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How to Become A Smarter Consumer and a Wealthier Citizen

February 9, 2012

Personal financial sustainability and success is dependent upon more than just getting lucky with a good job or a good investment. It takes active management of your consumer behaviors. If you want to be a smarter consumer and a wealthier citizen, you do not need to do anything radical. All you have to do is make smarter choices in your life.

Tip #1 – Avoid Disposable Products

The concept of disposable products seems to be a blessing. Items are inexpensive, easy to use and require no maintenance. However, the concept of disposable products was not produced to make your life easier. Instead it was designed to make manufacturers richer. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year simply by investing in reusable products, as opposed to paying for disposable products.

Tip #2 – Avoid Heavily Marked-Up Products

Other drains on your personal wealth are products that are severely marked up. Coffee house coffee in particular is a major drain on your personal wealth. Instead of paying $5 or more for a cup of coffee or tea, make your coffee at home or purchase it pre-made from a gas station or diner for between $.50 and $1 a cup.

Tip #3 – Know the Value of Products You Buy

You can spend a lot of money on products that really are not worth what they cost. Before you buy any product that is supposed to be “green” or “economical,” make sure that these claims are backed up. Some products may claim a lifetime of savings that sound appealing, but when compared to other products may turn out to be not such a great deal.

Tip #4 – Eliminate Duplicate Services

Today most people have cable subscriptions, Internet subscriptions, land lines and cell phones. In total these subscriptions can end up costing individuals $300 or more per month. When you break down what you are offered by each of these subscriptions you may be surprised to find out that there are overlaps in what you are paying for. For example, landlines and cell phones offer the same basic service, telecommunication. In most cases land lines really do not make financial sense as cell phones offer lower cost services for long distance and local calls. Eliminating your cable subscription can also make sense as you can get free or low cost access to the same basic programs that cable offers online through such programs as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.

Tip #5 – Be Aware of What You Spend

Track what you spend so you do not mindlessly shell out money. This will help you control your assets and preserve your wealth.

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