While many people enjoy shopping, they do not know that it should also be a subject to a long process of decision making. Especially when it comes to small purchases.
We are quite fortunate that smaller purchases incur smaller losses.
However, let me give you a piece of purchase advice, it does not hurt to stop and think before buying, we are exposed to many influences and you want to make sure you are making the right decision when investing your money.
Have the right motives
In order to truly find out the motives or the reasons behind the purchase, you will have to ask yourself the following questions. What is the purpose of the purchase? How will the purchase improve my lifestyle? Is now the right time? Is there anything else I need more? So, for example, if you are looking into buying a car, you know that the obvious purpose is a car ownership. Having a car will make your life easier, so the perks you get is saving time and convenience. If your current car is eating up your resources; or if you do not have one and at the present time you can afford to own a car, maintain it and pay for gas the purchase seems to have sense. It sounds like you will gain a lot and spend comparatively less. Finally, are you currently in debt, do you have any medical bills to cover or urgent home repairs? If an answer to all of these questions is no, you are good to go. The same principle can be applied to any item you want to purchase. Make sure you consider the relevant scale. If you want to buy a shirt, you may want to ask yourself if you perhaps need another piece of clothing more, or do you need new clothes at all. You cannot compare your wish to buy a shirt with the fact you need a new car, they do not coexist on the same scale.
Establish the budget
Look into your personal finances and try to establish a budget. Determine how much you currently earn deduct your liabilities. The leftover is meant to cover for your emergency savings, your living expenses as well as the item you are about to buy. Keep in mind that if you are looking into making a big purchase and taking out a loan for it, you also need to allow for the interest rates before you get to a price you can afford for the item you want to purchase.
Use the best means of payment
As mentioned above, if you are hoping to finance the purchase through a loan, or a credit card, add up the fees you will incur and the interest rate to get the final amount you will be spending on this purchase. Now think about the difference you would be saving if you opted to pay in cash? Is engaging in such thoughts going to take you anywhere. Will it be possible for you to save that amount of money over a reasonable period of time? If you decide that you can save then definitely do so.
Set up the criteria
The criteria are basically choosing which features you have to have and which ones you can compromise with. If you do not have a specific opinion and something to base your criteria on, think of them after you are done with the next step. Your criteria with the information you
The way you get informed is by reading about different models and types of the item you are looking into. We are quite lucky to have a variety of different sources of information available online, so a simple Google search will get you to web pages offering relevant information. Depending on what it is you are after, you can also get informed by browsing the stores which sell items of the kind.
Narrow down your choice
Combining your criteria with the information you came across will help you narrow down your choice to two or three different models. Now you can conduct a more specific research and turn to reviews of the models you have selected. Try finding as many as you can as apart from preferences, you also care to find out about real-life experiences with the item.
Cheap is not always a good deal
A good deal means getting a lot of bang for your buck. So you are not compromising with the quality, but only with the price. It is a whole different thing if you decide to buy an item of moderate quality and not the top-notch one if the moderate quality one will serve the purpose. To get back to the point, cheap can be of low quality and that is not a bargain. A bargain is finding good quality on a discount and thus paying it cheaper than you would before the discount. Also, investing a little extra could mean that the goods you are buying will last longer and thus the cost spread over time will appear reasonable.
There are several ways you can protect yourself when making a purchase. First of all, you can use a credit card and get purchase protection from theft. This is useful as you never know what can happen and if someone decides to rob you, at least you will be reimbursed for it. Second, shop at the retailers which have price protection policy and keep track of the prices in case they drop. Some credit cards also offer this feature so it would not hurt to add this to the process of deciding the means of making the payment. Another perk provided by credit card issuers is the extended warranty on items purchased with a credit card. This is also something to look into.
After getting a chance to use these tips a couple of times, you will be able to notice the difference. You do not have to walk around with a checklist in your pocket but have at least some of them in mind when making an everyday purchase and use the checklist for the big purchases which truly matter.