Money Matters Story Idea: Do You Really Need That New Flat Screen TV?

By Ryan G. Murphy, RTDNA

For many folks in your audience, understanding that purchasing a “big ticket” item, particularly around the holidays, takes research and patience is very important.

For some families, “big ticket” might mean anything more than $100; for other individuals, $10,000 might signify their limit. In all cases, planning and saving for the purchase is important, according to a report by

According to, first, families should first decide whether the purchase is a need or a want. Save regularly for a need, such as a car to get to work or health insurance, and contribute less frequently to a want, such as new furniture or a TV.

Plan and Save

According to first, encourage your audience to figure out how much they'll need to save. Then, encourage them to find the most efficient vehicle for building up to that amount.

Ideas to Include in a Reporter Package or As a Sidebar Item:

* Open an interest-earning savings account such as a money market account or a Certificate of Deposit (CD), which allows families to withdraw money only at set times and, in return, earn a higher interest rate.

* Save a set amount each month by economizing on “extras” or cutting down on household energy use.

* Place windfalls such as raises, bonuses, or tax refunds in savings account.s

* Consider selling or trading in another big household item to contribute to the cost of the new purchase.

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