Whether you’re paying down student debt or saving for a dental practice of your own, it’s never too early to be money savvy. One way to save your pennies is to know when it’s the right time to buy something new and when something used will do just fine. The cost differences between new and used products can be huge and that means more money in your pocket.
Never (or almost never) buy these things new:
1) Cars: A brand new shiny car may be on many new graduates’ bucket lists, but is it worth the hefty price tag? Because cars lose so much of their value in their first year, considering a slightly used car can be a reasonable and much less expensive alternative. Consider buying a slightly used car, especially if you need to finance the purchase.
2) Exercise equipment: Previously owned exercise equipment can be a budget-friendly alternative to high ticket new equipment. As long as it has been maintained well, adding some home equipment can be a good alternative to paying high monthly gym fees as well.
3) Electronics: Many refurbished electronics (like desktop computers and televisions) have barely been used. Upon return to the manufacturer, they are inspected to make sure they function properly and re-sold at much lower prices.
4) Designer clothing: A pair of designer jeans may cost $200+ these days. Save some of that for retirement and look at re-sale shops for the same designer jeans at a fraction of the cost.
Now, what should you rarely buy used?
1) Children’s furniture: If you have a child (or think you might in the next several years), it’s important to know that safety recalls may affect many used items. It is not worth the risk to buy a potentially hazardous piece of furniture, especially a crib, for your most valuable cargo.
2) Laptops: Because laptops are portable and carried around, there may be defects that you aren’t aware of when you purchase it. Unless the laptop comes from the manufacturer with some sort of warranty, look for a new laptop to minimize your risk.
3) Mattresses: To some, this choice might seem obvious. To others, it may sound like a great idea-until you find bed bugs, mites or some other living creature in your “new” mattress. Steer clear and buy these NEW.
These guidelines may not apply to EVERY situation, but the point to take away is to think about these purchases and do your research before you commit!
What other things might you not need to buy new? What else might you not want to buy used?
~Megan Hille, Esq., Pesavento & Pesavento