Financial Planning | Personal Finance | Article

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Splurging on Things You Think You Need

by Cherry Wong | April 3, 2024 | 3 mins read

It is sometimes difficult to differentiate between a need and a want. This is made even harder with the bombardment of marketing materials and advertisements that promote instant gratification.

Being mindful of your spending then becomes essential to avoid impulsive financial habits. It only takes a matter of seconds to complete a purchase, but what follows can have repercussions on your financial well-being. If you have not saved up for the item and are spending on credit, this will put a dent in your budget and can possibly set you back financially.

Hence, to be a mindful shopper, take a moment to ask yourself these questions before you buy something:

Question 1: Can I get by without it? 

Before diving headfirst into a purchase, take a moment to check on the true necessity of the item in question. Asking yourself if you can get by without the item is a powerful deterrent against impulse buying. It forces you to pause and consider whether the urge to purchase is a fleeting desire or a genuine need.

Question 2: Do I already own something similar? 

This question prevents the accumulation of duplicates and promotes a conscious evaluation of your current possessions. Before indulging in a new purchase, take a moment to assess whether you already own something similar. This ensures that every new addition to your belongings serve a distinct purpose and helps prevent clutter and unnecessary expenses. 

Question 3: How often will I use it? 

In other words, is this purchase worth the money that I am going to spend? This question will prompt you to consider the practicality and longevity of the purchase. It steers you away from buying things that might have limited use, helping you make the most of your purchases. 

Question 4: Can I borrow it? 

One question that most of us don’t ask is whether we can borrow the item from someone. Sometimes, we might only need to use something once or twice and buying an item just to use it once is not very practical. If borrowing is an option, you can save money and reduce clutter.


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Question 5: Am I getting the best deal?

Once you’ve decided to purchase an item, the next thing you need to ask yourself is whether you are getting the best deal available. You’ll have to do a bit of research to find out the different prices and promotions across various shopping sites and brands. This ensures you get the best deal for your purchase.

Question 6: Can I pay cash for it? 

Asking yourself if you can pay cash for a purchase makes you assess your financial health. If you can pay cash for an item, you wouldn’t have to go into debt to pay for it. By limiting your spending to what you can afford in cash, you prevent the temptation to overspend or rely on debt.

Question 7: Is this going to set me back financially? 

The final and most important question is to check whether the purchase will have financial repercussions. By asking yourself if the purchase will set you back financially, you are assessing if your decision is aligned with your overall economic well-being. It prompts you to consider not only your current financial state but also the potential impact it has on your future financial goals.


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