I don’t know about you, but I love a good bargain. The money-saver in me is always on the hunt for the very best deals. But when is a bargain not really a good deal?
I see people all the time buying things because they see that it’s a good deal when they don’t really need or particularly want it. It’s like something inside of them just wants them to spend their money. These people seem to have an in-built need to spend their money the minute it lands in their bank account. It’s as if money just has to be spent or what’s the point?
I’ll admit that I can be an impulse spender if I’m not careful. But these days I’d rather make the conscious choice to save my money instead of frittering it away on stuff I just don’t need.
It’s true that there are great deals to be found, particularly online. But whenever you’re buying anything, no matter how cheap, there are a few things you need to ask yourself.
Do you really need it?
Browsing the shops is a dangerous habit. How many times have you gone out with the intention of “just browsing” and trotted back home with bags full of “bargains”? It’s the same with online deals, with online ads tracking your browsing history and showing you targeted adverts, it’s easy to get sucked into buying something you wouldn’t otherwise have bothered with. If you’re heading to the shops, then write a list and stick to it – don’t let yourself be sucked in by offers and “great deals”.
If you have money to burn, then fair enough. But the vast majority of us could benefit from saving money. So before you make any purchase, online or in-store, ask yourself whether you really need it. If the answer is no, then walk away. Taking even a minute or so to think about the purchase means that you’re making a conscious decision.
Can you afford it?
There’s nothing worse than spending on a credit card for impulse purchases. It’s easily one of the quickest ways for you to rack up unnecessary and unmanageable debt.
If you find that spending on a credit or debit card makes spending just too easy for you, then leave the cards at home.
You could try only taking cash out with you as seeing the cash leave your purse can actually make you be more savvy about how you spend your money.
Have you worked out your budget and can you afford to spend? Knowing your budget is so important – otherwise how do you know how much spare cash you have?
Sleep on it
It’s always important to give yourself time to think about any purchase, but this is particularly true about more expensive items. If you sleep on it and it still feels like a good buy the next day, then go for it. Sleeping on a decision lessens the chance of you making a poor decision on impulse.
Where to find a real bargain
There are always times when we need to spend money, no matter how frugal we are.
You might have a birthday coming up, or need to update your garden or replace a broken item. These are the times that you can find a real bargain.
There are lots of places to find great deals online, and you’ll want to shop around a little to make sure you really are getting a bargain.
- Check out your local Facebook groups – you can often find free or cheap items close to home that are in great condition.
- Use eBay to find low prices on pretty much anything.
- Search on deal sites to find the best deals for particular items.
- Shop out of season – so stock up on Summer clothes for the next year at the end of the Summer season when they’re in the sales.
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