’Tis the season of making lists…and checking them twice.
Figuring out the “what” part of gift giving is the hard part. I’m sure you have long lists of friends, family, and colleagues who you need to buy something for and are already busy (or will be soon) hunting down the perfect gift for each of them.
So, while you are out shopping (or busy trolling the internet in your search), we are busy over here at Splitit working hard with our partner companies around the world to simplify the “how” of your shopping adventures. And by “how” we mean the actual “how you plan on making your purchase” from a financial perspective.
We understand that budgeting this time of year is always a challenge. Like many of us, I’m sure you want to go all out and really enjoy the holidays, but, like every other month of the year, you still have to pay your bills as well as put food on your table and gas in your car.
I’m sure most of you would laugh at the idea of taking out a loan to make your holiday purchases. Am I right?
No. I wouldn’t actually take a loan to buy holiday gifts. But I would most definitely be interested in looking into alternative payment options.
Call me crazy, but what if there was actually a way to tap into your own purchasing power? How about, instead of spending all your money in one lump sum and maxing out your budget this year, what if you could spread out the costs over a couple of months and breathe a little easier…and splurge a little more?
First of all, what is “purchasing power”?
Consumer purchasing (buying) power, by definition, “refers to the capacity of an individual customer or a specific market to buy certain quantities of goods and services.” Basically, if you have a higher income you have access to a larger amount of goods and services because you can afford to pay for them. Transversely, if one has a lower income, they can afford less, which means they have lower buying power.
Alternative payment options level the playing field in-spite of income level and allow individuals to manage their own money accordingly.
So, let’s say Jack wants to buy a beautiful diamond necklace for his girlfriend for Christmas. He can splurge and get something really special (that maybe he couldn’t normally afford) because he only has to pay 1/4 or 1/36 of the cost upfront (depending on how many installment payments the company offers). That means Jack is able to not only spoil his girlfriend for the holidays, but he can also get his mom something nice as well. (Jack’s a good son and a good boyfriend!)
2 Key Alternative Payment Options
There are two key payment options available that place all the power in your hands as a shopper. One is installment payments and the other is deferred payments.
Installment payments that require financing are tricky because in a sense they are a loan. It requires filling out an application and, if you don’t read the fine print or if you ever miss a payment, you could end up paying extra on interest and fees.
It’s important to find retailers that offer installment payment options that are consumer backed (aka you are fronting yourself the money, not a bank)! Using installment payment options through companies like Splitit. means you won’t have any of those hidden fees and absolutely 0% interest, because it all runs through your existing credit card. You get to secure your own payment and it doesn’t require any additional information during checkout. Gotta love all things that make our lives simpler! We have enough on our plates as is.
Also…(and this is the part that I love), since you are already using your credit card, you continue to build your credit score, earn your benefits, and never have to worry about missing a payment because it’s all automated. No hidden fees and no interest. It is the payment option of the future…and today! (Read here to learn more about why millennials are running toward installment payment options.)
And deferred payments….The whole “buy now, buy later” phenomenon is definitely here to stay and only growing in popularity. Especially with so many people preferring to shop online today. (I’d wager most of you prefer browsing stores online from the comfort of your couch in your favorite lounge-wear. I know I do!)
Most things are easy to order online. But what about those high ticket items that look awesome? You never know if you will like it once it arrives. Right!?! If you look around, companies are now offering a 90-day trial period through solutions like Splitit for all kinds of products. I’m sure knowing that there’s an easy way for you to try and return an item without having to put any money down upfront would make you more willing to place that order.
Would you be interested or willing to pay using one of these options if available?
If your answer is “YES”, then there is good news for you. Fortunately, these options are becoming more readily available as merchants worldwide are realizing the potential for their consumers to have access to such payment options.
So, if this is a service you would be interested in, then be sure to ask your local retailers about the alternative payment options they provide this season. It just might be the key to helping you maximize the spreading of holiday cheer without breaking the bank this year!