We all want to save money, which is why we go through extensive lengths to make and stick to our budget. But every day, we are hounded with products and insane deals that force us to go over budget and keep us from achieving our financial goals.
So how do you avoid those daily temptations that threaten to ruin your carefully planned finances? Before reaching for your wallet, ask yourself these three questions.
Do I need it? Handling our finances always boils down to discerning between wants and needs. Most products in today’s market are full of fluff, meaning they contain several unnecessary elements. Why buy a smartwatch when you already have a smartphone and a watch? Even if smartwatches offer a wide range of functions, aren’t these same functions already present in your phone? Smartwatches only offer new additions that you actually have no use for, like social media updates on your wrist. These redundant features are what make the product more expensive. Be honest. Can you live without having a new smartwatch? If you answered yes, you should walk away from the thing.
Will I use it? For every purchase, you should be sure that you will use the product. Say, you got 50% off registration for a month-long yoga class. If you only attend once a week, that bargain you thought you availed was actually money overspent. Invest on things which you have use for. Do you love reading? By all means jump on that two-for-one bargain on classic books. Love cooking? Grab that package deal for new cookware. Just be sure that your cheap purchases don’t involve low-quality products. What use is 70% off on a new pair of shoes when the soles give out after only weeks of use?
Will it enhance my life? Just because you don’t have the latest shiny gadget or the newest trend in dresses, doesn’t mean you’re any less of a person. Sure those are nice, but what are they actually for in your life? In his book How to Worry Less About Money, writer John Armstrong said that the ultimate purpose of our purchases is to help us flourish, that is to enrich our lives. You must make a conscious effort in every purchase to choose objects which will help you become a better version of yourself.
The next time you find yourself debating over a new purchase, take a deep breath and ask yourself the questions above. If you answered no to any of these, keep your wallet inside your bag or pocket. Your budget will thank you later. What’s your foolproof way to stick to your budget? Share them with us in the comments.