Money Matters

What you need to know about daily deals

January 30, 2014 | Alliant Credit Union

How many daily deal sites are you receiving emails from every morning? You may have some in your inbox from this morning, including limited-time sale emails or monthly buying clubs. Many try to delete them before they even read the subject line to resist the urge to buy. Often we don't really need the item, right?

Daily deals are great because they offer opportunities to explore, shop, dine, exercise, relax and go crazy (skydiving) at a fraction of the cost. But they can hurt your pocketbook if you're not careful. Here's what you need to know to stop giving into the daily temptation waiting for you in your inbox.

Don't rush it
The deal isn't going to go away forever if you don't buy it right NOW. Before you commit to buying it, step away from your computer or put your phone down and consider whether you really need it, and more importantly, if you’ll actually use it. Avoid buying deals on impulse by knowing and waiting for the one that you really want and need. Doing this will help you save money, while it will also relieve both the temptation and buyer’s remorse of purchasing too many deals. If the deal does go away, you're likely to find a similar one again soon. It just wasn't meant to be this time.

Before the expiration date
Deals can go bad too! When you do purchase a deal, don't keep putting it off until later, lose or forget about it because it will expire. Putting it off until the last moment could make scheduling difficult and result in you not being able to use it. If this does happen, check the refund policy because you may be able to get your money back. Business owners report that 40% of daily deals that they sell don't ever get redeemed.1 If you buy a deal but then later don't think you’ll be able to use it, or you know you're not going to use it, consider selling or giving it to a friend or selling it online.

Budget for deals
Set a budget for how much you can spend per month or per year on deals. Create a new Supplemental Savings account in Alliant Online Banking and rename it Daily Deals, or whatever name you'd like, and only spend the money you have in that savings account on deals. Doing this will prevent you from buying too many.

Set some guidelines
Establish guidelines for using and buying deals to relieve the beating your pocketbook is receiving. Guidelines could include:

  • Using up coupons you’ve already bought before buying any new ones
  • If a deal expires, you can't purchase another one for a month or longer
  • Only using the funds in a dedicated savings account to purchase deals
  • Purchasing deals for specific uses only
  • Setting a price limit on deals you can purchase

Rules apply
Before you buy, read the fine print. Make sure you know all of the limitations on the deal to know when it expires, if there are restrictions on use based on time and location, if there is a limit to the number coupons per person and if it covers extra charges or if you have to pay some costs separately. If after reading, you decide it's at all inconvenient to redeem, don't buy it.

Branch out
If you're only signed up for one daily deal site, subscribe to a couple more. Yes, I know this may sound counterintuitive, but having more options may lessen the temptation of deals and reduce the urge to splurge. Also, if you miss a deal or regret not taking advantage of one, you're more likely to come across it again.

Change of focus
When you receive the new deals tomorrow morning, instead of focusing on the savings think of it's cost. Focusing on the savings makes the purchase price more reasonable and increases the urge to buy.

What type of daily deal always gets you? We want to hear from you, so leave a comment on Facebook or send us a Tweet to @AlliantCU.

1 SmartMoney.com

Sources: SmartMoney.com, Learnvest.com, SavvySugar.com, BlondeandBalanced.com

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