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Real Simple Money Tip

Money Tip: Select Smaller Items First

Out of the 12 tips Real Simple recommends for spending less, the most innovative is their tip for how to organize your shopping trips. They cleverly suggest that when you're shopping with the purpose of buying something that will inevitably be expensive (like a computer), you should select the smaller items first (like the software and other accessories).

The rationale is that after we buy something pricey, we're more likely to mindlessly buy more items that we don't need, because in comparison the amount seems insignificant. It reminds me of a common comment from those undergoing home renovations: Once you've spent thousands on new cabinets, it becomes difficult to evaluate the cost of things like knobs.

Because I'm not buying a new computer any time soon, I'll keep this money tip in mind the next time I'm shopping for things like a new coat or boots and underwear at the same time. Lingerie section, first!


Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
you have to remember though that it's not always your fault that you buy more. i worked in retail for YEARS and my managers always got on my case if my units per transaction were low - so it's something that you can't always control from your own end. (ok, you could say no, but how often does it seem like such a GREAT idea to get whatever it is that you're being pitched)
looseseal looseseal 8 years
My software cost more than my computer.
nv27 nv27 8 years
What a great concept! I would've never thought of it myself but it makes such perfect sense!
sundrops sundrops 8 years
An interesting thought to add to this... my kids went to VBS this week and they had a boy/girl competition to see who could give more money to feed kids overseas. At the end the lady mentioned the girls lined up to give their money with smaller amounts of money, and while there were fewer boys the boys gave bigger bills. In the end the boys gave nearly $200 more than the girls. The thought that went through my mind is similar to what you have here - spending more at one time always adds up to spending more overall versus spending a little here and there. Any way I didn't really relate it to shopping so thanks for posting this! I'll keep it in mind next time I'm shopping, even for things like clothes for my kids!
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