We’ve all heard the saying, “Patience is a virtue,” which is true in many areas of life. Over the years, I’ve found that attribute can also be a significant money saver. While salespeople want you to act now to get the best deal, my husband and I learned sometimes it’s the opposite. Here’s how we save money by being patient.
Know Your Budget
When shopping for something, whether a car, a house, an apartment, or a new refrigerator, you have to know your budget and stick to it. You must be willing to walk away if an item is too expensive. Not only do you maintain your budget, but you are laying the groundwork for the potential to save money with a salesperson, realtor, or landlord who wants to seal the deal.
How We Save Money by Being Patient
If my husband and I go shopping for something and it’s outside our price range, even if we want it, we walk away. We can do this because we don’t form emotional attachments to the things we need to buy. For example, if we’re looking for a car and see one that we like, we can walk away if it’s too expensive. So often, people get fixated on one particular item. They must have THAT.ONE! Staying within the budget becomes more difficult if you develop an emotional connection.
Sometimes when we walk away, that’s that. We don’t get the item, and we move on with our life.
Other times, we walk away, and weeks or months later, we hear from the person selling the items, and they offer a much better deal.
Our Recent Experience Buying New Windows
For example, my husband and I recently bought a new house. We discovered that our daughter’s bedroom had a wood window with mold and a chip in the corner that would let in all the cold winter air.
We called one company, and they sent out a salesman who did a 30-minute demonstration. He focused on triple-pane windows, which we wanted in our cold climate. However, the price he gave was far beyond our budget, so walking away was easy.
About three weeks later, he called again and offered to give us the price for double-pane windows. This price was about 18% lower than his original price, but we didn’t want double-pane windows. We declined this offer.
Two weeks later, the company called us and offered a special manufacturer discount. After speaking with another salesman and negotiating, he offered us triple-pane windows for 26% less than the original offer. We bought the windows, which will be installed in a few weeks.
Our Experience Getting a New Apartment
Likewise, about 10 years ago, my husband and I were looking for a new apartment. We found one that would meet our needs but was too expensive, so we walked away. Weeks later, the landlord called and offered us the apartment for the same price, but instead of us paying utilities, he would cover all utilities. We jumped at the offer. Turns out he had interviewed many people for the apartment, but we had the best credit and were the most stable, so he decided to go with us. When we walked away from that apartment, we had zero expectations that he would call us back.
If you have a budget and stick to it, you may have to walk away from the item you want to purchase. However, sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised and find a salesperson willing to work with you weeks or months after you walk away. This is how we save money by being patient.
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Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in Arizona where she dislikes the summer heat but loves the natural beauty of the area.