How do you make decide what to buy?

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Found 14th Sep 2017Edited by:"Quicklite"
Just a 20s something person, looking for tips from seasoned HUKD pros. Basic question: When it comes to getting gadgets / cars / houses, etc do you have a fixed . criteria / to decide if/when to get it?
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Original Poster
Normally I try to run through a basic list / probably missing plenty of stuff / so keen to hear how you do yours.


1. Is this an essential purchase, or is it a desirable/good to have? And can it wait? (set price trigger)
2. If the offer is time sensitive/very good value / lacks historic price pattern, what would I normally be reasonably expected to pay for this?
3. Is the overall advantages derived, proportional to the cost?
3B. Would it bring advantages which are magnitude of improvement over current arrangement?
4. If the expected gain contains notable intangible/subjective benefits - what other avenues to invest/save that money is there - and why should we buy - instead of invest/save?
5. Check for hidden / underlying buying motivation, e.g. ego/vanity checks? (check it's not there to impress others/one's ego)
Edited by: "Quicklite" 14th Sep 2017
I just decide through what I've had the longest and what urgently needs to be repaired/upgraded. I bought a new phone a few months back after I had mine for almost 2 years and didn't want to replace the battery (it was preowned) + wanted more data).

Next it was my provisional license so that I have a form of ID. My next thing to buy is a laptop because it requires various expensive fixes and the lack of portability (it was bad enough when I had to buy another charger for it after it somehow vanished) and it'll be over 6 years old by the time I manage to get one.

After that it'll be saving for uni costs. The laptop is technically one of them (I currently have to use my phone to write documents on the go, because my laptop is too heavy and too big) so that'll be one down.
Priority order. If it is needed then buy it as soon as I can afford it. If it is wanted but not absolute need then when i have spare cash or when it is on sale and i can afford it. That was my logic anyway when I had to budget.
The biggest rule you should set yourself is only buy with money you have on the hip, avoid buying now and paying later because once you start it can be a never ending cycle because all your money goes on your debts so you need more credit for your next goods. I have never had a credit card only debit so can only spend money I actually have. As I'm not paying debts and interest I have money on the hip so can also pay cash for better deals.
If it is essential, I find the best I can afford at the best price and I buy it.
If it is a want not a need , then wait till I find it on offer and if I still want it, I buy it.
Anything else wait until it wears out.
Funnily enough my girlfriend just said to me 'stop looking at the new iPhone and just get it!'. I always sit on a decision for a while, work out if I can afford it, then work out the best way of buying it.

Just recently I've gone on a spending binge as for too long I was worrying about spending money. But we have one life and you should live it.

Just make sure you always work out the cost of ownership and if you're really going to get value from it.
My moto has always been don't spend money you don't have. If you are buying gadgets, think on how easy it is to get replaced, fixed if it goes wrong. Though some of the offer from Gearbest, and any Chinese outfit may be tempting, think of the trouble you would have if something goes wrong (and it does sometimes as I found out).
Saying that, if I really listened to my heart, I would have about 20 guitars hanging on the walls...
I just ask myself:
1) do I really need It
2) can I afford it
3) can I buy it anywhere else cheaper
Some things are worth spending money on and some things are not, but only you can decide.

In my opinion, phones are not worth spending much on, they all make calls and texts and I don't feel the need to be connected where ever I am. I don't care what others think of my phone either, nor do I care what phone others have.

Cars however are slightly different. A cheap one is less likely to be reliable, so i usually get 2 or 3 year old low to mid range cars. Not interested in fancy expensive cars.

Houses are different again. Getting it wrong can have much more of an impact on your life so get the best you can afford. Scenario 1 & 2 (above) help you to be able to do that.

Decide what you want in life and bear that in mind when making financial decisions.
Original Poster
POWYSWALES3 h, 18 m ago

The biggest rule you should set yourself is only buy with money you have …The biggest rule you should set yourself is only buy with money you have on the hip, avoid buying now and paying later because once you start it can be a never ending cycle because all your money goes on your debts so you need more credit for your next goods. I have never had a credit card only debit so can only spend money I actually have. As I'm not paying debts and interest I have money on the hip so can also pay cash for better deals.



Definitely. Depends on the item, circumstances, etc. You're right. I mean there are different priorities for each person, have to take the individual usage, affordability into consideration. Where possible, definitely prefer to pay more for a safer car too as sometimes short cuts aren't worth it.

Whereas I think for phones when a sub £150 ZUK can do - it's fine / not that deep. I think the iPhone X pricing probably got me to make this query. It just makes no sense for me spending that much on a phone - a subjective reflection of my present spending pattern, focusing on minimise cost. Yet most prospective buyers, it will make loads of sense. It's what works individually.

Whilst still young - I think that it is also helpful to distinguish between living frugally, so as to be able to plan/invest well; whilst not consciously disconnect from the seemingly other world that can afford those things.

POWYSWALES3 h, 18 m ago

The biggest rule you should set yourself is only buy with money you have …The biggest rule you should set yourself is only buy with money you have on the hip, avoid buying now and paying later because once you start it can be a never ending cycle because all your money goes on your debts so you need more credit for your next goods. I have never had a credit card only debit so can only spend money I actually have. As I'm not paying debts and interest I have money on the hip so can also pay cash for better deals.


Good point. Live within the means. Not a fan of credit card neither (though got told I should use the credit card). Ahh that reminds me need to use that dreaded credit card to generate credit history. 😁 How ironic.
Whether it's a "don't really need it I just want it item" or a "I need this to fix something", I always research to find out what's the best available and what issues people have had.

Currently I have a 46" LED tv that's at least four years old, yes I would like a larger model, and yes it does have issues if I leave it plugged in or use it for long periods (thanks PS4...). But I don't really need to upgrade it, as it works perfectly fine as a tv and it still looks good. So I can't really justify spending £2k for the tasty 4K 65" OLED that I would like.

Same with my phone - 2 years old, but it works very well, and I'm not bored with it, unlike previous phones.

For my car, I made sure that I had saved enough before I actually went looking, I don't like being in debt to anyone, especially not a finance company that's charges you ridiculous interest rates.
mutley111 h, 14 m ago

Priority order. If it is needed then buy it as soon as I can afford it. …Priority order. If it is needed then buy it as soon as I can afford it. If it is wanted but not absolute need then when i have spare cash or when it is on sale and i can afford it. That was my logic anyway when I had to budget.


Afford it? Thought you were a multiple landlord millionaire.
chocci1 h, 11 m ago

Afford it? Thought you were a multiple landlord millionaire.


you haven't been stalking me long enough or you haven't paid enough attention. i did not come from money. i never used to have money.
mutley159 m ago

you haven't been stalking me long enough or you haven't paid enough …you haven't been stalking me long enough or you haven't paid enough attention. i did not come from money. i never used to have money.



Never said you did. Just referring to your recent history stating you owned multiple properties and were a millionaire.

Or am I talking to the alter-ego mutley1 today lol
Depends what your like with money to be honest, personally I am good and don't spend much on eating out ect, so when it comes to purchases, If I want something and its a good deal, aslong as I've been working I buy it, prefer this type of spending, can die tommorow

but if you tend to eat out and drink often you might want to think differently because you won;t have the spare donga for both
Pandamansays11 h, 33 m ago

Some things are worth spending money on and some things are not, but only …Some things are worth spending money on and some things are not, but only you can decide. In my opinion, phones are not worth spending much on, they all make calls and texts and I don't feel the need to be connected where ever I am. I don't care what others think of my phone either, nor do I care what phone others have. Cars however are slightly different. A cheap one is less likely to be reliable, so i usually get 2 or 3 year old low to mid range cars. Not interested in fancy expensive cars. Houses are different again. Getting it wrong can have much more of an impact on your life so get the best you can afford. Scenario 1 & 2 (above) help you to be able to do that.Decide what you want in life and bear that in mind when making financial decisions.


with the phone thing I use to have the s7 Edge lovely phone but I broke it and was worthless, from that point going from flagships I bought a sony X 130£ refurb and its brilliant, it might not be as slick as the samsung but 90% of things I do it does it within mm of seconds on speed,

However this is only the case if your tech savvy and know how to maintain phones, as most users clog there's up and don't make use of things like greenify or launchers and icon packs to keep there phone fresh
Do I need it?
Do I really need it?
£10 or less, or if it's really genuinely essential buy it.
£10+
Research the item and check out all alternative/recommendations.
Depending on value of the item cool down period anything from a few hours to weeks, after which repeat the above steps.

Never buy anything you don't have the cash for (houses being the expection).
chocci4 h, 44 m ago

Never said you did. Just referring to your recent history stating you …Never said you did. Just referring to your recent history stating you owned multiple properties and were a millionaire.Or am I talking to the alter-ego mutley1 today lol


I am just saying, I used to have to budget like everyone else and I could not always have what I needed or wanted. And that was how I made the choice on what to buy and when, in answer to the OP's question.
First lesson of HUKD rehab: you don't need 90% of the tat that seems tempting.

Second lesson of HUKD rehab: if it's not a glitch (time sensitive), turn the laptop/phone/iPad off and walk away. If 12 hours later you're still thinking about it, have another look and repeat the previous step. 99% of things you will have forgotten about roughly 10 mins after walking away from your screen.
Edited by: "sicklysweet" 15th Sep 2017
For electronics and gadgets I won't buy them unless I have the cash.

That once meant 8 months without a laptop which was hard, but it was worth it.

The mantra 'buy cheap buy twice' is often the case, so I do my research and take my time getting the right item for me.

I then look after the items and treat them with respect so they last longer.
1. decide what we want
2. find out what the best product is (often the is 3 or 4)
3. search to get he best price

The most important part of the is No.1 because so many reviews choose best product on features most people would do without. No.2 note the product code and search on that even if it's a price too haigh for you. We did this on an induction hob retailed £1500, found one for £300 which had been bought for a new kitchen but the fitter chipped the corner. Just rounded the corner off :-)
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