Sticking to a budget or saving money has a lot to do with our spending habits and what we buy. If you are consciously aware of the “stuff” you already have, you can then better asses the purchases you see making in the future. If you are really trying to stick to a tight budget or get out of debt, you can most likely do with the things you have right now, as no more necessities are vital to your well-being. However, to be more mindful of buying things and purchasing items there are several questions you can learn to ask yourself.
Is this the best use of my money?- Cost and value are very different things. When weighing the decision of a purchase, you should asses the value it has to you and your life. Don’t spend money on something that will keep you from attaining something that means more to you. Evaluate whether your purchase is the best and wisest use of your money before going ahead and buying it.
Do I already have something that serves the same purpose?- When deciding on a purchase, you should first slow down and ask yourself if you really need the item. Take a little time to question yourself about the things you already own, and realize if you already have something that does the same thing. Why spend money on a duplicate?
Am I buying this because I think i deserve it?- Many unnecessary purchases are made to make ourselves feel better. If you are really trying to save money and cut back on spending, you will want to avoid so called “retail therapy” all together. Just because you can buy something, doesn’t mean you should. You may feel great about the purchase in the moment, maybe even for a few days or weeks afterwards. But if it is not an item that is truly necessary to your well-being, it is a waste of spending money and you will regret that you didn’t decide to save instead.
Have I been influenced into buying this?- We usually don’t make an unimportant purchase because it came up in our own mind, but rather because we were swayed by advertising and marketing techniques. You don’t really need a new pair of running sneakers, but all of a sudden a commercial comes on that tells you that you do. Before giving in to a decision to buy something, decide if you were told by an outside source that you needed it, rather than coming up with it on your own.
Would I buy this again?- When it comes to spending money on something new, this is a great way to determine if the purchase is worth it. Take a moment and think about whether or not this purchase is very important to you by imagining a scenario in which you bought the item and then lost it the next day. Would you pay for it twice? Did you really need it in the first place? If it doesn’t fulfill a strong need and you wouldn’t pay for it twice, than why buy it at all?
Does it fit in your lifestyle?- If you buy something that you won’t use on a regular basis, or need consistently, then it really is not worth your money. Avoid spending on purchases that offer no additional value to your everyday life. Almost every possession you buy, adds weight to your life and can literally start piling up. If your purchasing decision will soon end up in a pile of unused items, realize it before you spend money on it and save yourself the expense.