3 “big purchase” mistakes you're probably making

Last post: Jul 10, 2017

Making a big purchase can be an incredibly stressful process, whether you're buying replacement white goods or a new car. Here's how to avoid three common errors commonly made when "splashing out".

 Spending a significant amount on a big purchase can feel extremely daunting, especially when your finances are a little tight. Whether the new purchase is an essential new vehicle, a new boiler or crucial kitchen equipment, it's normal to feel flustered and out of your depth right before spending a sizeable amount of money.

This is a recipe for less-than-ideal decision making. When we're worried about a purchase, panic buying or following bad advice can lead us to spend more than we need on a purchase that isn't perfect. Read these common "big purchase mistakes" to help you make smarter choices...

1. Emergency buying
Life can get hectic and money can be hard to find, but waiting until it's an emergency purchase is not the best way to buy high-value items. Rather than waiting for the original item to break or your need to become desperate, keep your eyes peeled for great deals on items you may need soon.

From Black Friday sales, to shopping for cars at the end of the month (when dealers want to meet quotas), thinking ahead will save you money. This approach will also stop you panicking and saying "yes!" to the first bad deal which comes along.

2. Upgrading to an extended warranty

Extended warranties are almost always a bit of a con. While protecting your valuable purchase for longer may seem like a good idea, the warranties which are usually sold rarely extend the length of your coverage – they're just a way for the seller to make an extra buck.

3. Buying at sale price

There is so much wiggle room available if you're willing to put in the time and effort, which means you should never settle for a sale price big ticket item. Holiday sales, price-match policies, free deliveries, extra perks, cash-back offers, negotiation – there are lots of ways to reduce ticket price and get a better deal. Do your research, keep notes (or a handy spreadsheet) and talk to sales people to make big purchases cost less.

What is the most expensive item you've bought in the last three years? Share your story and your cost-cutting tips with other readers below.