Comparison Shopping

You’ve already made dozens of spending decisions throughout the game, usually with just a few options to choose from. In the real world, you will need to spend a lot more time and effort into making sure your get the best deal! Here’s a few quick tips to get you started in the right direction.

Tip 1: Focus On The Big Purchases

You make thousands of choices every day, most without realizing it. If you try to save every possible penny, you will soon face decision fatigue, where you spent all your brainpower sweating the small stuff – and not leave any time to enjoy yourself.

To put your effort in the right place, you should put the most focus on big, recurring items – these will have the most impact on your long-term budget. Make sure you shop around for new cell phone plans, internet packages, insurance, and places to rent regularly – try dedicating at least a weekend a year to finding ways to save on each of your recurring bills.

Budget Game Tip: You can change your Rent, Cell Phone Plan, TV/Internet Package, and Grocery Plan at any point during the game. You will get new offers every time you check, so spending a few minutes every few months of the game looking for the best deals can save a lot of money!

Tip 2: Be Wary of Pressure Sales and Bundles

Good finances start with good, well-researched decisions. However, the entire world of advertising and sales is designed to pressure you into making spending choices quickly.

Even if you don’t do a full comparison exercise on every spending choice you make, ensure that you aren’t just being “Sold To”, and at least have the opportunity to do so. Avoid taking “upgrades” right at check-out (like last-minute extended warranties or set-up packages), and never sign a contract without having a chance to read it first.

Tip 3: Your Phone Is Your Friend – And Enemy

If you have a smartphone, you have a very powerful weapon, and very crippling weakness when it comes to spending choices. Your phone will let you instantly look up products you see in-store for better options online, but many shopping apps will push you to make a purchase as quickly as possible.

Use your phone for research, but wait until you get home and take some time to digest before making any impulse purchases. These add up fast – with the average person making $800 in impulse purchases each year they later regretted.

Now that you know a bit more about comparison shopping, close this window to continue the game!