5 Questions to Ask Yourself before You Buy if You're Trying to save Money ...

This article gives you five questions, in five sections. That is twenty-five saving questions on an article that only offered five! That is five times more saving you are going to enjoy, just from reading this article!

1. Getting One

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Do I already have one?
Do I really need one?
Can I borrow one?
Can I hire one?
Is there a free version I can try first?

If you already have one and it is doing its job, then is buying another really that important? Will you be at a complete loss without one? You have to account for the fact that you may have been β€œsold to”. You may have fallen for the sales pitch of a company that has instilled a need, want or desire that is unnecessary. In this case, the old saying, β€œsleep in it” is very apt.

If that does not quench your lust for the item, you should try another very effective method. Find out all the other things you could purchase with the money you are going to spend on the item. It may be a list of smaller things such as a bottle of rum, some sushi and a DVD, or it could be another big purchase for the same amount of money. This list will act as a very good way of dissuading you from spending your money.

Can you hire one for less money? There is no need to buy, if in the end you would save more by hiring one. Even if you only make the saving in the short term, you have no idea how rich you will be next year. You may be able to afford five next year, or you may be forced to sell the item next year--resulting in a net loss.

Sometimes the purchase is not as great as you think it is. Try a demo version first. Try a free test run, or have a go on a friend’s. You may find that it is quite disappointing.

2. Someone else’s Money

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Can daddy buy it for me?
Will my partner buy it for me?
Can I wait until my birthday/Christmas?
Can I use it for a few days and then take it back for a full refund?
Can I swap mine with someone else’s?

Some of these options may be a little dubious in principal, but they are options nonetheless, and you should consider them if you are not keen on spending the money yourself.

3. Affording One

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Is it worth another credit card?
Will this purchase make my next batch of bills harder to pay?
Can it wait until you have more money?
Will someone put money towards it with you?
Is the money you are spending on this supposed to be for something else?

These are all very good questions, most of which can be answered by setting a monthly budget and sticking to it. A hard look at your finances, your income and outgoings will suitably answer these questions.

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Is this the cheapest price I can find?
Is there a lower cost version with less features or add-ons?
Can I negotiate a cheaper price?
Is there an offer, sale, promotion or voucher to allow me to get this cheaper?
Is it cheaper to buy offline rather than online?

Asking these questions is the first step to making sure that if you are going to make a purchase that you do not pay over the odds. You want to pay the least amount of money with the most possible benefit.

5. Saving

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Is the offer making a net saving or a gross saving?
Can I save up for this instead of buying it now?
Will it cost me more in the long run if I use my credit card now?
Will the same model be cheaper in a few months?
Can I part exchange something else to make a bigger cost saving?

An offer that gives two for one is a gross saving. An offer that says buy two for a reduced price is a net saving. You want a gross saving every time, however do remember that sometimes they will put the price up on a buy two for one offer, so beware. The key to a gross saving is to get the item you want at the lowest price. Spending more to get a better price on more than one item is not a saving.

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