Advertising
Advertising

How to Get the Best Deals When Purchasing Apple Products

How to Get the Best Deals When Purchasing Apple Products

Apple is a company that has its staunch haters and its “fanboys”. However, two things that both groups can agree are, for one, Apple does not always give deals, and for two, their items are a bit on the high side compared to other manufacturers. However, consumers have come to learn that quality comes at a price, and many will accept Apple’s pricing without any fuss. Consumers would be surprised to learn that there are some ways you can still enjoy all that Apple has to offer without having to break the bank. Today, we will go over a couple of ways this is possible.

Third-Party Retailers

Apple and mobile carriers aren’t the only locations where you can get Apple items. Actually, due in part to how many individuals think this is fact, these are the stores that are quite busy during the holiday shopping season. However, there are many other amazing places to pick up your Apple items.

First off, if you are looking into purchasing iPhones for the holiday season, you are in for a greater savings. First off, let’s look at all of the retailers you can choose from. There is the Apple Store, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Target. Two choices I would immediately rule out would be Wal-Mart and Target. While they are great for you other needs, in terms of iPhones, I would not say so.

Advertising

They don’t provide the option to purchase iPhones in all of their locations. In my area alone, I would have to drive an extra 20 miles to the closest Target and about 15 miles to the closest Wal-Mart providing this option. I would be passing one other Target and two Wal-Marts doing this, yes I looked! Also, Target doesn’t have a financial incentive in purchasing their way, unlike Wal-Mart who is cutting around $10 to $15 off the average price.

So then we have Best Buy and Apple. In terms of guaranteed amazing customer service, available options, and expert knowledge, Apple would be the obvious way to go. So, why would I recommend Best Buy over Apple this year? Their deals! Best Buy is offering all iPhones at $50 off. That’s the lowest price, ever! iPhone 4S will go for $49.99, iPhone 5 for $149.99. That’s just amazing and will save you more money for other things, like cases and Lightning adapters!

Don’t Pass Up Refurbished

If you haven’t heard, Apple is selling Macbook Air laptops for $719 and even Mac Minis for under $800. No, these aren’t back alley deals, the only catch is that they are refurbished. Don’t scroll to the next bullet just yet. Refurbished products seemed to have always gotten a bad wrap, causing it to be developed as a shameful word. However, this isn’t rightfully so.

Advertising

Apple has always offered high quality refurbished items since the program debuted. While they aren’t offering refurbished iPhones, amazing deals for Macs, iPods, and especially iPads have always been there. So why exactly should you go refurbished this holiday season? First off, Apple inspects all refurbished items before putting them for sell. We always expect Apple to provide the highest integrity in their items, refurbished is no different.

Refurbished items range any from formerly dropped items that have been factory repaired to some that were just returned for a different color. One thing both items share is that they come out looking perfect and they always get a new battery and outer shell, regardless of the condition. Lastly, you always get a one year warranty, so if you find an issue, Apple gives you a new device. Apple brings new hope to the title, refurbished.

Make Use of Trade-Ins

If you are still a bit freaked out by purchasing refurbished but still can’t afford to give the gift of Apple, you still have a couple of options. One option is to make use of trade-ins. If you have old iPhones just lying around the house, why not give them new life and trade them in for cash.

Advertising

Gazelle is a wonderful option for trade-ins. In general, most trade-in services work the same. Just go on their respective websites, answer a couple of questions regarding the item’s condition and what you have with it (chargers, etc). Then, you are given an amount that they will pay you. Then, receive an email with your item list and shipping label, and send it off.

You only make money with these services, so they shouldn’t charge you for shipping. Also, due to the fact that they must receive your item before you receive your money, it’s important to only work with a reputable trader. Glyde is also another great choice, allowing you to not only trade-in your item, but also purchase an item through Glyde at a low price.

As you’ve just learned, it is quite easy to spend less on the Apple gadgets you are purchasing this holiday season. If you are willing to venture out to other retailers like Best Buy, you can garner a huge discount. We also learned that the largest deal comes when purchasing refurbished. Trade-ins from websites like Glyde and Gazelle are also great ways to save a penny or two. Which option are you doing this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below.

Advertising

Featured photo credit:  BOLOGNA, ITALY – AUGUST 6 via Shutterstock

More by this author

10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily The 50 Best Desktop Wallpapers for 2013 23 Awesome Travel Hacks That Add Fun To Your Trip How to Stay in Good Shape During Black Friday 9 Apps Unrelated to Black Friday That Are Helpful

Trending in Money

1 How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them 2 25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education 3 10 Recession-Proof Debt Consolidation Tips 4 The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever) 5 25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 2, 2020

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

2. Keep Goals Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

Advertising

4. Short Term Vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

Advertising

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

  • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
  • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
  • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

Advertising

5. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

6. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

1. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

Advertising

3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding:

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

Use compound interest when setting financial goals

    Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

    Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

    4. Measure, Measure, Measure

    All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

    If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

    Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

    The Bottom Line

    Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

    and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

    More Tips on Financial Goals

    Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next