As a follow up to last week’s post, Why Am I Buying This, I have been thinking more and more about training myself to resist impulse purchases. Why Am I Buying This: Part Two focused on my weakness for purchasing deeply discounted sale items and really forced me to think about why I find myself buying unexpected items.
In response to that post my husband pointed out that I buy sale items because they satisfy two competing desires: The desire to possess something new and the desire to save money. Somehow that bright red sales tag convinces me that I am saving money, while simultaneously allowing me to buy something new and shiny. Clearly he is correct. I also know in my heart of hearts that if I am spending money I am surely not saving it, I am just trying to convince myself I am.
In light of that fact, I would like to train myself to resist such tendencies as much as possible, so I have created a list of questions to ask prior to making any new purchases. In theory the list is valid, but I’m not convinced I’ll force myself to recite it while shopping. Nonetheless I think it’s mere creation has forced me to focus more on my buying tendencies and to think through my purchases prior to arriving at the cash register.
Without further ado. Here’s the list:
- Am I buying this solely because it’s on sale? Would I buy it if it were not on sale?
- If I can’t buy this today would I return tomorrow to buy it?
- Why am I buying this? What is my emotional state? Am I bored? Tired? Sad?
- What is my current credit card balance?
- Will I be able to pay my credit card bill off in full if I buy this?
- Do I need this?
- Do I want this?
- How long will I use this? One day, one week, one year?
- What will I do with this when I no longer need it? Can it be recycled? Donated?
- What will happen if I don’t buy this?
- What is this made of? Is it recyclable? Reusable? How will it’s destruction impact the environment?
- Where is it made? China? India? The U.S.?
- Can I borrow this item from a friend, family member, or neighbor?
- Do I already own something similar?
- Can I make something similar from items I already have at home?