01 February 2013

Financial Friday: Joy's Questions to Ask Before you Buy

Joy, the blogger behind Redirected Dreams, with her family. 

Questions to ask before you buy.
One of my goals in 2013 is to be more intentional. Two of the areas that need some intentional attention is our home and finances. I am a sucker for “cute” stuff which means I spend money I don’t need to and end up with a LOT of clutter in our house. I’m trying to be a lot more intentional about what I bring into the house and how I spend our money. On that note, I have made a list of questions to ask myself before I buy something.

*Do I NEED this?
I am NOTORIOUS for buying stuff because it’s “cute” or “cheap”. Our house and budget would be so much better off if I cut this out.

*Do I have something at home that is already doing this job?
Yes, I need kitchen towels, but do I already have some at home that are doing the job? No they may not be “pretty” but if they are doing the job that’s good enough.

*Do I have something at home that COULD be doing this job.
I am a pretty creative person, sometimes I just have to force myself to think outside of the box when it comes to organizing, storage, etc.

*Will I actually USE this item?
I LOVE all things cupcake. But really, I rarely use the cupcake cook books I have… do I seriously need another?

*Do I have similar items that I should use up first?
Love note cards, note pads, really all things office supplies. Which means I hoard. I need to get better at using what I have.

*What else could I buy with this money that we may need/use/want more?
Eating out, buying some cute shoes, picking up the newest season of a TV show on DVD might al SOUND like a great idea in the moment, but what about long term? Would this money be better spent some where else? Or even just put in savings for a rainy day?

I am sure there will be times when I make purchases even when the answers to these questions indicate that I shouldn’t. It’s just who I am. (In fact before sitting down to write this I spent probably an hour drooling over the new 31 catalog!) But, I’m hoping by thinking through these things before hitting the register it will help cut down on the amount of clutter in my house and help improve the amount of cash in my bank account.

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  1. The question my husband and I regularly ask about a purchase is: "Will we regret it i we DON'T buy this thing?"
    As you can imagine, the vast majority of the time, the answer is no, we won't regret not having it, so we don't waste our money on it. Sometimes we would regret it--perhaps in the case of a dress that's perfectly designed for me, a kitchen appliance that would save us a lot of time in the kitchen, or new socks that would allow us to stop wearing our holey socks. :P

    1. That is one of my main selling points! If I'm ever at a market or store, I won't buy anything right away unless I know I've already been looking for that item, etc. I will always wait and see if I'm still thinking about it while I go visit other booths/aisles/stores, etc. That way, I can also price shop. If I am still thinking about it, regret not jumping on the opportunity, and can reason using money towards it -- then I go back!

      I also do something else at like stores. Like I'll put everything I like that is frivolous in my cart and then at the end of the trip when I can look at everything I have, I start getting all realistic and frugal. I put in my cart to satisfy my "must have desire" but then maybe take it out if it's really unnecessary to satisfy my "think before you buy" side. I maybe will usually buy one small thing if it's worth it/ I could use it/ or it's a great deal. But even if I don't buy anything that I had frivolously added to the cart, I still walk away happy that though I wanted them and had that buyer's impulse, I had thought about it I didn't waste the money (which could go elsewhere now!).

      Thanks for stopping by! xo

  2. This is HUGE for me right now. I am do guilty of those impulses. Thank you for this post Joy and Amy!

  3. Whenever I go shopping, I set a "spending limit" for myself. I just keep a running tally of how much everything will be on a scrap piece of paper. Then when I find something I really want (that isn't on our list) I have to decide what to put back to get it or just skip it. This has really helped me cut down on all that "it's just so cute" stuff I have cluttered around the house. These questions are great ones to ask to figure out if something is really needed or just really wanted :). I do give myself a litte extra in my limit for just a few things though so I still don't feel totally bummed when I shop and still feel like I got a treat.


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Have a charming day ;)
xo, amy