Don't Budge on Your Budget When Shopping for High-Ticket Items
Setting a savings goal and sticking with it can help you purchase a new car or even your dream home. When buying high-ticket items, it's best to set a firm budget and understand what you can afford before you start shopping. You may encounter sales pressure and if so, you don't want to blow your budget on extra items you'll never use.
State Your Budget Upfront to Avoid Buying Pressure
When you're car shopping, you should expect to receive some type of upsell in the form of an extended warranty or other add-ons, like sport wheels or upgraded features. Devising a strategy for dealing with an upsell before you're in the situation can help you to avoid spending money on something you really don't need. Research the manufacturer's warranty for an appliance or car before you buy and determine if what's already included meets your needs.
When buying a high-priced item, try to state your price range early in the conversation to guide the salesperson toward more affordable products. You should remain polite but firm and resist the temptation to stretch your dollars and buy something out of your previously established budget.
Ask Yourself if You Really Need the Higher-Priced Item
Many high-tech extras for items like personal computers may look amazing when demonstrated to you in the store. But, before purchasing anything extra, ask yourself how likely you are to use the software package or additional hardware. When you're at an auto dealership, a custom bike rack can make your sleek new car or truck look cool, but will you ever take advantage of the functionality and haul bikes for long distances? When renovating your home, new, high-end kitchen appliances — like a convection oven — offer the opportunity to turn you into an at-home chef, but if you're not a person who enjoys cooking, you may never use the extra features. In these cases, a basic model may often be your best bet.
Prioritize What's Important to You — Not What the Salesperson Is Telling You
If safety is important to you, then those features should be your focus when car shopping. Decide which items are worth bargaining for and don't waiver from the final total you want to pay for a new vehicle. Also, don't forget to think about the ongoing costs of owning a car or a home. Rather than splurge on a pricey add-on, you may want to set aside some of your budget for insurance or maintenance expenses.
A financial advisor can help you calculate an affordable monthly payment for a car or home that will fit into your current household budget. Once you feel comfortable working within a set price range, research warranties and other potential add-ons before you shop to help place yourself in the strongest possible position when sales negotiations begin.