I Want This! – Inside Decision Making Process of a Spender making big purchases

Admit it, you’ve been eyeing that TV for a few months now. It’s just the right size to fit in your living room without looking ridiculous. It’s been so expensive in the past, but now it’s on sale! Sure, it’s still a few hundred out of your budget, but the store has a great deal if you open a store credit card.

We all have a weakness when it comes to spending on things we enjoy. I’ve tried keeping up with smart-phones, but it’s just too expensive and not enough bang for my buck upgrading every year. I’ve learned my lesson and I’m keeping my current one until my contract ends.

Right now for my husband and I, game consoles and video games are our weakness for spending. We wait a few months before we buy most of games (exception for Mass Effect – gotta have it NOW), but they’re still fun purchases. They’re definitely not necessities so we plan before we buy them. We want to keep our financial goals while having some fun.

For some however getting a big ticket item can throw their finances into chaos, especially if they have no spending plan. How do you decide if this is a good buy for you? How do you know if you’re getting a good deal? I’ll share some tips on how we’ve saved money on big ticket items.

Saving Up for Big Items

Look for most items, it’s not a question of neccessity, it’s a question of afforability and desire. Why do you want this? How often will you really use it? How much joy will you derive from it? Of course if you’re married you have an additional person to consider before making a major purchase. Getting a TV may be financially fine, but what if your spouse nags you over it. suddenly it’s a little less enjoyable.

The big question, though, is – How badly do you want it?

You want to spend your money – go ahead it’s yours. If you want to spend your money while still building your net worth takes a bit more planning. It’s not hard at all, but it does take some discipline.

Make Saving Easier

Don’t wait until everything is paid off before you start saving, most times there will be nothing leftover. Instead schedule and automate transfers into a savings account for your big ticket item. tuck away that money into a high interest savings account. It’ll keep you less tempted from spending it too soon and you’ll earn just a bit of money while you save up.

Avoiding Falling Off the Wagon

If you need help keeping focused on your goal, use some of these tips to keep you on your path:

  • Have a visual reminder– Put your goal on the fridge or put a Post-It on your computer monitor.
  • Rally your friends – Get a support network to cheer you on. Better yet make it a competition to see who can save first.
  • Schedule a party – Confident that you’ll make your goal? Schedule a party celebrating your victory in advance. Knowing that friends will be there may be the nudge to keep your on track.

Don’t let big ticket items keep you from missing the big picture.

Getting a Great Deal

Want to make sure you’re getting a great deal before you hand over a big chunk of your money? Take advantage of these options:

  • Price Match: Look for this whenever you buy. Look for all the deals you can in your area. Show the lowest price to a retail store that offers price match and great customer service. You’ll save money and avoid headaches if something is wrong with your purchase.
  • Price Alerts: Don’t have time to shop around (shame on you!)? Use sites like Slick Deals can see you email when items go on sale for a certain price.

What sites and stores do you use regularly to get a great deal on big ticket items?

Psychology of Money

Curious to see what affects your spending? Check out last week’s post on choosing friends to build your net worth.

Photo Credit: sushi♥ina