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2 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Purchase
In my business, I see people purchase all sorts of things. In addition, I also have purchased my fair share of items through the years. I’ve noticed that spending has an addictive component to it. It gives you a quick shot of dopamine and brings you some temporary enjoyment.
However, I have also seen spending go horribly wrong. People purchase things with no joy, or more detrimentally individuals buy things that continually put them in debt. When these things happen, it is important to recognize you are not getting the desired result. That said it can be tough to break this dangerous habit.
I’ve heard a few good tidbits through the years and there are two nuggets that I’ve adopted in my own life before making a purchase. I thought I’d share them with you in hopes of having the same effect on your spending as it has had on mine.
The first question before making a purchase is to ask yourself, “Do I love it, will I use it, and do I truly need this item.” I find all too often we buy things on a whim. Next thing we know it gets used once and never again. Think of all those BowFlex workout equipment that is serving as a clothes hanger for all too many of you. I’ve found that if you run through this question in order you’ll figure out if it passes your first test.
Do I love or will I love it? Upfront you should be able to ascertain if this item is something that will bring you joy or not. If it isn’t and it is a discretional item then probably not a necessary purchase.
Next, you’ll ask yourself, will I use this? If you are honest with yourself, you should be able to get a good sense if this product will collect dust or truly get used frequently. If after answering this question you determine, meh I’ll likely barely use it, then again think twice about the purchase.
Finally, do you even need this product or purchase? Now “need” is a large spectrum, but there are different levels of need. My 11-year-old daughter “needs” everything. From some facial cleansers to an online app. Then there is literally needing something such as a car or new shoes, which are essentials to quality of life.
Remember you must answer yes to love, use, and need to feel really good about making that questionable purchase.
This second question you might roll your eyes at first. However, I think after you really noodle on it for a moment, you’ll see there is a lot of validity to it. The question is this, would you buy this item if no one knew about it ever? Right…. Right…. Right…..
Think about it, what car are you driving right now? If no one ever saw, you riding it would you choose the lesser model? How about clothes? If no one knew it was a designer brand vs. a generic brand, would you still make that purchase? We’d be foolish to think that others’ opinions of us don’t influence our purchasing decisions.
By slowing down before making that next purchase, asking yourself if you are buying this for yourself or for someone else’s opinion of you, can shed a lot of light on things. By doing so it will put into perspective the root of why we buy what we buy or want what we want. It can also allow you to address things at the core and instead of relying on objects or items as a source of our happiness we can derive such a feeling from more meaningful places than unnecessary purchases.
The biggest question of all is will you attempt to ask yourself these questions before that next impulse purchase? Speaking from experience, if you do and continually do so you’ll break out of that constant retail cycle. End result, live a happier, healthier, and wealthier life.