When a bargain isn’t really a bargain!

I have just returned from a holiday overseas, and one of the first questions people asked me was, what did you buy? Things are so cheap in the States!
True, but, cheap is not cheap if you never use it or wear it. Then it just becomes a waste of money.
This may not be a huge issue if you buy something that falls in the $10 to $20 price range.
However, what if you spend hundreds of dollars on cheap?
I had this experience while shopping in a high end handbag outlet store in the States.
I was dumbfounded by the bargain mentality of the customers. There were hundreds of people in the store buying handbags. Not one, but 4 or 5, each with a price tag over $200. People were behaving as though there would never be another handbag sale for the rest of eternity.
This was frenzied shopping rather like the January sales where people wait overnight to be first in the store for the bargain. People were pushing and shoving, desperate to get a bargain. I wondered how anyone could make a rational decision regarding whether they liked the bag when they were so worried someone would buy it before they could. So the question is, are they buying the bag because they like it, are they buying the bag because it is a bargain, or are they buying the bag because they don’t want anyone to get the bargain before they do?
Panic takes rational decision making out of the picture.
So how do you save yourself from the desperation of, must have at any cost?
1.First ask yourself is this a need or a want?
If you really need a new handbag, then fighting the frenzied shoppers might be worthwhile.
2.Go with a plan. What style and colour are you looking for?
Go with a list and stick to it, no matter what. It’s so easy to get sidetracked by bright and shiny. How often have you gone looking for a handbag and come back with a dress and shoes, neither of which you needed, and still no handbag.
3.Go knowing you are only prepared to spend x number of dollars.
4.Never spend more than you can afford. You won’t be so happy with the bargain when you can’t pay your credit card. Remember late payment incurs fees and the bargain can turn into a very expensive item at 17% each month.
5.Pay with cash. We tend to pay everything with cards these days. The risk of this is it’s hard to calculate how much you have spent, especially if you are on a roll during the sales. With cash, once the money is gone, it’s time to stop!
Remember, bargains are only bargains if you can afford them.