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Balance Entre Costo y Valor

Balance Cost and Value

By Anna Haug

A smart shopper knows the value of a purchase as well as its price.

A lot is written about ways to save money and cut down on costs. Sometimes that can mean paying more to buy goods and services. In the long run, you might be better off paying more money at the outset, especially for items that you expect to use many times or over a long period of time.

For example, a family member wanted a pickup truck. He found an older model with low mileage and was happy with the low price tag.

Within a few months he had replaced several belts, the brakes, and the engine. In a few more months the truck needed four new tires. He calculated that, in the first six months, he'd spent more than twice what he paid for the truck. It hadn't been a bargain at all.

Sorting cost, quality, and expectations

Part of deciding how much to pay for something is thinking about what kind of performance you need from the thing you're buying.

For example,  when it comes to buying clothing for special occasions like a quinceañera or a wedding, you may be better off renting since you are likely only to wear the outfit or dress one time.

So calculate the "cost for each wear" or "cost for each use" when you confront a buying decision. Examine quality, cost, and anticipated use to understand the true price.

Some shoppers assume that paying more money assures quality, but that can be a mistake as well. Some drivers, for example, insist that their cars perform better with premium gas even though the manufacturer recommends regular fuel. If you choose premium you're literally burning money-and no one can afford to do that at today's gas prices.

Find Resources to Help

The people at your credit union make sure you always receive top value at a fair price for your financial needs. They bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your financial resources. Visit your credit union to learn more about how to get value at a fair price.

Published 6-6-2011

 

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