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Recently my wife and I have noticed that the topic of money has come up more in casual conversation with our friends, family and coworkers. It usually goes something along the lines of how money is tight and that they need to be more careful with their budget. A lot of people are in similar situations; however it amazes me when within the same conversation that many people also mention their new big purchase! In describing how they bought the purchase they mention that they simply could not pass it up primarily because it was such a good deal and their payment was small or would not change from their current one. I smile and am happy for them, but I also wonder to myself that, given their current financial situation, if it might have been a good deal, just not for them.
The mentality of making purchases simply because it is a good deal is prevalent today in our culture, from homes, to cars, to the weekend specials in the mall, and even in the weekly grocery store ads. But how many people are struggling financially while trying to hold on to these “good deals” that they are driving, traveling to, and living in? Every week when I look through the Real Estate listings in my area I notice a lot of property that can be had which would be considered a “good deal.” However my family is not in a position to afford the payments on $500K properties for very long, so for us it is not a good deal.
“Good deals” can only be considered good if you pay for them in cash or purchase a home that fits comfortably within your budget. Now do not get me wrong, I am all about getting good deals on things, but only when you have the money. You can not succeed long-term with money by chasing after “good deals” with debt. Our friends are neither the first nor the last ones to spontaneously buy a good deal on emotion; we have all bought “good deals” on a whim to various degrees. You can tell, however, if you have gotten a good deal if you are able to go to bed that night and not worry about how you will pay for it. By being able to say “No” to good deals today, you will be able to say “Yes” to better deals in the future.