5 questions to stop impulsive spending and save money

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  • Most of the shopping experience is designed to make it easy to buy and keep you coming back.
  • A financial planner suggests being more intentional about shopping and resisting impulsive buying.
  • Ask yourself questions like whether you really need or want it, if you already have it, and if you can afford it.
  • Find a Financial Advisor Near You with SmartAdvisor,

average american spends $155 per month on impulse purchasesAnyone who has ever seen an ad on Instagram that hit “buy” without hesitation will believe.

as a financial planner, I believe that impulsive buying directly leads to over-spending. Unfortunately, most purchases experiences are designed To cost you more or to come back for more.

If you struggle with overspending, I recommend asking yourself five questions before clicking “Buy” or swiping your card at the register. These questions have helped me virtually eliminate impulsive shopping and keep my budget on track.

1. Do I really need it or want it?

Sometimes the answer to this question is obvious – if you’re on a tight budget and deciding whether you should buy $350 Vintage Monopoly GameThe answer is probably, “I don’t need to.”

However, deciding whether something is a need or need is not always black and white. Some things that may seem unnecessary to some people, like a gym membership, others can’t live without. It’s about weighing your current priorities with your long-term goals.

If I feel I need something, I usually write it down. I’ll take a picture with my phone so that when I’m out shopping, I can check to see if it’s on my list. If I don’t feel like I need the first item, it’s not on my list and is a need, not a necessity.

2. Do I already own it?

There’s a tendency to keep up with the Joneses, or own the latest and greatest items. This is especially made worse by social media – seeing your friend’s new car or a fabulous vacation can give you a sense of missing out, prompting you to buy things you don’t need or want before. are from now on.

Whenever I contemplate buying something, I always ask myself if I already have the item. If I own it and it is in working condition, I will drop the new item. If something I have breaks, I’ll usually throw it there and there and put it on my list so I’ll remember to buy it the next time I’m out.

3. Do the benefits outweigh the costs?

Just because something is more expensive doesn’t mean it is of better quality. In fact, many expensive brands charge more for a product of similar quality because of the branding or packaging. studies show That we value expensive goods more than their cheaper counterparts is known as the “marketing placebo effect”.

That doesn’t mean that some things aren’t worth the money. For example, I’ll always splurge high quality mattress, But if you’re debating buying something, think about some of the benefits the item will bring you. If you don’t feel like those benefits will outweigh the costs, it’s not worth it.

4. Can I buy it used (or cheap)?

I furnished my entire apartment with vintage furniture, and saved thousands of dollars.

Although it takes a little extra effort, shopping around can save you a lot of money instead of buying the first thing. Check marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for used items and large retailers like Amazon to get an idea of ​​how much the item costs. If you want to make small purchases and still save money, consider websites like Etsy that let you compare items from independent sellers.

Plus, the time you spend hunting for a better deal can help you figure out if you really need the item. I’m a big fan of gold on the purchase decision (if you can) before you buy. Most of the time, you’ll forget what you were considering buying in the morning.

5. Can I really afford it?

There’s a difference between being able to pay for something and actually being able to afford it. Credit Card and financing options Like buy now, pay later Make it possible to buy something and pay for it later. However, if you don’t have the money to cover your debt, you may end up paying late fees and interest, which can quickly turn into debt.

The last question I always ask myself is can I really afford item, which means I can comfortably pay for it later without getting into trouble with my budget or bills. Even if you have enough money in your account to buy something outright, that doesn’t mean you should make a purchase.

The purpose of asking yourself these questions before making a purchase is to be more intentional about your spending. If this purchase is right for you, taking some time to walk can often overcome the impulse—I can’t tell you how many unnecessary purchases I’ve avoided this way.

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