For some, it might be that new gadget. For others, the latest fashion seems like a necessity, or they might be tempted by a variety of seemingly random things they see while walking down a street full of store windows.
The temptation to buy things is everywhere, but buying too much or buying on impulse can cause problems. For this reason, it’s sometimes necessary to ask yourself a few questions to determine if you really need that tempting purchase. Also, keep these seven tips in mind:
Wait on It
One of the most effective ways to figure out if a purchase is necessary is just to wait. If there’s something you want, give it a bit of time. If you still want it after the waiting period, you can buy it.
For more expensive or more time-consuming things, you should wait a longer amount of time. For a small purchase, a week may suffice. For bigger ones, you may need a few months.
Use Your Imagination
While you’re waiting, take note of when you would probably use the item you want. If you find yourself wishing you had it during a lot of everyday situations, it might actually be worth it.
If, however, you can’t find any uses for it in your daily life, it’s probably not practical.
Look for Alternatives
You don’t need to buy something to have access to it. You can rent items, borrow them or make your own if you’re they DIY type. There is a myriad of online sites you can use to rent, borrow and trade items.
If you still think it would be better to buy the item, there might also be alternatives to buying it at full price. Secondhand stores and yard sales, for example, often have some great finds.
Take Stock of What You Have
Before you buy something new, make sure you don’t already have something similar at home. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget you already have something, or a similar item, when you’re excited about a new purchase.
Before you make a big buying decision, take physical or mental stock of what you already own. That way, you can avoid ending up with unnecessary duplicates.
Check Your Budget
Before you commit to spending money on something, try to find room for it in your budget. If you have a fund set aside for these types of purchases, think about whether you would be happy if you used those funds on the item. Keep in mind that you now can’t use them on anything else.
If you haven’t budgeted for the type of thing you’re considering, check to see if there are any other funds you could reasonably sacrifice to make the purchase. If there aren’t, you might need to reconsider your purchase.
Consider the Price
It’s easy to be won over by low prices. Before you buy something, though, consider whether it’s just the price that’s making you want it or if it would really add something to your life.
Sales, clearance events and discount stores are great, but it’s easy to walk away from them with a bunch of stuff you’ll never really use.
Reflect on Influences
Before you buy that shiny new item, think about why you want it. Is it because you like it or is it because you think other people would like it? We all want other people to like us, and with things like social media, there are lots of ways to quickly get that validation.
There are some exceptions, such as wearing a nice suit to an important interview, but the item won’t really be useful to you — at least not for long — if you’re actually buying it because of someone else.
Feeling tempted to buy something is a feeling a lot of people in our society have experienced. However, if you want to know whether the next item that gets your attention would actually be a smart purchase, use these seven tips when you feel that pull.