5 Questions to Ask Before a Big Purchase
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A car with Wi-Fi. A TV with a curved screen. A hair dryer that also gives you the traffic report (okay, we made that one up). The question, "What features are important to me?" should be at the top of your list when you're getting ready to plunk down your credit or debit card, says Glaser. The answer is different for everyone, since a feature that may be a luxury for one person may be a requirement for another. Still, there are some add-ons to big-ticket items that are usually superfluous. If you're shopping for home appliances, a car or tech items, check Consumer Reports to learn which extras are and aren't worth the money (e.g., don't splurge on a special "sanitizing" cycle for dishwashers, but do get one that has fold-down tines so you can fit odd-size dishes).