How to Tell if Something Offers Good Value for Money

We are often told that we need to buy things that are good value for money. However, some people do not really know what this phrase means. It is good to know exactly what you are looking for so that you can make sure that you are searching in the right way.

Does it not just mean the cheapest?

Many people mistake good value for money meaning that it is the cheapest. They will then assume that if they are comparing prices then the cheapest item will give them the best value. However, this is not how it works. Good value for money takes into account what you get for your money as well. There are different ways that it can be measured. For example, if you are comparing a can of drink with a bottle of drink and the bottle has more drink in and is dearer that does not mean that the cheaper can offers better value for money. All it shows is that the can costs less. You will have to calculate the price per 100ml and compare them to see which is the cheapest per sip. You will also need to taste the drinks as you may think the cheaper drink tastes revolting and the dearer one is much better therefore you would think the dearer one offers better value. It is also worth bearing in mind that if you have to borrow money to pay for something then you need to take the costs of borrowing into consideration when calculating whether you think it is offering good value for money.

If you are buying clothing, for example then you might be prepared to pay more for items that last longer, suit you better, feel more comfortable, come in your favourite colour, are available in a shop that is local to you or something else entirely. We will all have our opinions on what makes a good piece of clothing and the items will need to love up to that and not be too expensive in order to be good value for money for us. We are all different though, in what we are looking for in items and therefore we will have different opinions on what provides good value for money. It is worth considering what you want in products before you buy them and then seeing whether the products match up to what you want.

How to find out about products

Once you know what you are looking for you will have to find the products that you want. It can be quite straightforward to search online and come up with all sorts of products. You may prefer though, to take a look in your local shops. Seeing what is available is great, but you will also need to find out more about the products. You will be able to find out some things by looking at them and reading the labels. You may also want to go to the website of the manufacturer and look up more information about the product there. This can give you some idea about what it is like but you also might want to find out more.

This can actually be pretty tricky as you might not be able to touch or taste it until you have bought it. If you have never tried one before then you will not know for yourself and therefore you will need to rely on finding out from other people.

Who to ask for opinions?

You might find that you can find reviews of the product. This might enable you to make up your mind as to whether it is worth trying. If you are looking at cheap items, then you may just decide to buy it and try for yourself. However, if you are buying more expensive items, you might want to find out a lot more about it first. This can be tricky as it is not always easy to find trusted reviews. The best place to start is by asking people that you know. They are most likely to give an honest review of something and you will also be able to ask them questions. So, if there is something specific that you are concerned about, you will be able to check with them. This might give you enough information, but you may also want to look at online reviews. The problem with these is that they can be biased and so you will need to find a trusted place to look at them. Alternatively, you could look at reviews in lots of places and hope that will give you a spectrum of opinions. If you are buying items from a retailer’s website then you may find that there are reviews on that site and these can be really handy. However, not everyone has these and so you may need to look at other places to try to find out more about the items. The more places you can look the better as you will be more likely to get a balanced viewpoint.

Should I Buy my Child a Car?

It can always be tempting to help out our children. Whether that means buying them an ice-cream when you are at the park together or paying for their first home, this will all depend on your income level and what you can afford to give them. However, lets assume that you decide that you would like to apply for a loan to buy them a car. Is this a good idea?

Advantages of having a car

A car can be a very useful thing to possess. To start with it can improve your job prospects as it means that you can work anywhere. There are many places of work which do not have good transport links and this means that it is not possible to work there unless you have a car. This means that it could be crucial. Also, if your children do not live near to you, then giving them a car means that they have no excuse not to visit you. If they do live with you then you might be able to get lifts off them when they are using the car, if you do not drive, do not have your own car or want to save money.

Disadvantages of having a car

Running a car is expensive and even if you do not have to pay for the vehicle there is still the tax, insurance, fuel, MOT, serving, repairs and upkeep to pay for. So, unless you, as a parent, can afford this you will need to think about whether your gift is actually passing a big burden onto your children. They may end up struggling to pay for everything.

There are also environmental disadvantages of having a car. Even if you have an electric car it will still be more damaging to the environment than walking, cycling or taking some forms of public transport. This might be something that your children are aware of – as young people do seem more concerned about environmental issues and so this could be something that they will be worried about too.

Advantages of giving them things

Even if it is not a car that you decide to give your children but another gift, then there are advantages to helping them out. Obviously, as their parent, you will want to see them do well and helping them out in all sorts of ways can make you feel like you are really doing a good thing for them. It can feel good to be generous and give them things. They may not have a lot of money and you may be able to afford things that they cannot and co it can feel good to do this. You may also see it as a way of giving them their inheritance early. You might want to watch them enjoy the money rather than not being able to see them enjoy it. Giving it away earlier will also mean that they will not have to pay inheritance tax on it.

Disadvantages of giving them things

However, nice it can be to help out, there can sometimes be problems with giving things to your children. If they expect you to give them things regularly then it might mean that they do not learn how to handle their money so well. They may feel that it does not matter if they get themselves into a financial hole as someone will be there to bail them out. Of course, the money will not last forever and so it could be good to make sure that they learn how to manage financially before this happens.

You should also be careful to make sure that you will not need the money for yourself. You will not know whether you might need long term health care as you get older. If you do, then this will come at a cost. There is a certain amount available for free, but this tends to mean that there is no choice as to what care you get and it might not always remain free as social care is already putting a big strain on governments budgets. Therefore, it could be sensible to plan carefully for your own financial future as well as that of your children.

So, the decision to buy your children a car or give them anything at all is certainly not a simple one. You will need to think carefully about what impact giving them money will have on them. You also need to think about whether a car is the right thing to give to them. It is a big decision and something that you will need to think carefully about but also that you might want to discuss in detail with your children before doing it. You need to be sure that it really is the right decision for all of you.