Shopping is fun! Set me free in a bookstore or surround me with locally made pottery and I am in heaven! But set me free in either of those environments without a plan and I’m headed for potential trouble.
Here are 4 shopping habits that will keep you (and me) out of financial trouble:
1 – Start with a list
Make it a physical list if that would hold you better accountable. The key is to be predetermined about what you are going into the store for.
Keep a birthday, Christmas, and other special occasion list of gifts to buy. When you are out shopping, these lists keep you from being blindsided by random ideas that seem brilliant in the moment but may not be what the recipient would like. Here’s a great gift guide you may find helpful!
2 – Determine a budget
You may need a set budget that’s down to the penny or you may find that you are safe with a close idea of what you are willing to spend on a certain item. This rings especially true when you know you are going to be visiting your favorite store or when you are on vacation. These are the times when the budget gets blown if there’s no plan in place.
3 – Be selective
If though are buying for your home, be excruciatingly selective about the vision you have for your home and the financial goals you wish to reach in the future. If you lack a vision or financial goal/s then being in a store for anything other than the necessities may be too much risk.
Also keep in mind your surroundings or environment. A gorgeous $400 Stetson while traveling in Wyoming sounds like an ideal purchase, but would it be practical in your everyday life in Connecticut?
4 – Take your time
While shopping, if there are lower cost items that really peak your interest, hold onto them and continue walking around the store. If you are still in love with the item by the time you have walked thru the store, go a few steps further and ask the following questions of yourself:
- Am I confident that I will use it?
- Is it in my budget?
If the answer is a resounding yes to both questions, then by all means, buy it!
For those pricier items, give yourself a few days or weeks to sit on the idea of spending the money.
Even if it’s a great sale or deal, a good deal is only good if you love it, need it, will use it and can afford it. Otherwise, it’s just a good price.
I hope these 4 shopping habits will help you as much as they are helping me stay on track with my finances!
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