How To Save Money When Buying Things You Need

Posted by under Money Saving Tips . Updated: August 27, 2017

Saving money all starts from knowing what you want and what you need. Your “wants” may just be non-essential things that you can do without – so NOT buying them would be the best way to save money.

However, when it comes to your “needs” – buying the cheapest available is not always the best solution. Below are some tips on how you can save money when it comes to your necessities.

I hope you find these practical and useful. A lot are just common sense, but nevertheless, important to consider before you purchase anything.

Ask your friends first

Do you need an umbrella? Before you go out and buy one, ask your friends first if they have a spare at home that you can have. After all, this item is a favorite company giveaway- and if you’re not too “fashion-conscious” you’ll most likely be able to get one for free.

I discovered that a lot of people are more than willing to rid themselves of stuff they don’t really use or have too much of. If you need it more than they do, a friend will most likely be happy to give them to you.

Or offer to buy it

Of course, not everything can be given for free. If it’s a valuable item, then offer to buy it at a fair price. Not only will you save money, but you’ve also helped a friend earn some cash.

Consider buying second-hand

There are things that need to be bought brand new, but there are items that are perfectly okay to buy second-hand. Back in college, I remember buying the scientific calculator I needed from a friend of a friend – that really saved me a lot of money.

In today’s highly connected world, it’s no longer that difficult to look for things you need. Aside from online classified ads and auction sites, a simple shoutout to your social network could lead you to someone willing to sell to you something you need at a very low price.

Or make a fair trade

Item swaps are not only cost effective, but also a good way to rid yourself of “junk”. If the items don’t cost the same, then adding a few cash can easily solve the difference.


I remember a friend back in college who traded his percolator for an alarm clock from another dormmate. While he will surely miss having coffee and instant noodles in his room, at least, he can now wake up early enough to eat breakfast and be on time for his classes.

Rent it out

Some things are necessary only for a given time – and if there is a place where you can rent it, then maybe that’s a better option than buying it.

My personal example to this would be the Barong Tagalog. If I attend a lot of formal functions and events, buying a quality Barong would be necessary. But since I seldom go to such events, I deemed it would be smarter to just rent one whenever I needed it.

Or split with a friend

Sharing ownership for necessities is a viable way to save some money. A friend, who needed studio lights for his photography business, was able to convince another photographer who likewise needed it to split the cost with him.

Almost a year of coordination, planning and friendly compromises resulted to a productive and profitable business for each of them. A few weeks ago, they’ve bought another set and now, they each have their own lights.

And lastly…

Buy only what you really need

Buying things in bulk is usually cheaper, but there are times when it can become less cost effective. Also, be wary of buying sets which contain excess or unnecessary items.

For example, a big bottle of fresh milk is cheaper in volume than the small ones, but if can’t consume it before it expires, then you’re just wasting your money. Or if you just need a screwdriver, then you don’t have to buy an entire tool set because chances are, you won’t get to use the other items anyway.

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Photo credits: Marles55 and Bethan


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5 Responses to “How To Save Money When Buying Things You Need”

  1. Jamie says:

    This is a great reminder of all the options we have to us before we actually buy something. Whenever I’m tempted to buy something, I try to mentally go through the entire life cycle of the thing in my mind first. I think of it being exciting (at first) to own, then eventually losing its appeal, then having to find a place for it in a corner of my garage before I finally send it off to a thrift store years down the road. If I still want it after I go through this mental exercise, it’s meant to be mine!

  2. Leslie says:

    Fitz good day! May I ask if you could recommend to us to attend the Rich Dad Asia Live in Manila this coming October 21, 2011? Is this a good seminar? Thanks a lot. God bless..

  3. Fitz says:

    Hi Leslie. I’d say that Rich Dad Asia Live is a good seminar, but the benefits you’ll get depends on the level of your financial literacy.

    In my opinion, this is great for people who needs be trained with the right mindset when it comes to personal finance – things which I usually write under Mindsetting here.

    But for those whose minds are already open, and has already “started their journey”, then this seminar won’t be able to teach you anything new, in my opinion.

    However, as with any event like this, it’s always a great networking opportunity. So if you’re looking for possible business partners, investors or venture capitalists, then I suggest you prepare your business pitch and go to this event.

    I hope I was able to help. Thanks.

  4. stuckonu says:

    Great read as usual! I have been an avid reader of your site and you’ve inspired me to become a blogger myself.
    Check out my article regarding the same topic with a touch of my personal tragic experience:
    More power Fitz!

  5. estelita manalo says:

    to save money, list all your grocery list before going to grocery store.just buy what you need .and dont be an impulse buyer.

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