So you want to buy that shiny new iPad? Or a sweet electric guitar? You just can’t stop thinking about going on a dream shopping spree? We hear the same financial advice all the time: separate your wants and your needs. Do you really need that toy?
But every now and then, there is a big item that we all can’t do without, so we think. For those moments, there are smart and foolish ways of going about the purchase. So for those “can’t do without” things, we have a few reminders to share.
Reminder 1: don’t touch that credit card. “Wants” are not emergencies. The shoes, concert tickets, and skateboard can wait. Freeze your credit card in a block of ice, store it in a safe, or tape it to your ceiling, but don’t give in to the temptation to use it for splurges. You’ll be happy later when you aren’t buried under a massive credit card bill.
Reminder 2: you’ll be happier the longer you wait. Saving up for a car and buying it with cash, for example, will be much more satisfying that giving in and getting a loan. Save little bits of cash over a period of time. Make a savings jar for that thing that you can’t get off your mind. Soon enough, you’ll have enough saved up to buy the item you want. And guess what? There’s a good chance that prices will have dropped or a new version will have been released during that period of waiting. The first Kindle was priced at $399 just a few years ago. Today, you can buy one for $79.
Reminder 3: de-clutter and reap the benefits. You may be able to find something to do with two iPods, but amassing stuff is a bad way to handle money and resources. Considering trading in or selling your old electronics or toys when you decide to buy a new one. Sometimes, you could pay for as much as half of your new gadget just by trading in your old one!
Buying stuff is always appealing, but being patient and saving will always prove to have the most lasting benefits. Want to learn more about saving? Watch clips from Biz Kid$ episode, “Saving & Investing.’