Back in the olden days (you know, pre-Internet), comparison shopping meant flipping through flyers and clipping coupons. Or going from car lot to car lot kicking tires and haggling. Now, you can search out almost ANYTHING online before you buy (even before you get dressed). To close out Financial Literacy Month, here are a handful of areas where doing a little homework can save you BIG:
Are food prices turning your stomach lately? You’re not alone: about 40% of Canadian shoppers are trying harder to find deals now. Flipp is a nifty website/app that does the flipping and clipping for you. Make a shopping list of your favourite items and it will find you the best deals. (It’s not just for groceries, either. Anything you’d find in a flyer you can find on Flipp.)
GasBuddy is another free website/app we fuel great about! 😉 It finds the cheapest gas wherever you are. It even has a Trip Cost Calculator that tells you how much your drive will cost, how much you can save, and the cheapest gas stations along the way!
Getting a vehicle can be a huge investment! Make sure to do your research.
Driving and AutoTrader both help you compare your favourite makes and models. Kelley Blue Book tells you what your car’s worth if you’re selling and what you can expect to pay if you’re buying (new or used). Unhaggle offers a free report showing what others in your area have paid for your favourite car — even the dealers. For a fee, you can have dealers compete for your business in a reverse auction by submitting their lowest bids.
Shopping around isn’t just for shopping. You’ll want to do your research when choosing a credit card, too. With so many variables to consider (interest rates, annual fees, rewards), this Credit Card Comparison Tool will suggest the best fit for you. If you’d prefer a loan or line of credit, check out these great pointers.
Curious how much you’d qualify for based on your income and expenses? Try this Mortgage Qualifier Tool. If you don’t qualify with a bank, don’t give up! There are alternative lenders, such as credit unions and mortgage companies. For help finding the right lender, consider a mortgage broker. It won’t cost you anything and they’ll do the shopping around for you!
When it comes to any kind of financial decision or purchase, daring to compare still takes time and effort, but you’ll have more money — and more confidence knowing you’re not getting ripped off!
GET your kids on board
Make sure that you teach your kids the importance of comparison shopping! We have an exercise in our children’s book, The Bunnies Talk Money, that will help you do just that! You can buy your copy here!