Questions to Ask Before Making a Purchase
How often do we get caught in the moment and feel we need to make a purchase right now! Fear the item may not be there later. The feeling you will forget where you saw the item. So many thoughts go through our head to justify making a purchase we forget to really question the purchase. Instead of finding reasons you need to make the purchase, try and focus on why you should not be making the purchase.
Ever look in your cart and wonder, how did that get there? I have! Not even another person with you to blame the mystery item on. You grab things and toss them in your cart because it’s convenient. Then there is the random items put on end-caps right as you’re checking out. Those items are there simply to entice you to make that impulsive buy. This way you have no time to question the purchase. You’re there, the item is there, the belt is moving and the cashier is scanning away. No time to think! BOOM! Just like that they got you!
Below I have listed questions to ask before making a purchase, big or small, to prevent frivolous spending.
Can I afford this purchase?
Affordability should always be the first thought that runs through your mind anytime you are about to make a purchase, big or small. You may instantly be able to say yes! Try to think about the long run. Are you working towards a financial goal? Is there something you are currently saving up for? Will this purchase effect that savings? These are all things to consider before being impulsive.
Is this something I need?
One thing I have realized about impulsive purchases is you are typically buying something you have no need for. Always analyze the item. Do you have something similar that serves the same purpose? Try and make sure the purchase is a necessity. Often we have to justify the purchase if we truly did not have a need for the item.
Will this purchase serve a purpose for a long period of time?
Making a purchase that will not last is just hurting you down the road. You want the item to last! No one likes to make a purchase that is cheap and will only last a short period of time. For instance you see an end table at Target on clearance, 50% off, it would be perfect in your living room. In reality the material of the end table is subpar and can easily be scratched. Will the purchase last longer than a year? Probably not. You will end up wanting a new end table soon enough. Save up and buy a really nice piece that can last you years.
Did I compare prices?
While shopping we tend to remember we need something and buy the item impulsively. This should never be the case. I refuse to make a purchase and later see the item for less the next day. Your phone is your greatest tool in this situation. There are plenty of ways to compare prices immediately. Plus if the store you are at participated in price match, you can show the cashier the competitor’s price and they will lower the price on the spot! I tend to pull up Amazon and quickly check the item. If I can order the item on Amazon for less, I will. Plus with Amazon Prime you have the great free 2 day shipping! Click here for a FREE Amazon Prime 30-Day Trial!
Quick tip: Check the price of an item on Targets website before buying the item. The price is sometimes lower and they will have to price match with their own website. The key is to have your location setting off and not be connected to their Wi-Fi. If you are connected, or they know where you are, their prices automatically adjust to that particular store. I have had to go to my car, pull up the site and screen shot their online price just to get the online price to pull up.
Will I regret this purchase later?
You will often hear me speak of the dreaded buyer’s remorse. No one likes the feeling they failed. Buyer’s remorse is comparable to failure. You were in the moment. You thought it was a great idea. You just couldn’t say no. But you could have and you didn’t. Don’t fall victim to pretty colors or shiny new toys. Things happen, you may need to simply make a return. Sometimes you are within your window and can return the purchase. DO THIS! You will feel better seeing the money put back into your account, or even better seeing the cash being handed to you. If you unfortunately missed that return window, or bought the dreaded “All Sales Final” item, you will have to cope with the buyer’s remorse and learn from your impulsive mistake.
There are a million more questions you can ask yourself before making a purchase.
- Can I borrow the item?
- Will this item make my/our life better?
- Am I being selfish making this purchase?
The list goes on and on!
If you ask yourself just a few of these questions before making a purchase you can save yourself plenty of money. The purchase does not always need to be large, the item may only cost $5.00, but that is $5.00 you are saving by questioning your purchase. The benefits often outweigh the positives. Not only are you saving funds, you are not cluttering your life. Too many frivolous purchase leave us with clutter.
For more ways to save your pennies please take a peak at How I Weaned Myself off Money!