Deal or trap?

By November 17, 2016Life Bits

It’s that time of the year again.

You get the SMS every day. Your email box is not spared either, and even if you close your eyes, you will still see the posters everywhere. ‘End of year deal, buy 2 get 1 free!’ ‘Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday giveaways’ ‘Christmas sales, 30% off!’  ‘Earn as you spend’…the lines are always catchy, the offers endless.  While some of them are opportunities to latch on to, others are well disguised traps to land you in the pit of impulse buying and debt.

How can you distinguish a deal from a trap? When should you take that offer serious? Answering the questions below can point you in the right direction.

1. Do I need it?

If you cannot identify what problem it will solve, then that deal is not for you. It is a trap set to drain you of your resources and clutter your house with things you don’t need.

2. Was I going to buy it?

If the item is already on your to-buy list then it’s a deal. You get to spend less money buying something you would have bought anyway.

3. How will buying this affect my budget?

Of course, you should have a budget and stick to it. If this item is not near anything on your budget and buying it will affect funds allocated to other items, it is a trap. Move on.

4. What will happen if I don’t but it?

Will you miss something essential? Will you have to pay more later? If there is no direct consequence to not buying it, it is a trap. Don’t fall for it.

5. Is it hard to find?

Some deals are hard to come by, some items too. If this item is on either of both lists and answers question 1. Then it’s a deal, grab it.

6. How much am I really saving?

Calculate it, how much will you save if you buy this item right now? If it is not substantial, it is hardly a deal.

Financial maturity calls for deliberate spending. Don’t be swayed by every ‘sale’ you hear of. Consider buying deliberately, sticking to your budget. Remember, if you buy a N10,000 pair of shoes you don’t need at N7,000, you have not saved N3,000, you have spent N7,000.

Imagine what could happen if you invest that N7,000 in a Mutual Fund that guarantees competitive returns and quarterly dividend payouts? Now, that is a deal worth considering.

Can you recall any trap disguised as a deal? Tell us in the comment box.

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