#1 Is this the lowest possible price?
Have I done my research, checked Ebay, Amazon, Half.com, and price scanners like shop savvy? A lot of times you can price match too. For example, Target will even price match online stores like Toys R Us and my go to price matching , site, go ole’ Amazon. If you are considering making a large purchase, it pays to check online. It only takes a few minutes and it could save you big! Here’s an example, when I worked for a company inside of Target I wanted a Galaxy S6 tablet but it was a little pricey, it was one sale for $199 but I still thought I could get it for less, and I was right! I did a quick search and saw that it was only $149.99 on Amazon. I went up to customer service and asked for a price match adjustment, easy, peasy! I saved $50 by just taking a few minutes to do some research.It seriously pays to do this for purchases like electronics, household items and even toys. Toys are expensive!!! With two boys ages five and 2 I buy a lot of toys. Have you seen the prices these days on some toys? Fifty dollars for a toy that will be played with a few weeks? I think not! Sorry bubs, I love you but that Batman robot is a no! My oldest son wants Batman Robot toy so bad but I’m only going to get it if I can find it for half off or less.
#2 Can I get this free?
Have I checked Craigslist, asked friends and family, church, facebook groups, or could I maybe even get it free through couponing? There are so many items you can get free if you just know where to look. Under the FREE section on Craigslist you can find things like, furniture, clothing, toys, wood, gardening supplies, all kinds of stuff. You can look for facebook groups in your area that have free items posted as well. If you learn the secrets of couponing you can get cosmetics, and beauty products and more. Here is a link to my best selling ebook Extreme Couponing 101: What the stores don’t want you to know.
#3 Will this purchase make me money?
If its something like a computer you need for business then the answer is yes! Are you a graphic designer and need Photoshop? Then the answer is yes. Are you a re-seller who found a killer deal on close-out designer shoes or clothing? Then….yes. If you just want the latest and newest handbag or shoes, think twice about making this purchase if you are trying to save money, are on a fiscal fast or are just try to do better budgeting. I’m an avid thrift store shopper and I re-sell on ebay so when I find an item I want, I have to question, why I want the item in the first place. Asking myself these questions kind of keeps me on track and makes me not just start buying stuff I like, I’ve been known to get a little shopping tunnel vision. Is that a real thing? Hmm, Is anyone else with me? You just go into a shopping vortex that kinda sucks you in? Oh wait, I think that’s called the mall. Maybe that’s why I don’t go in there anymore. Anyone? Ok, maybe it’s just me! lol
#4 Is this purchase going to save me money?
Maybe you are going to be using a device like Roku and ditching cable, then this purchase will be saving you money. Here’s a great deal on Roku Roku 3500R Streaming Stick .
I love the Roku. I bought a nice 46 in t.v that wasn’t a smart t.v so I needed to be able to stream movies and shows because I pay for Hulu and Netflix every month. I’m actually thinking about ditching cable still but I only pay $120 for three services, cable, high speed internet and home phone. There is also a device called the Magic Jack that will eliminate the cost of your monthly phone
#5 Is the purchase going to last?
Is it something I will be using all the time? If so it needs to be quality and therefore that needs to be factored in as well. Here is an example of this and something I know a lot about.I go through laptops like crazy, they keep getting viruses. Probably mostly my fault because I am so bad about renewing the Anti-virus program once it expires. I have considered purchasing an Apple Mac, rather than buying another cheapie laptop. I know that I will probably have this for a good five years at least so I’m considering buying one used on ebay. They are about $1000 new but if I can find one for $500 or less I think I might get it instead of buying another $300 laptop that I will only get a year of use out of. If you think about it $300 x5 is $1500. And that’s about the average I’m spending on computers. If I buy the Mac it will save me $1000. I found one on ebay for used for $300 so I think this is for sure the route I’m going. Normally electronics are one thing I only buy new but since Mac’s are so reliable and well made I think I’m going to chance it this time.
Do you have questions you ask yourself before making a purchase? What do you do to control your spending if you are on a budget? And frankly, who isn’t these days? If you aren’t, you probably should be. Even people with millions tend to over-spend. Look at poor Kanye West these days! Sorry that’s the best example I had at the moment. I’m following the Principles Dave Ramsey teaches about finance, I like to call it, think like your grandma, so that’s what has prompted a lot of my finance driven posts.
Here are some great books of his about finance that are all best sellers.
All of those money lessons that my mom taught me growing up I thought were crazy, the older I get, the more sense it makes. She lives on a no-credit system. She has great credit, just never uses it, she pays cash for everything, if she needs a couch she buys it used or at a yard sale. She says, if I can’t pay cash I don’t need it. Shifting my mind-set into this mode has helped me considerably. I always have money in my bank account and my bills going out every month are minimal now, believe me, that wasn’t always the case. My total monthly bills are about $1000, that doesn’t include food. I spend around $500 on food right now, but working on a plan to reduce that. I’ve been getting lazy with meal planning and haven’t been couponing as much after I had my second son. I’m going to be putting more effort into this area in the months to come after I get some important projects out of the way.
More posts like this to come as well as youtube videos. See my new channel Mommies Frugal Finds, and my old channel mommas2monkeys