As we head into another year of #BlackFriday deals, let’s take a moment to consider the following seven questions before we make a purchase we might later regret.
Now before we get into it, I want to point out that Black Friday isn't all bad. It’s a chance to save money for those who really need to and a chance to treat ourselves if we’re not usually inclined to. Where I see issue is the rampant consumerism—people feeling the urge to buy something *just because* it's on sale. And hey, I’m not here to judge or shame anyone for their purchasing habits, I’m here to have you consider if you need something or not, just because it’s on sale. Which is why it’s important to remember, a deal is really only a deal if you need it.
If you’re someone who has trouble staying focused when sales are catching your eye, repeat after me...
A good deal is only a good deal when I need something. If I don't need it, I'm not getting a good deal. I'm getting played by the discount.
Have you ever tried to justify buying something simply BECAUSE of the money you'd save?
"OMG this is $200 off!! What a deal! I don't know when I'll make my own ice cream or if I even want to buy MY GOD I cannot pass up this STEAL OF A DEAL"
Have you ever stopped to consider that maybe you didn't need that item, and so instead of saving money you actually just wasted it? I mean, yeah.. .me too. But not in a long time. Now when I get that rush to buy something, I slow my roll and ask myself the following questions...
1. Can I afford this? Or do I need to spend my money elsewhere?
Often when we get the impulse to buy something, we don't consider if we can afford it or if that money needs to be spend elsewhere, like to pay a bill.
The idea of 'treat yourself' can go too far and allow us to justify purchases that are either unnecessary, or detrimental to our finances. You don't need to go broke to buy something.
2. Do I own anything similar that serves the same purpose?
You ever buy something and then get home to realize you already have it, or something just like it?
That can be the result of many impulse purchases, having too much stuff, and not being aware of what you actually own. If you don't know the answer to this question, it might be time to take inventory of what you own to understand what you actually need.
3. Do I want to support this brand/store with my money?
"We have the power to change the world, just by being careful in what we buy." - Emma Watson
"Every time you spend your money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want." - Anne Lappe
Who do YOU want to give your hard-earned money to?
4. Am I only interested in this because it's on sale?
Ahhhhh, who doesn't love a good sale?! But be careful... sales are dangerous and can trick us into thinking we need something when we don't. Repeat after me: a good deal is only a good deal when I need something. If I don't need it, I'm not getting a good deal. I'm getting played by the discount.
5. Would I pay full price for this?
If you're having a hard time passing up the sale, I dare you to ask yourself this question. If you wouldn't pay full price for the item, what are the chances you're going to appreciate it?
6. Will I still want this in a week? In a month? In a year?
This question is important because it helps us understand if we actually want the item long term, or if we just feel the need to spend our money on something...
7. Is this something I can buy second hand?
New doesn't necessarily mean better.
If you're someone who wants to spend your money more intentionally, feel free to ask yourself these questions whenever you’re making any purchase (big or small) to ensure you’re spending your money where you want to.
Thanks for reading!