Making large purchases almost always comes with a small amount of stress. You can ensure your next big purchase is right for you (and stresses you out less) by following these steps.

Making large purchases almost always comes with a small amount of stress. You’re spending your hard-earned money, so you need to make sure it’s an investment worth making. You can ensure your next big purchase is right for you (and stresses you out less) by following these steps.  

How to Prepare When Making Large Purchases

March 27, 2017

Making large purchases almost always comes with a small amount of stress. You can ensure your next big purchase is right for you (and stresses you out less) by following these steps.

Making large purchases almost always comes with a small amount of stress. You’re spending your hard-earned money, so you need to make sure it’s an investment worth making. You can ensure your next big purchase is right for you (and stresses you out less) by following these steps.

Step 1: Do Your Research


The internet is your friend! No matter what your big purchase is—a car, jewelry, computer, home remodeling—the first step of the purchasing process is to do your research. What exactly should you look into?

  • Price comparisons
  • Customer reviews
  • Sale cycles
  • Options such as upgrades, colors, sizes, versions etc.
  • Possible extra costs such as insurance, warranty, taxes etc.
  • New vs used

These are just a few topics to help you get your research started. Think about all the factors that might affect your purchasing decision, and make sure you find the answers to those questions before going farther down the purchasing pipeline.

Word of mouth can be a major help. Do you have friends or family who have recently made a similar large purchase? Ask them about their experiences and research. They may have some great recommendations, or know certain companies or items to avoid.

 

Step 2: Check Your Finances


Can you afford this purchase? This is an especially important question to ask if the item is a want versus a need. Look at your budget, review your finances and make sure you can handle the large purchase. Will you need to make some financial adjustments before making the purchase? Will you need to give yourself time to save up before taking the plunge? These are all important questions to ask yourself.

Discuss it with your significant other. Don’t leave your significant other in the dark about your big purchase. Discuss why you want or need it, how you plan to pay for it and how it will affect your finances. This will help you avoid any money arguments down the road and build financial trust with your partner.

Engaged? Read this: Financial Decisions You Should Make Before You Get Married

Look into your financing options. Will you need financing for this purchase? You may need an auto loan, personal loan, mortgage or credit available on a credit card, depending on the amount and type of purchase. If buying a car, try to get pre-approved before heading to the dealership to help you land the best deal. In the market for a home? Getting preliminary approval on a loan can give you an edge when you find a home you want to make your own.

 

Step 3: Don’t Rush


Take your time to help take the pressure off. Unless you have a hard-set deadline, such as a move-out date, take as much time as you need before you make the big purchase. The more thorough you are in your research and planning, the more confident you will be once you sign on the dotted line or hand over the cash.

Avoid impulse decisions. If you haven’t thought it through, don’t make the purchase! This is the fastest way to develop buyer’s remorse. Don’t be tempted by the shiny new piece of tech or super-expensive furniture without really thinking the purchase through. Your wallet will thank you later.

Read next: Money Traps - Ways Companies Pressure You to Spend  

Step 4: Go Forth and Conquer


Need backup? Take a friend! If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed just thinking about making the purchase, try bringing along your spouse, a close friend or a family member. The extra support may be just what you need to help you relax. They may also be able to help you deal with certain situations more easily, such as an overbearing salesperson or negotiating a deal.

Bring notes and don’t feel pressured. When you go into the sale knowing exactly what you want, and how you’ll pay for it, the entire interaction becomes much easier. Bring notes that entail all the details you’ve narrowed down about your purchase, and don’t let someone pressure you into something you don’t want or need. If you’ve taken the above steps, you’ll feel confident in your decision and avoid making an impulse buy or purchasing something out of your price range. 

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