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There’s a lot of temptation these days to make big, pricey purchases on a pretty regular basis.
For one thing, we’ve never before lived in an era with more sophisticated marketing methods surrounding us all times of the day and night. For another thing, we’ve never before had as much choice in consumer goods and other luxuries in all of history. And don’t even get me started about how fast packages can show up on our doorsteps! We are a fast food and fast purchase culture.
From time to time, it’s obviously necessary to spend a bit more money when making a big purchase. Is this purchase a necessity? Is it a “want” or actually a “need”? Also it’s important to make sure that you’re making those purchases with the right frame of mind and not just on a whim.
Here are a few things to do before making big purchases, to help ensure you are on the right track.
Ask yourself whether it’s really necessary to spend that much, or whether you might just be following an impulse
There are plenty of areas in life where you will likely find yourself on the precipice of making an expensive purchase because that’s simply where the path of least resistance leads you. But that doesn’t always mean that it is actually essential to spend quite as much money as you’ve been led to believe. If you have ever listened to Dave Ramsey, you know that he always says to buy a vehicle you can pay cash for or an old car that you won’t pay a ton in monthly payments. He calls car payments a “stupid tax” because of how quickly a car will lose value.
Another things that many people spend a lot of money unnecessarily is purchasing new glasses. But, knowing where to buy cheap glasses, find out here, might save you a lot of money without any noticeable impact on the quality of your eyewear.
Ask yourself whether it’s really necessary to spend that much, or whether you might just be going along with how marketing has brainwashed you into believing you have to pay more unquestioningly. Luckily, nowadays you can research where to find the best deal in what you are looking for. Sometimes it in fact will be necessary to spend that much. At other times, it may not be. Be sure to research best prices before spending any money especially with big ticket items.
Give yourself a week or two as a “cooling off period” before finally deciding whether or not to make the purchase
One of the very powerful and insidious things about advertising, is that – if it’s done effectively – it has a powerful emotional impact on us that we experience before our rational minds are able to come into the picture and weigh the pros and cons. Marketing, undoubtedly, is one of the big drivers behind impulsive spending habits.
To shield yourself from this, give yourself a week or two as a cooling off period between first considering buying an expensive item, and finally deciding whether or not to make the purchase. Some people will even put there bank card or credit card in a cup of water and put that in the freezer. They have a literally cooling off time because they can’t even use their card! I’ve never done this so make sure to research that this wouldn’t ruin it before trying it.
I even do this when shopping for clothes or decor. I’ll carry these around the store and most times when I get to the checkout area I know for sure that I really want to purchase it. Generally, I’ll talk my way out of it almost every time. When you’ve calmed down a bit, maybe you’ll still decide to make the purchase. But at least it likely won’t be such a knee-jerk decision.
Take a moment to reflect on whether you might be using the purchase as a proxy solution for other issues
Many products and services out there market that they could help us resolve particular issues in our lives, or to transform ourselves in some desirable way. In reality, many of these purchases will only really serve as short-term “patches” for more substantial issues that we might not be addressing. I struggle for this with eating more than being a shopaholic. But for many people buying stuff, no matter the cost, helps them ignore or relieves the uncomfortable or hurtful feelings for a brief moment. An extreme example of this are people that are full blown hoarders. Reflect on why you are thinking of purchasing what you are considering to purchase. Make sure this is something that you really need, whether it is priced reasonably, whether you can actually afford it, and more.
Before making a purchase, ask yourself if the purchase itself is likely to really have the impact it claims, or whether you might be using it as a proxy solution for other issues that need your attention.
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