I personally shoot my Nikon D3200 photos in RAW (NEF in Nikon’s world) instead of JPG fine. Look at RAW as being the ingredients of an unbaked cake and JPG as being all the same ingredients already mixed together into a cake mixture. You can do far more with the RAW unmixed ingredients than you can after the ingredients have already been mixed I think you will agree?
Serge Ramelli is one of the best in my eyes at taking the RAW ingredients and making them into something special.
To be fair, many readers of this blog post will not be able to afford Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop, but there is free software you can use like GIMP which Searge Ramelli does touch on, again on his YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/cmoeu.