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Frugal Family: Buying New vs Used

Published April 29, 2019

yellow direction signs at the crossroads. Signs read "new" and "used"

New vs. Used?: How and When to Save Money

One of the best and easiest ways to save money for your family is to buy used items whenever possible. In most cases, you’ll be just as happy with the item and get just as much functionality as you would with a new one for a fraction of the cost. While there are many great household items that are perfectly fine when bought used, there are a few items that you should never buy unless it’s new. Read on to find out how to make the best budget-friendly decisions about buying new vs. used.

When Buying Used Saves You Money

New cars lose a portion of their value as soon as you bring your car home, which leads many people to believe that they are better off only buying used cars, especially in cash. While buying a new car can mean that it is more reliable and is under warranty, there are many used cars that are just as reliable and have low repair and maintenance costs. Additionally, insurance costs tend to be higher for new cars. While your driving record has an effect, as well as the make and model of the car you choose, most used cars will have lower insurance rates than insuring a new car. Bikes are also more cost-effective when bought used. Bicycles are built to last for many years and often outlast their owners use, meaning that you can find bikes in great shape for a fraction of their original price.

Children don’t only outgrow their bikes, they also quickly outgrow their clothes. There are large sections at most thrift stores dedicated to baby and childrens’ clothes where you can find like-new clothing for less money. As your children get older and go off to college, another great used purchase is textbooks. One textbook can cost over $100 new, but is often a third of the price used. Additionally, even used textbooks can be sold back to university book stores or online to students now enrolled in that just-finished course. Readers of all kinds should be on the lookout for used books, which can be found for cheap at thrift stores and used bookstores. And don’t forget your local library lends books for free!

Kitchen appliances are another great place to save money by buying used. Blenders, microwaves, slow-cookers and other kitchen appliance staples can be found easily in good working order at thrift stores, church sales and online sites. Larger appliances, like used refrigerators or washing machines, can also be found easily on online sites near the end of every month as homeowners decide to move and not to take their appliances with them.

While there are obviously many great things that are best bought pre-owned, there are a few other things that are best bought new. Computer software should always be bought new to avoid any issues with stolen or glitchy programs. Tires are best bought new since the safety of you and your passengers is at risk. The same goes for sports safety gear — ensure its integrity by always purchasing new gear.

If you’re currently dealing with being behind on your debt payments, this is a good time to practice some restraint and only spend money when you have to. To learn more about how CreditGUARD can help you save money and make only one easy monthly payment, call us today at 1-800-500-6489 to learn about our non profit debt and credit programs.

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