Learning to be a savvy spender takes time and skill. Like most young women, I learned a lot tips from my mother. But I also learned a few skills from being resourceful and educating myself through trial and error.

Buying quality items versus only purchasing what's cheap is something I firmly believe in. However, that doesn't mean you can't get a good deal.

The number way to become a savvy spender and save money on anything starts with never paying full price! Never get into the habit of paying sticker price, because in my experience, everything is open for negotiation.

How is this possible?

Focus on buying value, instead of only paying attention to instant savings. Almost everything I own has been carefully researched beforehand, to make sure I get the best deal and the best value.

How to never pay full price for anything

1. Negotiate a Discount or Try Bartering.  Like I mentioned, most of the time everything is open for negotiation. While monetary value is important, it's not the only factor. Sometimes you can negotiate for a discount which saves you money, or you can barter for a services exchange which can save you time. You'll have to evaluate what's most important to you, because time can be just as important (if not more important) than money. Finding ways to barter or negotiate, can save you money and sometimes offer a better lifestyle.

2. Be Patient and Keep Your Eyes Open.  If you wait to purchase something until you absolutely need it, you'll likely pay full price. Instead, be patient and plan your purchases ahead of time as best you can. This is the best way to avoid markups and overpaying. Being patient and planning your purchases, can really help you save money, find the best value and locate good deals and sales.The easiest way to be patient when buying stuff you want is to stay motivated by remembering "The Why" behind your savings goal. Keep in mind what you're saving for and display a photo of that special something once in awhile to help maintain perspective. 

3. Get it for Free.  Before you buy anything new like furniture, household items or even electronics, it's smart to see if you can get it for free first. With sites like Craigslist, eBay Classifieds and FreeCycle there's pretty much no end to what people are willing to give away.
And just because it's free doesn't mean it's broken or not in good shape. Most of the time people give stuff away because they don't want to deal with the hassle or they genuinely want to better the environment.

There are lots of other ways to become a savvy shopper, but these are some of my favorites. It might take a little research and effort at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to save money on just about anything.

Do you consider yourself a savvy spender? What's one of your favorite ways to avoid paying retail price?

Carrie Smith


Carrie Smith

Carrie Smith is the writer behind the Careful Cents lifestyle and finance blog, where she helps people get out of debt, find a career they love and create a life they want to live. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Yahoo!Finance and Business Insider. You can connect with her on Twitter @applecsmith.