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Think Before You Spend: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Buy

Think Before You Spend: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Buy

A few years ago, when I first started attending university and working, I often felt the need to spend money on things I didn’t really need. I always felt like I had to keep up with everyone else, which meant buying brand named items and trendy fashion pieces. All of us feel this need for impulse purchases or little splurges from time to time but does this pattern mean we just spend years paying off debt when we could be living debt free?

According to Joshua Becker, author of the blog Becoming Minimalist, the average American home size has doubled in the past 50 years. 

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Becker notes that 10% of households rent offsite storage, and that 25% of homeowners with two-car garages can’t park cars in them. 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. The average US household credit card debt stands at $15,191.

People are working longer hours everyday and missing precious time with their families in order to pay back the accumulated debt from buying too much stuff. In order to combat this sometimes vicious spending cycle, I have put together some questions that will help you think before you spend:

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1. Do you really need it or are you just buying it because it’s on sale?

I know what you’re thinking: I really do need another black sweater! But, wait a moment, think before you spend. If you already have something functional in your closet, then you really don’t need another one. Sales are there for us to grab bargains on things we really need so if there isn’t something like that right in front of you then step away from the clearance rack. A bargain is not a bargain if the item is never going to be used.

2. Can you get it for less?

Something I continually ask myself before buying anything at the shopping centre is whether it is possible for me to get the same thing somewhere else for less money. Many times it is a lot cheaper to find the same or similar items online and sometimes even overseas depending on shipping costs. If you don’t need the item new, check out eBay and thrift stores to find a similar item at a lower price.

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3. Can you afford it?

This is a big one for many people, especially those who are wanting to keep up with the rat race. Sure, having a brand new designer car is wonderful but are you buying the item just because you want to look a certain way or is it something you need? If you need to go into more debt in order to buy the item, it might be time to let it go and work on saving up for it. If you really want the item, you’ll be happy to wait for it.

4. Is it an impulse buy?

So you had a bad day at work and that $1000 handbag you’ve been eyeing off is looking pretty nice right now. We all fall into the trap of impulse buying or emotional shopping. Impulse buys are the worst kind as there is usually little thinking behind the purchase and a lot of guilt following it. Rather than just buying something when you’re feeling bad, think before you spend and be sure to sleep on it. Alternatively you can add it to the calendar 30 days from now, and if you still want the item after 30 days then go for it.

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5. Can you get it for free?

There are lots of websites where you can find people to trade or swap items with you or who give away items for free. Before splashing out on a brand new printer for your office check out websites like Craigslist.com to see if there is a free or cheaper alternative. There are also yard sales or sales at the rubbish tip where you may be lucky and find a bargain. If all else fails, check out Facebook groups in your area for selling items or ask a friend or family member if they are looking to offload some items.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

Life Insurance: A Secure Way To Protect Your Future.

Life Insurance: A Secure Way To Protect Your Future.

Life is a journey full of ups and downs. No one can actually predict what might happen the next moment; there are times where the happiest moments do not even take a second to turn into the gravest. Planning for your future can help you face such unwelcomed but irrepressible situations with much ease. We all want to make every memorable event of our life more special and to cherish all those moments happily and worry less, you must financially plan your future. But no one has control over life and death. Who would wish to see his family suffer in his absence? Insurance hands over the financial jeopardy of life’s happenings to an insurance company.

Importance of getting a life insurance

No one has control over life and death. Nobody would like to see their family suffering in an absence, and that’s why many people recommend life insurance. A life insurance plan is one of the best ways to secure the future of your family, even against those financial troubles after an untimely demise. These plans are safe and credible, and you could trust them for your family’s better future.

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On the other hand, a life insurance policy is a contract between a company (insurance provider) and policyholder in which the insurance provider ensures to pay a certain amount of money to the nominated beneficiary in case of the policyholder’s death during the term of the agreement. There are different types of insurance plans, and it is important for you to know the benefits of those plans such as a funeral, medical or some life expenses provided they are mentioned in the agreement.

Choosing the right insurance plan

If you’re about to select an insurance plan, you should consider some important factors:

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  • The time at which you start investing in a program and the number of family members you want to get insured. Obviously, a married man with two children has different needs compared to a single one. The number of persons who are dependent on an individual also varies from person to person.
  • The next thing you need to consider is you and your family needs. What are your child’s dream, your retirement plans, for how long would your dependents need financial support, any personal injury, etc. And do not forget those events or situations that will surely demand a huge sum of money.
  • The next thing one must consider is your current income. You should preferably choose a plan which you can afford.

Now you must be having a pretty clear idea of how to choose the best plan for you. Further, you should also compare various plans offered by different companies and numerous sites available online that help will you to compare them.

Differences between life insurance plans

Here’s a short brief of some plan categories you can choose according to your needs:

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  • Term Insurance Plan – You have to pay once, and your nominee gets the paid money under your misfortune demise. It ensures a person for a fixed time. If you survive the policy period, you do not get your premiums back.
  • Whole Life Policy – This plan continues for your lifetime. Under this, the policyholder has to pay regular premiums, until their death.
  • Endowment Policy –  In case the individual dies during the tenure, the beneficiary gets the amount assured. If the person survives the policy tenure, they gets back the premiums paid with other investment returns along with several other benefits.
  • Money Back Policy – In this a portion of the money invested is returned to the investor at regular intervals. If you survive the insurance term you get the entire amount back; else the beneficiary receives the entire sum assured.
  • ULIPs – These are the life insurance plans that offer you future security plus wealth creation options.

Many people do not opt for whole life policy and endowment policy because of the high amount of money you need to pay, while others may prefer to opt for these if they have a high life expectancy. Surely you will find the best one for you.

So what are you waiting for? Plan for your future and live a happier and carefree life today.

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Featured photo credit: aryehsampson.com via aryehsampson.com

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