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“For Sale” Does Not Mean Actual Savings
Now, most of you are smart enough to see through all of the holes in my sales pitch above, but if not, please send me a check for $100 if you plan to continue reading this post. Now, most people are aware that they are being sold when watching commercials and view advertisements. And I even believe that being sold something is a good thing. If you are sold something well, you purchase something that fits your needs and meets your price expectations. You exchange your money for their product or service and both parties walk away feeling good about the transaction.
BUT, far too many times are customers swayed by those big, red “SALE” signs and convince themselves that they NEED TO BUY this product or service RIGHT NOW because they are saving money by making the purchase. I have definitely done this on more than one occasion and still find myself drawn to the sale section of most department and clothing stores just to see if there’s a deal I can’t pass up. The reality of the matter is that you will not be saving any money if you start turning your wants into your needs. When you start justifying a purchase solely based on the amount of money you will save and not on whether you really need this item right now, you are actually losing money, not saving it.
Three Questions to Ask When Making a Purchase
When you are going to make a purchase of any amount, you should go through the below questions to ensure that don’t make any unnecessary purchases:
- Would I have purchased the product anyway? Your “deal” is not really saving you any money if you were not going to purchase the product in the first place. My wife has this awesome power of making money appear out of thin air. She is amazing at finding great deals on items and can come to me with a proposition. “Hey, this item is normally $100, but it’s o sale for $20! I can make you $80 if I buy this today!” To which I reply “But we don’t need it and we wouldn’t have bought it anyway. How about we opt for the 100% off plan and not buy it at all.”
- Can I find this product cheaper somewhere else? Before making any purchase (especially anything over $20) you will need to do some research to see if you can find a better deal elsewhere. Luckily, we have the internet at our fingertips and can research any purchase before making a decision. And for those of you with smart phones, you can do it on the spot.
- Is it in the budget? When making any purchase, this question should always be asked. I put this question last because I want to encourage you to go through the above questions first. There are definitely ways to get a purchase into your budget if you find this purchase can take priority over another category in your budget.
Disclaimer: You should NEVER borrow from your emergency fund to make a purchase or put the purchase on your credit card because you will “pay it off later.”
Take our reader who wants to buy a truck. They have set aside $800 for their purchase so far, but they have really been wanting a Dyson vacuum. Their current vacuum has horrible suction and they have two dogs who shed what seems like a pound of hair a week on their floor. They have done some research on the Dyson vacuum they want, compared prices at different locations and have found the best deal at a department store with a special sale.
They can re-prioritize their truck money and count the cost of borrowing $250 from the fund to make this purchase. They can decide that it is worth waiting two more months to purchase the truck because they have a more immediate need for this vacuum and it’s the best deal they have ever seen on the item.
They realize that the item is not technically in their monthly budget, but they can purchase the item because they have decided to re-prioritize their savings (be careful you don’t do this often or you will deplete your savings funds). Since they would have bought this vacuum anyway at a $600 price point, this is a real savings.
Follow These Steps To Experience REAL Savings
If you follow the above steps when making a purchase, you will save real money that you would have spent regardless. You will stop yourself from wasting money on an impulse buy just because you love huge signs that say “70% OFF, EVERYTHING MUST GO!!!” Do not pass up great deals, just make sure that they are a great deal for you by answering “Yes” to the above questions.
Comments: Do you find yourself buying things because it’s SUCH A GREAT DEAL? Do you purchase on-sale items, even though you don’t need them? Let’s hear some stories about a recent purchase that you have made that MAYBE was not such a great deal after all. Feel free to throw some ideas to me on Twitter as well by clicking the little “T’ in the upper right corner or finding me @iHeartBudgets