5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Something

One of the worst money habits is buying mindlessly and out of impulse. We all do it, some of us do it more than others.

Swiping our cards or phones and buying with one single click online has made emotional buying so much easier, getting people into never-ending debt. And even if you have sinking funds set aside for unplanned purchases, it’s always good to think through what you’re purchasing, its value and why even purchase it.

Avoiding emotional and impulse buying is only possible by taking a step back and reflecting on the purchase.

Here are the 5 key questions you should ask yourself next time you want to buy something you probably shouldn’t.

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Something

#1. Do I need this?

Is this something you need? Sometimes we buy stuff because we think we need them when in reality it’s not that necessary so truly scrutinise the foundational need of the purchase.

#2. Do I want this?

Is this something you want? Sometimes we think we want something only to find out that it was driven by social pressures and it’s not something we enjoy after the first five minutes so be true to your real desires.

#3. Do I have the money for it now?

Do you have the money for this now? If you don’t, is it worth accumulating more debt or sacrificing any savings? In most cases, it won’t be, so be mindful of your possibilities.

#4. Is there a better substitute?

Is there something similar? Sometimes you can find a different product with the same function but cheaper. This goes into truly knowing why you need to buy the object and researching if it’s the best possible option.

#5. Can it wait?

Can this purchase wait? We live in a society where immediate gratification is the norm so when we want something, we want it now. But patience is a virtue so consider whether this is urgent, especially if you don’t have the money for it now as then you might just save for a bit and buy it without any issues.

The first step you should take to begin understanding your buying habits and where you might be overspending is to track your expenses – for a few months, write down each and every purchase and categorise it. Kakebo is a great way to start – read all about it here and grab our Kakebo planner to help you.

How do you ensure you buy thoughtfully?

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