Everyone wants it and a lot of people will do anything to get it. It’s no surprise that there are a lot of tricks out there that can cost you money, but with a closer look you can identify and avoid them. Here are five lies that won’t deceive you any more.
The Magic of Free
The word ‘free’ can cause even the most sensible people to lose their minds. There is a lot we are willing to do if something is free, like signing up for credit cards to get a free hat. Salesmen and vendors take that psychology even further when they lure you into making more expensive purchases with the promise of something that is free. However, pay attention to the overall value. If you’re car shopping and a more expensive car comes with free maintenance for 5 years and a cheaper one doesn’t, do the math. It’s very possible that the money you would save with the free service isn’t better than just buying a cheaper car. You may also be tempted to buy something you wouldn’t have if it is buy one, get one free. Remember, when you spend money nothing is free.
Minimum Monthly Payments
When you are paying for your credit card each month, it may be appealing to just pay the minimum monthly payment. However, that doesn’t do you a lot of good. If you just pay the minimum each month it can take a long time to pay off and may end up costing you a lot more money. That’s if you don’t continue to use your card. If you keep charging and only pay the minimum you can find yourself in some terrifying credit card debt. The best thing to do is to work towards paying off your balance each month. That way, it won’t snowball with interest.
On Sale for a Limited Time
We’ve all heard the department store commercials that say they’re having a sale and we’ve all heard them say, “Don’t wait until it’s over.” Merchants like to create two illusions. One is that their prices are so low you are a fool if you don’t buy. The other is that their stupidly low prices aren’t going to last long. This could be because in our minds are tantalized to think there is some exclusivity to a small window of opportunity and it doesn’t give us time to reconsider. However, I’m not a psychologist. All I know is that they’re making money and they (or some other merchant ) will probably have the same sale next weekend.
Some people think price tags are set in stone in most places, but did you know that you can get discounts just for asking? As long as the store clerk you’re asking has the authority to give you a discount, there is no harm in asking. There are also three situations that increase your chances of getting a discount.
- Finding products with defects that aren’t extremely noticeable or that you can fix yourself and offering to buy them at a lower price.
- Asking for a discount when you’ve bought a lot of things at once. If you are spending a lot of money at a store the vendor might be inclined to give you a discount.
- Buy something that is on sale at a competing store or on the internet. The vendor may prefer to give you a discount than to see you walk out the door to buy from a competitor.
In the same way we don’t expect to get discounts at stores, we also think everything a bank wants is non-negotiable. Actually if you stand your ground and you have a reasonable request you might be able to negotiate, even with a big bank.
With a little bit of healthy skepticism it is not hard to see through the deceptions that try to separate you from your dollars. Try taking just these five things into consideration and see how much you can save.