Disclosure: I am a member of the Total Wireless Team and have been compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Sticking to a budget and saving can be hard. One thing though that can help is to systematically think about each purchase you make. This is especially true for large purchases including housing and vehicles. You also really want to apply this model to any purchase that you enter into a contract, for example, cable television or mobile phone service. Those monthly fees can really add up! The same theory though applies even when you are purchasing a shirt at the mall. Who hasn’t come home with a piece of clothing that seemed like a good purchase at the time and then it sat in your closet unworn. That is money down the drain.
So how do you make smart purchases? For each purchase I make, I apply the wants vs. needs model and also consider if I am being over-sold. I recently purchased a new vehicle and I followed this model. I will walk you through my example so you can apply this model to your purchase decisions in the future.
- Needs – I need a vehicle to drive my children to school and make purchases for my business and home throughout the day. You might say that this is a want but my husband works over 45 minutes from our home and we have no public transportation. Also, school and shops are not within walking distance. Therefore, I am going to consider basic transportation a need. The need though would just be a used car that fits me and the girls and runs well.
- Wants – Luckily, we had enough room in our budget that we could afford to consider some wants in our purchasing decision. My wants included a vehicle that could hold 7 since sometimes I carpool and have more than my girls in the vehicle. Also, I hoped we could afford a backup camera since I worry about safety. My final want was heated seats. This seemed a bit extravagant to me but it does get super cold in Michigan and heated seats are amazing! Since these were all wants, when we shopped for a vehicle we priced out vehicles with and without these options. That way we could determine what fit in our budget.
- Avoid the Oversell – The vehicle options in my wants list were often bundled with a bunch of different options. These bundles made a HUGE difference in price to the total vehicle cost. By going with one vehicle brand vs another, I was able to get my wants without a bunch of extras and that ended up saving us almost $5000 on the purchase price. I even got my heated seats. Hurray!
Do you consider wants vs. needs and avoiding the oversell when you make a purchase? You will be surprised how just taking these steps can help you meet your budget.
The funny video below for the latot stroller helps show just have easy it is to get sucked into the oversell. I must admit there were some baby items that I purchased that in hindsight were more than we needed.
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