Trends are a dangerous thing. Whilst it’s really fun to get your hands on the latest tech or fashion as soon as they drop, the impact of this on your wallet is certainly less fun. Especially when you borrow money to get the things you want now.
Let’s be honest, you probably don’t need these things. Even if it will help your studies, you don’t need them right this moment! I speak from experience, I bought an iPad and keyboard for my university work by using a credit card. Whilst it can be useful to see it as an investment, it’s so much more satisfying to save up and buy these things using cash!
This is called ‘delayed satisfaction’ – putting off a purchase so you enjoy it better at a later date in the knowledge you’ve paid in cash for it!
I can, however, see the point when you take out an interest free deal from an electrical retailer. These tend to be pretty good as they allow you to spread the cash price of an item over time, rather than paying more by paying monthly. That’s the only way I would take out a finance deal again, and it’s really important to check you can afford to pay back the monthly payments!
If you are planning to buy something by monthly payments, here’s how to make sure it won’t cause you trouble in the long term.
Check your budget! Can you afford to pay the payments every month? Where is your income coming from and how could that change?
Do you really need the item? If it’s something like a computer or another piece of tech that will help you with your studies, then I would say go for it. If it’s something like a new phone, a smart watch or a games console, how necessary is it to buy it right now? Could you save up?
Is the credit only for this item or is it a product like a credit card? I wouldn’t recommend getting a credit card for a big purchase. Instead, explore finance deals offered by shops as they tend to be limited to the item you’re buying. This stops you being tempted to get into unnecessary debt!