How to Prepare for Your Next Big Purchase
Thinking of making a larger than usual purchase? If you’ve been eyeing a new laptop or personal computer, or perhaps a new refrigerator, cooking range or washing machine, or even a home entertainment system—here are some questions you should ask yourself before you open your wallet.
STEP 1: Assess your need
Do you really need it? Say you’re eyeing a new split-type air-conditioning unit for your bedroom. If your goal is to replace your old window type unit because it guzzles up too much electricity, then you’re acting on sound judgment. But you might want to consider if your reason for buying one is because you are attracted to the sleek and modern look of a split-type air conditioner.
Have you done your research? One way to alleviate the cost of a big purchase is to find the best deal possible. Check if your desired product is on sale anywhere. There might be existing promotions you can take advantage of. Some retailers also add free items to the actual purchase as a sort of bonus, from small appliances to even raffle tickets for trips abroad.
You may also opt to do your shopping online. Online stores like Lazada, CashCashPinoy, and MetroDeal offer almost the same range of products found on physical stores, often with slashed prices. They also provide reviews and specifications on each item, which you can then use to determine the best option that’ll fit your need—all in the comfort of your desktop or mobile device. For even better deals, you can get exclusive discount codes and vouchers by signing up for memberships, subscribing to their e-mail newsletters, and following them on their social media accounts. A little research and a whole lot of patience will do you a lot of good.
STEP 2: Assess your finances
How much money do you really have? Check your monthly income and predictable expenditures. You should also consider fixed bills that you’ll have to fulfill in the future—tuition fees, credit card payments, annual check-ups. Determine how much money you should allot for all of these. This is money you absolutely shouldn’t touch. What’s left now is your savings.
Can your savings support this? The amount of the purchase you’re eyeing will likely dwarf your savings. However, since you’ve worked out that you really need it. You can see if you can afford to cut into your monthly savings to finance this big purchase which brings us right into the next step…
You know what you want to purchase and how much it’ll cost. You know how your current finances look like. At this point, you basically have two options: save up and buy later or buy now with the help of financing.
Save up, buy later or buy now, save later? Calculate how much you can set aside each month until you reach the amount you need. You’ll now have a target date for your purchase according solely on your savings. The question now is, is this timeframe acceptable? What if you really need to get it now? If your need is immediate, then it might be time to consider ways to finance it.
A personal loan, for instance, can help you solve the urgency of your intended purchase. With a personal loan, you’ll have the benefit of choosing the payment terms and loan amount that fit your capacity to pay.
A personal loan will split up your expense into easy on the pocket monthly payments. Depending on the terms you choose, you might even end up paying a smaller amount than what you initially planned to save every month.
Say you’ve determined that you can save up to P3,000 per month. You’re eyeing a new laptop and washing machine, which online only costs a combined P40,000 if you pay cash on delivery. That means you’ll have to save up for 14 months to reach your target. But here’s the catch, you’ve just learned through their newsletter that a big sale is happening in a week, where prices will be slashed significantly.
Getting out a personal loan will be the smart move. You’ll have the cash to pay for your purchase, avail of the discount, and get to dictate how you’ll pay your loan.
Taking on a big purchase is also a good way to self-actualize. It can symbolize how much you’re improving, and what your hard work is amounting to. The wait can be difficult, and will be filled with sacrifices, but if it’s a meaningful purchase then you’ll appreciate it for a long time.
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