Many people shop using catalogues. These tend to be mainly for clothing, but there are different types of catalogues which sell different things. Many of them offer credit, which means that you can buy items and then pay them back weekly or monthly over time in order to spread the cost. This can seem like a great way to make things more affordable and many people take advantage of being able to do this, but it is worth considering whether it is as good as it sounds.
Some catalogues will charge interest if you pay for items over a series of weeks or months. It is worth doing the maths and working out whether you will end up paying more if you pay for it this way, rather than a lump sum. If it does cost more then think whether you will still be happy having that item if it costs that extra money. In some catalogues they do not charge more for paying in instalments. Although this seems like it will be much better, they may just put all of their prices up in order to cover the costs of the credit. There will also be charges if you do not pay your instalments when they are due. These could be really high and it is worth finding out what these are before you sign up so that you can be prepared. If you think that you might not be able to keep up with the payments, then it is a risk in signing up for them.
When looking at these catalogues it is worth comparing their prices with high street shops. See whether their clothing is cheaper or whether it is more expensive. You may find that the high street offers similar items for less money. You may be able to afford them right away, but it could be the fact that you can pay in instalments that is the reason for using the catalogue. There are ways that you can do this without having to pay the extra. This is by saving up in advance. So instead of paying in instalments, you put some money aside each week or month into a savings account. Then when you have enough you can draw it out and buy the item that you want. You will have to wait, but it will save you money and you will have the pleasure of knowing that you have saved up for it yourself and have not had to borrow money to get it. If you can get into the habit of always saving a bit of money, then if you want to buy something that cannot come out of your weekly or monthly money, then you have that extra to fall back on. It will mean that you will not need to wait for something and you will not have to pay extra for it either.
Another problem with credit in catalogues is that it makes things look more affordable. If you look at items in terms of how much they will cost per week, they can look really cheap and appealing. This means that you will perhaps buy more than you would have otherwise have done. You may treat yourself and then find that you struggle to make the repayments. It is worth thinking about each purchase and whether it really is worth the money. Consider whether you feel the cost of the item is fair, whether it something that you really want and need and whether you really will be able to manage the repayments. Think about what else you could do with the money you will be paying out and whether it really is something that you will be able to afford. Do not feel that you are depriving yourself when you are making these decisions, think that you are making sure that you are getting good value for money with your hard earned cash and are spending it on things that really will make you feel and look good.
It may seem rather boring to worry about possible future charges if you cannot make repayments or how much prices compare to stores that do not offer credit. However, it is important if you want to make sure that you are getting good value for money and that you will be able to avoid charges in the future. Therefore it is good to make sure that you think hard about your purchase. Decide whether you are prepared to pay extra for it, if it is more expensive and whether you are prepared to take the risk of paying by instalments when there is a chance you may not be able to keep up with repayments and be charged extra as a result. Consider the advantages of saving money each week or month instead and then using that to pay for items rather than getting into debt to buy things.