I was taught that you should have three reasons to buy something. Want is not a reason. (Full stop.)
So now I ask myself questions about the item or items that I wish to purchase. It was easy for me, but it has gotten more difficult over time as my income decreased again and I was starting to panic over whether or not I'd be able to get the item in question or if I'd be doing without the basics if I bought it.
Questions to Ask
- Is it useful?
- Can I afford it?
- Do I need it?
- Will I be able to pay cash for the item?
- What purpose does it serve?
Reasons to Buy the Item (For Myself)
- I can use it for work.
- It will save me money in the long run.
- It serves a purpose, or more than one purpose.
- The previous version is worn out, or broken beyond repair.
- It is cheaper to replace than to fix it.
Following the reasons and answering the questions makes it easier to determine if a purchase should be made. I have to think about them for a few weeks, of course there is research to be done. Price comparisons. The questions mean that I am always searching to see if the price can be lower than it is.
How do you determine if you should make purchases? Do you ask questions? What do you do to curb your impulse purchases?