How do I manage the constant sales pitches that are all over social media? -a follower
This is such a great question! All day long, we are bombarded with marketing — whether that’s billboards on the side of the highway, ads on the radio or a podcast, a display at the grocery store, a sign encouraging you to up-size your order at the fast food restaurant, a sale banner at the mall, ads online, and on and on it goes!
Before you click on a link, pick up an item at the store you weren’t planning to buy, add an item to your online cart, or make that impulse purchase, here are five questions to ask yourself:
1. Do I Need It?
It’s important to learn to discern between true needs and wants. This doesn’t mean you should only buy things you need, but I think knowing the difference between needs and wants upfront helps you to be more intentional.
2. Do I Have Money In the Budget For It?
I don’t care have inexpensive it is, if you don’t have the money for it, it’s not a good deal for you. There will be another deal on this item in the future! If you really want it, earmark a space in your budget to start saving for it for when a deal comes around next time.
3. What Could/Would I Spend This Money On If I Wasn’t Buying This?
When you say yes to buying one thing, you are inadvertently saying no to buying something else. Is this worth the yes to you?
4. How Many Hours Do I Have to Work to Buy This?
Think about money spent in terms of your hourly wage. If you make $20/hour after taxes and an item costs $40, is it worth two hours of work to buy it?
5. Could I Make Do With What I Already Have?
Again, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy something new, but before doing so, make sure that you couldn’t easily use what you already have. (Sometimes, in the moment of seeing a great deal, we will forget that we already have something similar at home!)
I’m not sharing these questions to take the fun out of shopping. On the contrary, I think shopping is actually more fun and rewarding (especially long term!) when you do it on a budget and with intention.
Train yourself to just quickly ask these questions before you go to buy something and see how it changes your shopping! Best of all, I think the most important benefit to asking these questions is that you’ll likely appreciate your purchases a lot more — and have a lot less buyer’s remorse!