Time waits for no man or beast. The sun rises and the sun sets and before you know it you’re an adult paying for your own things. This obviously sucks. But it doesn’t have to. Because if you’re smart about it, you can take the sting out of big life purchases.
And there will be big life purchases. There’s no getting around it, once you leave the nest, you’re going to have to start spending a bunch of your silly little life credits on stuff like car insurance and nice appliances that don’t break after four months. It’s inevitable, but like I said, there’s ways of gaming the system, so to speak.
A vacuum that doesn’t suck, and by that I mean one that sucks very well
Becoming an adult means it’s time to clean up your act, both literally and figuratively. Mummy ain’t around to clean up your mess anymore so you’re gonna want to grab yourself a vacuum. The temptation here is to grab the cheapest one available. I’d advise against that.
See, what use is buying the cheapest vacuum available if it’s gonna die soon after you buy it, or not even suck properly to begin with? All that’s going to lead to is you eventually buying another cheap one, and another, until eventually you end up spending more than you would’ve if you had just forked out a little more for the good vacuum to begin with.
Here’s a hot tip, if you’re looking for some vacuums that suck quite well, check out the Dyson page on Catch.
In the fantasy novel Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett, the fictional character Captain Samuel Vimes makes one of the best financial points I’ve ever read. When it comes to boots, Vimes says, a man can buy a good pair of leather boots for $50, or an affordable pair of boots that were okay for a season or two, but then leaked like hell for $10.
The thing about good boots, Vines says, is that they last for years, so the man who could afford the $50 pair still had decent boots that kept his feet dry in 10 years’ time, whereas the poor man by then had spent $100, and still had wet feet.
Are you seeing a pattern here? This rule is pretty much applicable across the board. From boots to vacuum cleaners to washing machines.
A good coat
Everyone needs a good coat. Even if you live in Darwin, you’re bound to travel somewhere cold eventually. But the problem with good coats is, they’re expensive. So here’s what you do — you buy them out of season. That’s right young one, head on over to your local coat dealer in the middle of summer and pick yourself up a bargain. This rule applies to pretty much any item of clothing. So go ahead and buy your shorts in winter, you absolute frugal genius.
A good goat
Now that you’ve scored yourself a great deal on a good coat, you’re going to want to continue your rich vein of form by buying yourself a decent goat. You’re an adult now so you want to make sure you get bang for your buck.
So shop around, talk to a few farmers, research the market. But most importantly, don’t forget the golden rule of goat buying — stare deeply into its eyes for a minimum of five minutes, if you feel psychic energy, then you know you’ve found the right goat.
A solid washing machine
Speaking of washing machines, there are ways to buy the top models and still save a bunch of coin. Two words pal: display models — your golden ticket to quality machines at a vastly discounted price. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these models, and yet you usually save quite a lot. And the best part is this rule pretty much works for any appliance.
This one’s a bit luck-based, but if you’re at the right place at the right time, and see a display model for sale, then make the most of it. And hey, if you’re physically in a store it’s always worth asking the question.
Being able to live like the sophisticated adult you are without spending sophisticated adult money is tough, especially if you’re only earning the medium bucks. But, like everything on this list, there are ways of removing the sting, my friend.
39-year-old Tuyen could perhaps be best described as nothing short of a Flybuys hacking genius. She’s activated a boat-load of offers in the past year, so it’s safe to say she knows a thing or two about saving dosh.
One of Tuyen’s top tips for saving your hard-earned cheddar is always staying on the ball when it comes to limited-time offers when going grocery hunting. “Bonus points are great if you can implement them into your shopping. If you can, try to coincide with a special/sale to make the most of it,” she says. “Plan your shops and keep up to date. You need to calculate whether it’s worth taking up some of the offers and do your research.”
Another solid tip from Tuyen: include the fam! “I shop at Coles predominantly so I’m always using my Flybuys. I don’t always do big shops, but obtain the points collectively via other members of my family. The great thing with redeeming the points for dollars is that I can save it for a rainy day.”
A decent bed
Child, there will come a time in your life when you need to buy your own bed. When that time inevitably comes for you, it’s important to remember that, much like all things in life, you get what you pay for. Considering you’re going to be spending at least a third of your life on it, you’re going to want to go big on the mattress because, y’know, your back is important.
But as for the bed frame, you don’t need anything fancy here, so go as cheap as you want — it’s only there to hold your mattress. It doesn’t have to look good.
Image: The Simpsons