Should I Buy This? Checklist
Do you ever have those moments where you just buy things you don’t really need that you later end up giving away or throwing away? No? Just me? Dang it! Do you ever look at your bank account at the end of the month and wonder where all your money went?
Let’s be honest, I think most of us can make purchases that we later end up regretting. With our buying power at the tips of our fingers, on our phones, it makes spending so much easier than in the past. You don’t have to put effort into your purchase. Before Smart Phones, you would have to make a decision to leave your house, drive to the store, and make a purchase. Sure, you can easily add items into your physical cart while walking through Target or Costco, but its easier than ever to overspend without even thinking about it.
Here are some things you might want to consider if you are wanting to change your spending habits.
Check in with your emotions - Money can be such an emotional tool. We purchase when we are happy to celebrate. We buy things to make us feel better when we are depressed or discouraged. Shopping can be a social thing we do with friends. We can buy more because we are comparing ourselves to others, trying to keep up with the Jones’. It is so important to stop and ask ourselves “WHY?” Why am I making this purchase? Is it because I’m lonely because my spouse works long hours and this is the way I take away the loneliness? Is it because I want to appear a certain way to others? Is it because right now I could really use that Large Mocha to keep me in survival mode as my two toddlers are screaming in the car? (That’s been me on more occasions than I would like to admit) It is so important to ask ourselves, why we are doing what we do with our money? There’s nothing wrong with emotional spending as long as we are aware of it and the purchase isn’t trying to mask something else. Be mindful about your spending habits.
Does it align with my goals? By making this purchase, does it fit into my financial goals? Am I working hard to save money so I feel less anxious when the next emergency arises? Does this fit into my budget? Will I be happy next week after I made this purchase? Having someone who you check in with about your money goals is so beneficial in this step. They can help you stay on track with your goals. Have a spouse or a friend be this accountability partner. Or if you need someone consider hiring me as your Money Coach. I’d love to encourage you to stick to your goals. If this purchase aligns with your goals than GO FOR IT! BUY IT!
Did I plan for this purchase? One of the biggest things I work on with people is helping them establish their budget and giving them encouragement and accountability to help them stick to it. If you are going to make a purchase, you want to be sure to plan for it. That helps take our natural impulsiveness out of the equation and we can see if it fits into our spending plan for the month. If it doesn’t fit in this month, there’s always next month that you can plan for it. Heck, you might even forget about that thing in your Amazon cart by next month. If it fits into your plan, than go for it! Spend!
Extra tip : If you are a shopper. Plan to shop! Allow yourself a certain dollar amount for when you want to shop or splurge. Then do your best to stick to it! It feels so wonderful when you realize you had self control over this area of your life, yet still enjoyed your shopping. It’s worth it to practice being in control over your spending instead of giving into your impulses and emotions every time they come.
Once you’ve looked over this checklist, checked in with your emotions, goals and your money plan, then you can accurately decide if now is the right time for this purchase!
If you could use some guidance from someone who’s been there and has taken steps to dig her way out of debt and gain control of her money, book a free money coaching consultation today to see how I can help you reach your goals and change your money habits!