How to Save Money Buying Shit Online: Part I — Purchasing

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If you are a gadget lover, you probably purchase shit online. But are you spending your money wisely? If you are like me, and you shop & purchase your precious tech gadgets and accessories online, you may find the following information useful. Saving money and using the system to your advantage is actually much easier than you think. You can even improve your credit while doing so.

For all you smartasses, and too cool for school types, this may be nothing new, you may have your own tips and tricks. Congrats, now piss off. This is for everyone else. I am constantly amazed by how fucking stupid people can be with their dough. So don’t assume everyone knows the following information. Remember, “Assumption, is the mother of all fuck ups” – Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. Shitty movie, useful quote.

I consider myself to be a savvy tech shopper. I don’t mean being one out of 100 to buy a tablet for 50% off, by hitting refresh every two seconds for four hours. Nor is this about how to score an Xbox One for $349 on black Friday. This is practical, long-term advise. Getting an awesome deal is great, but if you are one of those who are never quite fast enough to get in on the deal, the following is for you.

First off, let’s get one thing straight. Tech gadgets are not a necessity. No one “needs” a new Nexus 6 in order to survive. I understand the fact that not everyone is as financially stable as they would like to be.  The following advise is meant for a means of attaining your beloved gadgets and gizmos for a good price. It is not advise for getting your ass out of debt. Living by this one piece of advise should guide you through this post. If you cannot afford it, don’t buy it. Let’s proceed.

Don’t buy shit with your high interest credit card *Unless you can pay it off within a month*

This is probably the biggest trap out there, and hopefully the most obvious. If you have a credit card, you probably have a high interest associated with that card. The last thing you want is an overabundance of credit card debt, a small balance from month to month is okay, but keeping a high balance on your card every single month, is a big fucking no-no. It’s bad for your credit, and big fucking problem for your wallet. Don’t be a damn moron with your card. “But I get points/rewards from purchases” you say. Getting points is good, but paying more in interest charges than your points will earn you is stupid and defeats the fucking purpose. Don’t get me wrong, given enough time and money spent, rewards can really add up. But you need to take advantage of the system.

If you buy a $600 phone with your new Visa, you might get 1% back in rewards, a whole $6 fucking dollars. But if you carry that balance into your next statement your interest charges will cost you $9 at 18% APR (which is a low estimate). So even with your point accumulation, you are still taking a $3 hit, and that is assuming you pay off the balance after two months. Pay off that phone for 6 months, and you will be paying an extra $40 in interest. That’s just for one item, you more than likely have other charges on your card. That is not money you need to be throwing away, you could easily be saving that money. If you think you have no better options that putting everything on a card and plan to carry a balance, keep on reading, there are better, cheaper, options available.

Take advantage of zero percent interest offers *If you have an account*

If you have shitty credit, I feel bad for you son. You owe $99, and you ain’t got $1 (ah thank you). There are a lot of people out there that assume that having a credit line is a bad thing, you should pay cash for everything. If you can afford to pay cash for everything, you are probably pretty damn smart, and can probably stop reading this article. This requires mad fucking discipline and zero impulse buying. But for the rest of us, were not that good. We will need credit at some point. I assume at some point you will need an auto loan, a mortgage, or a credit check for an apartment. You need credit for these things, it’s just the shitty world we live in. But having credit does not have to ruin you life. It can really fuck your life over if you aren’t responsible, but it does not have too. You just need to not be lazy and stupid with you credit. Responsibly building your credit will pay off big time in the future, but only if you play by the rules. There are tons of places online that can explain why, much better than I ever could.

Assuming you have decent credit, you can apply for more credit. The cycle goes on and on. Just don’t apply for too many lines of credit, and only apply for credit if you plan on actually using. I have 3 lines of online only credit that I use often, they give me the best options for purchasing the shit I buy. They are PayPal Credit (formerly know as Bill Me Later), the Amazon store card, and the Best Buy store card. So why these three lines of credit? Buying power. You do not usually earn any kind of rewards with these types of credit lines, but you do get awesome financing offers, which are more valuable to me. Rather than taking a big hit to your bank account, financing offers makes it easy to pay off the item over the course of a few months/years (usually for no additional cost, but not always). Between these three lines of credit, I can make almost any big purchase, TV’s, Washing Machine’s, Smartphones, Tablet’s, etc, and have the option of 0% interest for a minimum of six months. Often times that can extend out to 12 or 18 months, depending on the offer.

This is where discipline comes in. If you use these payment systems, it is very important to not miss any payments. Missing a payment will basically forfeit all of the benefits of zero percent interest. If you pay off the balance for 11 months with no problems, and miss the final payment, guess what, you now owe all of the interest you would have otherwise accumulated over the course of 12 months. In short, you are fucked. Do whatever you have to do to remember to make your payments and pay off you balance before your 6,12 or 18 months are up. Otherwise, you are better off paying with a normal credit card. You can do it!

If you don’t have the cash upfront, a great financing offer is the way to go. Just make sure you know your own damn finances. Figure how much you will need to fork out each month (total cost ÷ finance period length 6,12,18,24 months), don’t pay the fucking minimum, never only pay the fucking minimum. You will be fucked. Trust me. If you cannot afford $100, or whatever your monthly payment is, to pay off your new smart phone, guess what asshole, you cannot afford that new smart phone.

Don’t pay more than retail cost. With a few exceptions.

It’s a simple rule. Don’t buy shit you can get cheaper elsewhere. Do your fucking research. If it is a hard to find/high demand item, it may only be available at one place, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save money (more on that in Part II). Most of the time, you have options. Comparison shopping is a no-brainier, so I wont get into it. Look around for the best deal to save money, hopefully it is at a store you have a store card with. But use your noggin. If Best Buy has your new smart phone for $610 with 0% interest for 12 months, but Google Play has the same phone for $600, with no financing. You have a decision on your hands. Is the 0% financing worth the extra $10 because you don’t want to take a $600 hit to your bank account? For most of us, this is probably true. In this scenario, I would choose the financing. The $10 savings is not a better value to me than the piece of mind of having time to pay. Getting to use someone else’s money for free, is never a bad thing. They are banking on you missing a payment, or only paying the minimum. So as long as you aren’t “that guy”, you will come out ahead.

Don’t Buy Shit from RTO (Rent to Own) Stores EVER!

Don’t let their fucking scams fool you. RTO is for fucking fools. We cannot be friends if you shop at an RTO. All I need is one example.

Lets say you want a brand new PS4. A brand new PS4 costs 399.99, probably around $430 after taxes. It’s too easy right? You could be paying so much more for the same thing! How would you like to pay $1300 fucking dollars for the same fucking thing? “Everyday low price of $899″, and a $420 lease charge on top of that? What the actual fuck!  That’s right. It will cost your ass over three times as much to lease a new PS4 than to buy it outright. 80 fucking percent interest! You would be better off putting a PS4 on the worst credit card in America, and you would still come out on top. Here’s an alternative. Save up for what you want. Build your credit, get a free financing offer, don’t pay a dollar more than you should. Aaron’s and other RTO’s prey on the poor and uneducated. For the love of fuck, don’t go there.

Purchasing shit from Aaron’s is literally like giving someone you absolutely fucking despise a pile of cash. While getting nothing in return. Aaron’s and other RTO shops should be fucking illegal. Don’t get me started on cash advance establishments. Avoid them both like fucking Ebola. Borrowing money from literally anyplace else would be a better idea.

Come back tomorrow for Part II: Save money, by making money