When we see that there is a sale we can immediately feel that we will be able to save some money. It is tempting to immediately take a look and see whether we can buy anything that has been reduced by a significant amount of money. However, it is wise to step back first and think hard before you buy anything.
Do you really need the item?
The first thing to ask yourself is whether you really need the items that are on sale. It can be so tempting to see that the price is good and feel that you have to buy it that we do not think about whether it is something that we really need. Think about how much it costs rather than how much it is reduced by. Try to ignore the fact that it is on sale and think about whether it is something that we would normally buy and whether it is something that we will really make use of. Even if it is something that you will make use of think about whether you really need it right now. The price could drop even further or you might be in a better position to afford it at another time.
Is the price really that good?
It is also wise to look at the price carefully Think about whether it really is that low. It can be tempting to focus on the amount that it is reduced by rather than whether the price is that low. For example, if a $10 item is reduced by 10% you only save $1 so you still need to pay $9 for it. That is not a huge saving, especially if the item is not something that you would normally buy. Obviously, if your favourite brand of cookies is reduced and you buy them at the lower price then you will save money that normally you would be spending. However, if you buy the item extra to what you normally buy just because it is reduced, you will actually be spending more money, rather than less. If you are buying something you do not really need then you are making no saving at all. It is wise to concentrate on the $9 you are spending rather than on the $1 that you are saving. The word saving can also be misleading as you are not saving money, you are spending money but you are just spending a bit less money than you would had the item been full price.
Can you get it cheaper elsewhere?
It is also worth comparing the price with other stores. We can often think something must be cheap if it reduced, but may find that it is that price or even less in a different store when it is not reduced. So, make sure that you compare the prices carefully and make sure that you are not paying more than necessary. It could be that the store you are at had the items priced highly and so when they reduced them, they were still dearer than other places. It may also be the case that different brands could still be cheaper. Make sure that you do some research rather than making a quick purchase and then regretting it when you see the item cheaper elsewhere. Most people carry a phone with them, so they could quickly look at prices elsewhere to check before they buy.
Can you afford it?
It is really important to make sure that you can afford the items that you are buying. Just because they are reduced does not automatically mean that you will be able to afford them. Therefore, make sure that you check your finances first. If you have to borrow money in the form of a loan, overdraft or use a credit card then you will be paying more for the item because of the interest on those things. It is wise to therefore think hard about whether you can afford it and if not, then whether you really need it or whether it really will save you money considering the price of the loan. In some cases, the savings might be so good that even with the price of a loan you will still save money, but you will need to check this.
It might seem like a lot of things to consider before picking up something in a sale. However, you could end up spending more than you realise or more than you need if you do not. It is worth thinking about these types of purchases more than others because you can be more tempted by the offers and not consider so much as to whether it is something you really need or whether it really is a good price. Even the cheapest things are worth thinking about as that extra spending could be the difference between paying a bill and not being able to afford it.