We hear it all the time.
“I got a great deal on that car it was 20% off the regular price.”
“These things never go on sale”
“these were so cheap I bought two of these”
Now everybody loves a deal and nobody want to pay too much for something, myself included. But the issue comes when you end up buying a product because it is on sale. We’ve all been there. “this is so cheap, I can’t let this deal go.” You can ask yourself some questions to determine if it makes sense to purchase this product. Do I need this product? A simple question. But there is power in this question. First; what is your definition of need?
I want to share a situation that I got caught up in the other day. I am usually good at avoiding these things but I got caught and now I am stuck with the bill. Door to door markets visited my home from the cable/internet provider. They first asked where I had my cable service. I explained that I didn’t need cable services at anywhere from $60-$100 per month. There are much more productive things I can do with my time than watching television and the once per month I would like to watch something or when we reward the kids with a show there is Netflix at $10/month.
He then attacked the cell phone option. We do pay for two cellphones in our household but we are satisfied. He then offered a free tablet with its own SIM card and 2 GB of data outside the home. I explained that we already had 2 tablets and we didn’t need a third. But then he mentioned only $7/month. He got in my head. Wow, $7/month for a free tablet with its own number and 2 GB of data. He also mentioned that as part of this deal it would also increase our monthly home data to the unlimited package.
Man…what a deal! In a moment of weakness, I signed up to a 24-month commitment!
But here is the thing. I DON’T NEED ANOTHER TABLET! We have two already. I don’t even use them. Sure, the ones we have are slightly cracked from the kids dropping them, it would be nice to have a shiny new one. But really, they work fine and will likely work fine for a few more years.
But what about the extra 2 GB of data when we bring our tablet with us? The truth is we never take the tablet out of the home. We have cell phones on data plans with more than enough data.
Yes but, we were able to move our monthly data package at home to unlimited! So, what? We rarely if ever go over our monthly allotment of 200 GB.
So, they got us. $7/moth for 24 months. $168 for something we don’t need. Not to mention the return we would have made on that $168. We could pay down our mortgage or invest those funds to generate a return.
You know what is even more tragic? And even funny really? (If it didn’t cost me $168) I can’t even find it at this moment to take a photo and include it in this post. I suspect I will find it eventually, otherwise I will take a photo of the old one and include that instead.
Now back to the question; How much did you save? Well the answer goes like this. If you didn’t need the item in the first place you saved nothing. In fact, you spent money that could be allocated to other things like buying your freedom. And if you purchased an item you did need for less than you usually do, congratulations but if you didn’t actually put that money towards paying down debt or into some sort of investment vehicle you haven’t actually saved anything. You have only re-allocated it to spend on some other item. Let’s be smarter with our spending and resist the pull of big company marketing.