How to determine if a “special” is a good deal
Rent specials, car specials, specials on home furnishings: every day we encounter plenty of advertised specials that are accompanied by fine print and tricky wording. Learn to really save money by distinguishing a “special” gimmick and a real good deal.
One thing will always help you spot a good deal: literacy. Read fine print. Get a written, signed copy of your agreement to help you in case of disputes.
LEASE Apartment hunters are often drawn into a community after being promised move-in specials and free rent. In general, these specials are a real deal. Move-in specials may mean waived fees. Free rent can be translated into one month of rent-free living or a discount spread over a few months.
CAR Car salespeople and ads will lure potential buyers to the lot by advertising low monthly payments on expensive cars. Do not be impressed by low monthly payments. Car buyers usually discover that the base price of the car remains the same. The monthly payment is lower but the term of the loan is longer. Such loans are often accompanied by high interest rates. When shopping for a car, focus the negotiations on the bottom line.
FURNITURE Make no payments until 2020? Check the contract to see if interest accrues during this grace period; if so, just say no. You’ll end up paying more due to accrued interest than if you just started making payments immediately. If interest does not accrue, it’s likely that you’ll have to make interest payments during the grace period and you’ll only start paying the furniture’s balance later. That’s still not a great deal. If you can find a program with 0% interest and deferred payments then you may have found an excellent deal.