If you're purchasing an electronic item this holiday shopping season, make sure you leave some room in your budget to protect what you buy.
A great deal on a laptop or Sony PlayStation is no great deal if you drop it on Christmas morning, or spill a drink on it a few weeks later.
Jenna Rice found a great deal at Best Buy on Apple headphones.
But then she had to decide whether to pay another $25 for the extended protection plan.
She decided: Yes.
"Better to be safe than sorry," she said, on her way out to her car.
When you should purchase a protection plan
It's hard enough finding the perfect gift at the price you want, but then the question is: Should you pay a little bit more to protect your high-tech gadget?
Marvin Maldonado with Asurion says you should think about it.
He says the average household has 14 connected devices, a number that goes up during the holidays.
"So imagine if two or three of those devices stop working or malfunctioned," he said. "It would cost a pretty penny to get those up and running."
That's why he suggests a protection plan like those offered by Asurion or other companies, like Apple, Dell, Verizon, or AT&T.
Asurion's home tech protection costs about $25 per month, and covers all non-mobile devices in your home.
For a single gift, like a tablet, he says the extra $5 or $10 one-time protection plan might also be worth it, especially since manufacturer warranties don't always cover accidents, or spills.
"Accidents do happen especially with gaming consoles or gifts that we're giving to our kid," he said, "and that will avoid you having to purchase a brand new system or having to go out of pocket to replace that device."
One way to prevent accidental damage
Maldonado's other great tip (and it's free): disconnect cords when traveling for the holidays.
Otherwise, you risk damaging the HDMI port, he said.
"When we're moving those gaming consoles from home to home we're just wrapping that cable around there without disconnecting it," he said, risking damage to the cord or the HDMI input on the device.
Shopper Evan Fuller, meantime, has a good rule of thumb when he shops: Big TV or laptop, yes to extra protection.
Inexpensive gadget, no.
"If it's really expensive" he said, "I will buy a protection plan, but if it's a small headset or something, I won't."
That way you're protected but you don’t overspend, and you don’t waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
Follow John on Instagram @johnmataresemoney
Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese)
For more consumer news and money saving advice, go to www.dontwasteyourmoney.com