This weekend was a tough weekend that tested how much I’ve changed my shopping behaviors this year. First test? A craft fair right outside the salon where I got my hair cut on Saturday. Second test? The cell phone store with Bluetooth headsets on sale. Both times I stepped out of the situation and asked myself some of the following questions.
- Do you really need it?
- Can you buy it used?
- Can you buy it for less?
- Can you fix what you already have?
- Can you use something else instead?
- Are you going to pay for it with cash?
- Is it in the budget?
- Can you get it free?
- Are you feeling pressured to buy it?
- Are you sure you really need it?
If you are on a reduced budget whether because you are trying to pay off debt, beef up your savings, or just control your spending it can be hard to kick the habit of impulse purchases. Ask yourself some of these questions to help you evaluate your purchases. You might be surprised at the money you save.
Either you realize you don’t really *need* the item or you can get it free or cheap by borrowing it or buying it used. Are you paying for it with cash? It’s really easy to rationalize yourself into a purchase if you pay with a credit card; but there isn’t much thinking too do if you pay with cash, and don’t have enough for the purchase.
Are you feeling pressured to buy something from a salesperson? Don’t be afraid to walk away. I did that this weekend when I walked into a booth at craft fair to look at an item. Before I knew it the salesperson was giving me the line of “this price is only good today. Buy it today and you will save $20″ along with “this is the last one of these I have”. I had to leave the booth to think about it and call my husband. Thankfully some time away from the pushy salesperson made me come to my senses and refocus on my priorities (paying off our debt). The item wasn’t a need, it hadn’t been budgeted for, and we had other priorities that came first.
I made it through this weekend without blowing our budget. I hope that I can continue to shop wisely and never fall back into my old habits of whipping out the credit card whenever there was something I wanted or felt we *needed*.