Ask Yourself These Questions Before Your Next Big Purchase

Miss Money Bee by April Lewis-Parks

It’s happened before and it’ll happen again. You’re shopping for a new belt or accessory and suddenly you see something you’re sure you can’t live without. Before you know, you’ve made a credit card splurge or dipped into your “for emergencies only” fund to cover the costs.

Breaking down and making impulse buys happens more often than we’d like, and it’s one surefire way to take on more credit than you’d like or jeopardize your savings. One of the most effective and lesser-known ways to combat these impulse purchases is to ask yourself a series of questions before making the decision to buy it.

1. Will I use this? It is surprising how difficult it can be to answer this question once you start examining an item. Sure, you want that new silk dress and it’s on sale. But where will you wear it and how often? Do you have similar items in your closet that still have the price tags on them? After you really weigh the cost of an item versus how useful it will really be, you might find that it doesn’t really seem worth the effort it will take to pay it off.

2. Why am I buying this? When it comes to shopping, it is easy to fall into several traps that have nothing to do with actually needing an item. For example, if you are shopping with friends and everyone is buying new shoes to go dancing, you might also feel socially pressured into buying a pair you don’t need to keep up with them. In other instances, you might purchase something because it would look nice in your home or you think you might need it for a get-together in the future. Getting to the root of why you’re buying a product can help you make better spending decisions and avoid purchases you may regret down the road.

3. Will buying this take away from another priority? Are you saving money for a summer vacation or an excursion with your friends? Consider whether making this purchase will jeopardize your ability to save money for other priorities or give you less spending money for your trip. When you look at the big picture and the non-monetary costs of buying pricey items, you may balk at jeopardizing the goals you really want to accomplish.