November 24th, 2015
Budgeting and saving money sounds the opposite of fun. Right of the bat, it sounds like instead of spending your hard-earned cash on something new and fancy or an item you’ve been eyeing for a long time, you are spending time thinking about how not to give in to the temptation of purchasing it. If you have in fact never sat down to think over your personal finance situation or financial plans for the future here are ten questions to ask yourself before you take the plunge and whip out cash or your credit card to pay for any purchase. If these questions become your mental checklist before purchasing anything they are guaranteed to save you money!
- Do I really need it? There sometimes appears to be a fine line between need and want and not often enough do we make the time to ponder which it really is. If this is a purchase you are making on a whim and look forward 6 months/2 years only to figure out it no longer will have a place in your life, chances are you do not really need this item.
- Do I already have something that can do the job? If this an item that will replace something similar to what you already own, think about why you want this one. Is it an upgrade, is more aesthetically pleasing and furthermore will you still have to use the item you already own? If it will, in fact, replace the older item, start thinking about what you plan on doing with the one you already own. If you do not have the space to store both or are emotionally not yet ready to say farewell to the older item chances are you do not need a replacement.
- Can I avoid buying a new one? If the item you are buying routinely shows up at house sales and second-hand stores in good condition you may want to think about saving money and going with that option. Better yet, ask your family and friends if they don’t know about someone who is trying to get rid of a similar or the same item. Often times if you seek function over appeal or appearance asking around will pay off.
- Am I sure I am choosing quality over quantity? Things made to last are made to stay.
- Is this in a style that is timeless and made to last? Think ahead of time and ask yourself if the purchase aligns with your taste, vision, storage option and values.
- Is this something that I will use regularly? There’s nothing wrong with treating ourselves with special items, but at other times you might want to think if this is something you realistically need to own and will be getting frequent use out of. Calculating cost per use or wear might be a good idea, otherwise start contemplating renting or borrowing the item.
- Can I make it myself? Supporting fellow artists and your community is a great thing, but if you are a chronic DIY-er with a creative itch think twice about whether you’d rather miss out on the item or a good project.
- Is this a purchase I should be making right now? Attempt to delay making the purchase. If you see no imminent need to have the time right away in your life and can postpone spending money, you might find yourself asking why you wanted it in the first place.
- Have I researched the price and quality enough? If you can not delay making the purchase, at least take the time to compare prices and especially read reviews of the item you are looking to buy. There are plenty of price comparing websites out there free to use and you might want to check out local markets, bulletins to see if you can score a better deal.
- Is this purchase going to enrich my life and make it better? Know the value of your investment and make sure that you can afford to invest in both financially and emotionally without any unforeseen consequences down the road.
Do you have a mental checklist of questions you ask yourself before splurging? What are your biggest money saving tips and tricks?