe correct itself.  Obviously it didn’t, because the next time we had a heavy rain storm, there was water that came into the home.  I had to fix it, and very soon thereafter I did just that.  It felt good to know that my DIY efforts worked!

So, what does this have to do with personal finance?  Well, we can have money leaks too! 

What can a money leak be?  There are probably different ways one can define this, but to me it’s when you’re seeing money spent on things that you either A) clearly don’t need, and you know it; or B) don’t know you’re spending money on.

A good example from my past is one that I’m not fond of admitting.  The reason? There was no sense to it.  It made no sense for a person otherwise responsible with money to waste money every month like this.

So what did I do?  Well, I had a storage unit in which I kept a number of things after a move.  The unit cost over $110 per month, and realistically, I kept a bunch of things that I probably didn’t need to keep.  Some were definitely worth keeping, but certainly not everything.  The thing is, there was some heavy furniture as well as other items that I didn’t want to clutter my place with.  I could have done so, but somehow I though it would be okay to get a storage unit.

Now, sometimes a storage unit is needed for a short period of time.  There are ways to save on a storage unit that can help ease the costs.  However, you don’t want to make it a long-term solution.

So every month, I noticed $110 on the credit card statement.  It just blended in with the rest of the expenses, and after a few months it became an afterthought.  But after almost a year, I stopped and thought about the storage unit, and quickly did the calculations in my mind: I’d spent well over $1,000 on this storage unit.  Soon after, I also got a notice that they were raising the rates.

Anyway, it took my some time (too long), but I eventually got around to getting rid of the storage unit.  I actually had to bring some things home, and also get rid of others.  Basically, I just paid someone to come remove the stuff.  This added to the costs overall, but at least it helped put an end to the bleeding.  Overall, a decent sized money leak ended up draining me of a significant amount of money.  It was my fault. 

While money leaks can be easy to overlook and even miss, they don’t go away and can cause bigger overall problems down the line.  I recommend doing the following:

  • Track all your expenses
  • Review your credit card statements and bank statements
  • Account for each and every expense
  • Assess each expense and ask yourself if it’s necessary.
  • If it’s not necessary, eliminate it.

The more active you are with your finances, and more action-oriented you are, the better you can make sure that you don’t leak any money!

My Questions For You

How do you check for money leaks?

Have you ever had any money leaks, sort of like the one I mentioned above?

If so, what did it take for you to “plug” the leak?

Drink Tap Water to Save Money

When we go out to eat, a surprisingly significant percentage of the bill can come from just getting something to drink.  You might end upDrink Tap Water spending $2 for that fountain drink with your meal.  Or, if you simply grab coffee some morning, it might have nothing to do with your breakfast – and still set you back $2.  Or, much more if you get something other than simple coffee.

I recently went 2 straight weeks without getting anything to drink other than water.  This meant that I had no coffee, soda, or other drinks during that time.  It’s not the first time I’ve gone without such drinks, as I’ve written about giving up caffeine before.  Needless to day, I went back to drinking caffeine after that post a couple of years ago.

Anyway, this round of sticking to water found its motivation after recent dental work, where I saved money on a wisdom tooth removal.  I thought it would be best to stick to water for a few days, and once I got on a roll, I just kept at it for a few weeks.  The results were interesting, both in terms of health and money.

Health Benefits of Drinking More Water

The health benefits I observed were noticeable, and a mixture of expected and unexpected:

  1. More consistent sleep.  Meaning, I didn’t toss and turn, or have trouble falling asleep.  I just slept, quite uneventfully actually.
  2. Less sleep.  This one was surprising. I would have thought that cutting out caffeine and simply having water might have meant more sleep would occur, but not exactly.  Perhaps if one sleeps better, less sleep is needed than if you’re not sleeping as well? Who knows, but it was simply a half hour or so less sleep all told anyway.
  3. Steadier energy levels.  Not having caffeine or sugar seemed to having a steadying effect
  4. Calm stomach.  Not that I had any noticeable trouble before, but water seems pretty easy on the body compared to consuming many other things.

Now, I can’t speak to the specifics of tap water in your community or any other.  Just going by how I feel with the local water here :)

Money-Saving Benefits of Drinking More Water

The money-saving benefits I noticed were fun to see:

  1. Water is free.  Okay, maybe not free to the environment, or the water bill.  But there is so little incremental cost to getting a glass of water, that it might as well be free.
  2. Cutting out all other drinks probably saved me $40 over the 2 weeks.  Seems like a lot, but I think I was spending that amount on coffee each workday, plus a random fountain drink outside and juice at home. If I annualize that, we’re talking about savings of over $1000!  For those who have more fun beverages, I’m sure the savings would be much more.  Perhaps several thousand dollars?

After the two weeks, I actually stopped at a Jamba Juice and paid $5.02 (yes, $5.02!) for a 16 ounce cup of freshly squeezed orange juice.  It was really, really good! But after a long stretch of just having water, it almost seems unimaginable for me to spend this much regularly.  Not that I did, but even with other drinks, it’s like guzzling down hard-earned money!

One thing to clarify here – none of this involved bottled water, except for 2 bottles I got for free.  Strictly tap water!

My Questions for You

Do you spend much money on other drinks each day – coffee, soda, juice, etc?

Do you ever think about how much money can be saved by drinking water?

What would motivate you more in terms of drinking more water – the health benefits, or money benefits?

The Best Money Moves for New or Recent College Graduates

When I was younger, and just out of college, I felt like I had finally hit the “real” world.  Not that being any younger means that you aren’t in the real world, but for some people, it seems like there is some kind of bubble they’re living in all the way through 22 years old.  It’s all about academics, having fun socializing, and preparing for the future for some people, it seems.  Yes, I was one of those people. I know that many of you reading this weren’t (or aren’t) but I was.

I was fortunate enough to have a full-time job right out of college, having been recruited for the role.  After that, it seemed like things had changed.  All of a sudden, I had my own apartment with no roommates, along with a salary.  I also had some basic responsiblities, such as taking care of my place, paying the bills, and routine things like that.  Otherwise, I was free to do as I pleased.

How times change! Being older now, with kids and much bigger responsibilities, I can look back and think about how I handled myself back then and the moves I made.  Overall, I think I did fine, and really worked hard in some areas of life.  I wouldn’t have gotten to this point without that hard work, and the good decisions that I did make.

However, I certainly didn’t have all the answers back then.  Not that I do now, of course!  Yet I do have the benefit of life experience and perspective now, and can make some assessments on what moves I could have made.  Based on my own life, as well as the experiences of countless others I know, I have some thoughts as to what financial moves would be good for people in their early 20′s to consider.

Here are my ideas for 5 top money moves for people in their early 20′s recently out of college:

1 ) Build Your Career. 

Now, I say this knowing that not everyone knows exactly what they want to do.  Some people go straight from undergrad to grad school – medical school is one example.  Such people were probably highly driven early on, very bright, AND knew what they wanted to do.  There are many other people with the first 2 traits, but maybe not the notion of what they want to do.  This is okay, as we often need experience in order to figure some things out.  But figure it out we must.

For many people the first big hurdle these days is finding that first full-time job.  Once obtained, this the time to gain experience and work the long hours to get ahead.  Later in life, with kids in the picture, you won’t have as much time or energy to do this.  Get a foothold, build a professional network with value, and start making your mark.  This early experience can be a great building block for the rest of your career or even future entrepreneurial efforts.  Speaking of which, you shouldn’t be stopped from entrepreneurship early on.

2) Live Modestly

I could say live appropriately, but what I mean is that we should avoid spending excess money on pricey apartments.   Now, this doesn’t mean we should compromise safety or other basic, or purposely sign up for some rotten commute.  Rather, let’s try to spend as little as possible for housing. 

I actually rented at a very nice apartment complex right away, and it was the very best one in the area.  I could have saved a fair amount of money by living elsewhere, but I wanted to live in a certain place. Live and learn, I suppose!

A good alternative might also be getting a roommate.  Splitting rent and utilities can really help with savings efforts.  An even better move might be living with parents, if it’s comfortable enough and they’re okay with it.  I have to say, I don’t understand the mentality that many people have around their newly grownup kids not being welcome to come back home.  While I moved out on my own when young, I also realize that in many cultures it’s totally normal and perhaps expected for multiple generations to live together.  If parents and their kids could wrap their heads around the massive savings possible for the kids, instead of viewing it as shameful freeloading, people could really save money and build a financial foundation.

3) Drive a “Good Enough” Car.

Nobody needs a really nice car when just starting out.  I have 2 friends who made the mistakes of spending a ton of money on new vehicles.  One guy bought an expensive sports car that was probably 2/3 of his annual income, then traded it in for different one that was just as pricey.  He is now a successful high net worth individual who drives a 12 year old car, and says that he will drive that car into the ground.  Clearly, he figured out what is important.

Another friend bought an expensive SUV when he got his first job, and told me he “needed” it, and wanted to “feel like I’ve arrived”.  He’s now doing quite well, and seems really responsible.

There’s a good post worth checking out, with a car buying rule, that fits the concept of driving a “good enough” car.

4) Don’t Waste Time on Mr. Wrong or Miss Wrong.

This might not seem like a money tip, but it is.  I’ve seen people waste untold amounts of time and money on people who were not right for them.  It might have been apparent to others, but not them.  Just imagine if they would have valued what they as individuals brought to the table, and didn’t settle for something less?

A big thing is choosing to live in a city you don’t want to live in, just to follow someone.  Okay, maybe that can work out well and I know it does for a lot of people.  But tread carefully!  I know one guy (who was actually in his later 20′s) who found his dream job with pay that – from what I heard second hand – was truly exceptional and well beyond what he was making before.  He took the job, then quit and moved away after 1 month to be with his “true love”.  Well, the true love ended up dumping him within 1 week.  Yes, 1 week! No love, no job, and back home he moved with his finances severely hurt.

He threw away a great career and life opportunity.  Now, I haven’t kept in touch with the guy in a few years, so I don’t know what he’s up to now.  Little consolation for him, but hopefully others can learn from his fiasco, and not lose valuable time, money, and financial potential on a situation that’s not a great fit.

On the bright side, what if you do find Mr. Right or Miss Right? You’re blessed, and don’t let go!

5) Don’t Carry ANY Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is not good to have.  Sometimes people can get into difficult situation that requires them to pursue debt as help.  However, many people carry credit card debt because they aren’t able to discern wants from needs.  When they figure it out, it can be painful.

There was a guy I worked with who also bought a nice car that was beyond his means – I suppose we can add him to the two I mentioned above, as I just thought of him now.  Anyway, this guy not only had that car, but also went to all kinds of expensive concerts and sporting events.  We were joking around with him at lunch about him not knowing what a savings account was, and he just brushed us off with a smirk and said he didn’t care about any of that stuff. Life is too short, he said!  By the way, this guy was a financial analyst. Go figure.

Well, a few years after that, he told me that he would be stuck paying bills until he was 30.  He later met a woman who he ultimately married, who shaped him up financially.  Over dinner, he told me how she hated any and all debt, and how she forced him to change.  He went on an introspective tangent where he stated that he must have learned his habits from his parents, who simply used credit as an easy tool to get money when needed for anything.  It was great to see him learn his lesson, but clearly it took him years to recover, and a smart wife to teach him how things work!

How it All Ties Together – collectively, these moves involve making sure we earn money, and then ensuring that we avoid common traps that cause us to overspend.  Ultimately, main idea here is to save as much as possible when younger.  Then, we can invest intelligently and let compounding work its magic. Later in life, you’ll be VERY glad you saved and invested.  I know I am.

My Questions for You

Did you follow (or are you following) any of these tips on money moves in your early 20′s?

Which ones have worked best for you, and what do you wish you could have done differently?

Do you have any more to add?

Wisdom from a Kid on Money and Health

Sometimes, it takes a family member to keep us in line on different things, including money.  Suggestions can come from different people, even – believe it or not – a kid!

Yes, I actually got some spending advice recently, from my daughter, and found it to be very simple but insightful.  So, I thought I would share it here with everyone.

We were out at a quick-casual restaurant recently, getting dinner while being out on a busy day.  I normally don’t think eating out excessively is the best idea with kids, but at least we weren’t at what some might deem a socially unacceptable fast food place like we discussed recently.  We read off the menu board, then I was about to order for everyone. We were next in line, right behind the people ordering.

At that point my oldest, still a young kid, asked me what I was getting. I told her what I was going to get for myself, but didn’t mention the drink.  Then she asked if I was going to get a fountain drink, and I said “yes”.

Then, she asked me not to get one.  Or maybe she nicely suggested it, I don’t recall exactly.  But she did very nicely make this quick point to me (paraphrased): “You’ll feel better if you don’t get one, and just get water instead.  Why spend money on something that isn’t good for you”.

Admittedly, I paused, and my first thought was “ugh…I can’t get this now because it wouldn’t set the best example.”

But you know what, she had a point!  Why spend money on buying something that is less healthy than water, when I could get water for free?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to choose the option that both costs less AND is better for you?

Why don’t we all think like this a little bit more often? Throwing good money after negative results doesn’t seem to be a high ROI proposition.

So, after pausing, I told her she was absolutely correct, and that I was just going to get water.  And I thanked her for bringing that to my attention, while telling her I liked how she thought about it.  Needless to say, I was happy – not only because some teachings are being learned, but also because it’s great to see the next generation making good decisions.  I certainly didn’t think that way as a kid, or even when a little bit more grown up!

My Questions for You

Have you ever heard some words from kids that reflected a surprising level of wisdom and good sense for their respective age?

What do you think of the simple idea of not spending good money on something that is surely not going to help you overall, and might even harm you in some way?

Saving Money by Procrastinating

Most of realize that procrastinating has a way of getting us into trouble.  Or, if not bad situations, it can get us into situations that require a lot of catch up work later.  So generally speaking, it’s good to get the important things done first.

When it comes to Christmas shopping, however, it just might pay to procrastinate!  I recently saw something I wanted to buy, but hadn’t actually made the decision to purchase yet, be offered at a much better deal closer to the end of the season.

Without going into specifics – in case the recipient happens to be reading - I had my eye on an item that was about $200.  I know that she would like this particular gift, but I hadn’t made the purchase yet.  This item was available for a little bit less online, but it got to the point where it just wouldn’t have been a good decision to buy it and risk shipping issues – or pay extra for fast shipping.  So in that case, procrastination looked like it was going to hurt.

Then, I went back into the store and found a nice surprise a few days later.  The same item was priced at the same level – about $200 – but was now offered with a $50 gift card.  Hooray!

It looked like that quite a few in stock, so maybe this was a way to incent consumers to make purchase while the buying season was still in play.  Well, it worked with me! I snapped it up, and happily took the $50 gift card which I would certainly be using.  There would be no risk of me wasting that card.  So essentially, when considering my next purchases there, I will have received $250 of merchandise for $200.

Bottom line is that this amounted to a 20% discount, when you look at it that way.  All for being a procrastinator with gifts!

Clearly, it’s not necessarily such a bad idea to wait to buy certain gifts.  When stores want to get rid of things before the season is up, and want to meet sales goals, it might be possible to score some good deals.  Might as well strategically take advantage of this.

Back to the notion of procrastinating normally being something to not do, why does it seem like many guys are habitually buying things in the last few days, each year?  Believe me, I know several that have been in the same boat as me.  One flat out laughed and said he’s really close to being in the doghouse considering he hasn’t even bought anything or thought much about it, even just days before the holiday.   What’s a relief is that at least we can be rewarded for this procrastination by saving money! :)

My Questions for You

Do you evern wait until the last few days before buying holiday gifts?

Do you find there to be good deals during this time, versus earlier in the season?

Why is it, in your opinion, that guys in general tend to procrastinate with buying gifts a little bit more than the ladies do (at least based on what I’ve seen!)?

 

5 Ways to Stop Overspending On Eating Out at Restaurants

Have you heard of the concept of an “Achilles heel”?

We have that in way or another. It can also be described a “thorn in our side”, or in some other creative way.  What it’s getting at is that we have that one thing – or more – that just holds us back in some way.  This can also happen with our budget.

To me, a financial Achilles heel, so to speak, is the cost of eating out at restaurants.  More specifically, the amount of money I spend on going out to eat.  These costs can really add up, as a quick look at my spending patterns has told me.  While I’m what I would consider to be a financial responsible person who understands the difference between wants and needs, I can acknowledge that even personal finance enthusiasts can have one or two spending weaknesses.  I’m no different, as my increasing pattern of getting meals from outside shows.

Here’s the thing – the costs can not only be financial, but can also impact one’s health.  Not only might you pay more now, but you can pay later too.  The cost of healthcare in retirement can be quite high, so in effect there is a balloon payment involved in your decisions made today.  Best to think of overall costs from a holistic point of view.

Anyway, there are habits we can get into which can save us money on costs related to dining out.  I’m starting to focus – or in some cases, focus more – on the following 5 ways to curb spending on eating out:

1) Do the math.  This is one way that a person can stop spending too much on eating out.  Just track your expenses, and see how much you’re spending on eating out.  Just to throw out an example, if you’re spending $15 per day on eating out, but you could alternatively spend $10 per day eating very well at home, that’s $5 per day more.  Added up, it’s over $1,800 in excess spending per year. Isn’t that motivating?  For even more motivation, think about the potential long-term value of simply investing $1,000.

2) Pack your lunch.  Often times, it can get expensive eating lunch at work.  Whether you go out to eat, or dine at an office cafeteria, you can find yourself spending a fair amount of money daily.  And don’t even get me going on vending machine snacks. Though a gold vending machine would be nice, but I digress.  Anyway, taking 5 minutes to pack a lunch can be well worth the investment.

3) Batch cook.  If you think that it takes time to prepare food to pack, I can understand.  That’s how I see it.  What I think might be a good solution is batch cooking.  Cooking a large amount at one time, while refrigerating or freezing multiple servings, can be good way to manage time.  This way, you can save both time and money by getting it all done at once.

4) Learn to appreciate good food.  What? Isn’t some restaurant food awesome? Well, sure some can be really tasty.  But you know what? The more I think about different meals I’ve had over the years, really well-cooked homemade dishes with fresh ingredients just taste better and healthier.  It sure is better than swinging by the drive-thru, and you don’t have to use penny-pinching strategies on saving money at the drive-thru.

5) Challenge yourself.  Many of us like a challenge, and have a competitive streak and/or a quest for self-improvement.  If you can challenge yourself to cut eating out by 50%, or some other amount, you might end up getting more enthused about making a concerted effort.  After succeeding, you just might develop some new habits that can stick with you!

My Questions for You

How often do you eat out at restaurants (or pick up food)?

What approaches do you take to saving money on eating out?

Do you have another expense that is your “financial Achilles heel”?

8 Ways to Save Money on Shoes

Saving money is a good thing. We all like to save, right? Be it a mortgage, car, travel, or whatever the case is – saving money is something many of

"Save on Shoes"

Don't worry, these aren't mine!

us would like to do in a lot of cases.

This can even apply to shoes. That’s right, despite how some folks might be addicted to such purchases, saving money on shoes is yet another example of how saving can add up over time.  When you answer the question of “how many shoes do you buy in a year”, and do the math, it’s clear that this is an expense category where we might have the potential to save some dollars.

Here are 8 ways to save money on shoes:

  1. Practice showrooming.  One can always stop at the local stores, and take a look at designs of just about any type of clothing or fashion-related item. This includes shoes, even if functional in nature.  Then, simply go online and buy.  Of course this isn’t always possible for every shoe, but for many it could be.
  2. Remember that expensive doesn’t equate to better.  Just because one pair of shoes is much more expensive than another, it doesn’t mean that it will be any better. I recall, when younger, buying a very nice pair of shoes for work when I was supposed to dress in suits for that role (thankfully, many years later, this is less common!).  That particular pair of shoes wore down fast, both at the soles as well as near the laces where the leather got frayed.  A follow-up pair of less expensive shoes ended up being more comfortable and longer-lasting.
  3. Focus on quality.  Like many things, quality can be worth the investment.  This is a case where, contrary to the point above, expensive might actually be much better! A good pair of shoes might be able to last a long time.
  4. Take care of your shoes.  Just as is the case with many purchases, how we take care of our shoes could play a role in how often we have to replace them.  If you have nicer shoes that you wear in bad weather, they will face wear and tear. So take care of them!
  5. Shop sales.  This probably goes without saying, but there can be significant savings by waiting for shoes to go on sale before buying them.  If you’re buying a $100 pair of shoes, why not wait until it’s on sale for 30% off?
  6. Shop off season.  Or maybe better put, buy them strategically.  Just like buying a winter coat might be less costly toward the end of the season when retailers might be looking to clear out the season’s inventory, so might buying shoes at the right time and point in the season.
  7. Repair older shoes.  Sometimes we don’t have to buy new shoes at all. Why not try to repair shoes, instead of running out to get new ones. Certainly this won’t be possible with all shoes, nor would you want to do this with all shoes. But there are times when shoes can simply be repaired instead of cast aside for brand new ones to be purchased.
  8. Remember: they’re just shoes! I think this point might be most important, particularly for those who are seemingly hooked on buying shoes, and find them hard to resist.  If you’re a shoe addict, get a grip and realize that having good shoes doesn’t mean obsessing over new styles or buying 20 new pairs per year.  They’re just shoes!

My Questions for You

How much do you spend annually on shoes?

Do you actively look to spend minimally on shoes, or do you find them to be a big temptation for your hard-earned dollars?

What do you think are the best ways to save money on shoes?