Eight Questions To Ask Yourself Before Making Any Purchase
From experience, shopping could be an impulsive exercise. When something you want but don’t need suddenly come on your radar in a shopping store, you may be compelled to make the purchase. One of the great personal finance decisions a person can make is to learn how to control one’s impulse while shopping. One way to achieve this is to develop a routine of asking certain questions before making a purchase. The aim of this is to ensure that in the long run, you only purchase what you need and would be of value to you. Here are the eight questions you should ask yourself before making any purchase.
1. IS THERE A PLACE WHERE I COULD GET THIS EXACT ITEM FOR LESS?:
It is a fact that all retailers will not offer the same price for a particular item. Before you make any purchase, it is essential you find out if the retailer is offering you the best price available. Ensure you do some homework in finding out if the item is cheaper elsewhere. At the very least, crosscheck the price of the item on Walmart and Amazon before you shop.
2. DO I NEED THIS ITEM?:
One of the factors that determines if you have made a good purchase is that you purchase an item you really need. Purchasing items you need is a great way to save. Do not be tempted to purchase things you do not need for the sake of peer pressure or societal standards.
3. HAVE I BUDGETED FOR THIS ITEM?:
It is essential to budget for every purchase. This is one sure way to ensure that you do not buy out of impulse. Moreover, there is a dire need to understand that if you have not budgeted for a purchase, then you shouldn’t be making the purchase. If you go ahead with the purchase, you are going to be putting a surprise strain on other areas of your life. For instance, incurring further credit card debts. Always have it at the back of your mind that you will eventually pay your credit card balances and overdrafts. Always budget your purchases and stick to your budget.
4. COULD I BUY THIS USED?:
Another question you should ask yourself is if you can get the item used. There are several items that can be purchased used at good prices while still retaining their original value. This I know for sure about automobiles, computers and other electronics. Buying a good used item can cut back on the sticker price making the item a great purchase.
5. DO I NEED TO OWN IT (CAN I BORROW IT)?:
Another question to ask yourself before making a purchase is if you really need to own the item you intend to purchase. There are certain items that you can derive great value from by merely borrowing it. This includes print books, audio books and several one time equipment. I would always advise that you consider the rental service at the local hardware store for an equipment you would need once in a while.
6. WILL A STORE BRAND SUFFICE?:
It is always good to be sure if a store brand would suffice for an item you need. There are times you need a “name brand” there are times you don’t. Always use store brands for items that are small or inexpensive and would not require a warranty. For these category of items, store brands will work as fine as a “name brand” and at a better price.
7. ARE THERE SIMILAR ITEMS THAT CAN FUFIL MY NEEDS?:
You may find yourself craving to buy the most expensive smart phone on the market when in reality you only need it for just one feature. There is no doubt that there are several other phones that are not that expensive and that would offer the same quality of the feature you so much desire. Always be sure that you have exhausted the list of similar items that may fufil your needs before making a purchase.
8. WHAT IS THE OPPORTUNITY COST OF THIS PURCHASE?:
Another essential question you should ask yourself before making any purchase is the opportunity cost. When you purchase an item, the implication is that the money spent cannot be used to make another purchase. It will always be worth your time to consider the many other things you could do with the money you are about to spend and determine that there are no other better uses for the money. When you are satisfied that you have made the best decision, you can make your purchase.