Many people will find themselves with money troubles at some point in their life. It could be something minor like needing a car or home repair but not having enough money set aside. Or it may be something more unexpected like unemployment or sudden family bereavement. These are the types of financial difficulties that can encourage someone to turn to loans or credit cards to get by each day, leading to a serious debt problem.
Another way that people can find themselves in serious debt is by building it up over the years through store cards. Using the cards with fashion retailers, putting goods and services on credit like ‘buy now pay later’ methods, and impulsively buying items that end up being used a handful of times.
Buying impulsively and getting into debt is something that happens to a lot of people, but it is not widely talked about. A recent campaign by Galahad looks at six financial questions to ask before making a purchase to help people decide whether or not they need the product or service and to help raise awareness of the seriousness of gradual debt.
In this post, we’re going to look at how you can be more mindful when it comes to spending money.
Can you afford to make the purchase?
Before credit cards, loans, ‘buy now pay later’ options, etc., there was a straightforward way of buying something, and that was by using the money you had. It’s all too easy these days to make lavish purchases or overspend because you think you have the cash, but if you’re putting it on a credit card or other financing option, you are just spending money you don’t have.
While this can be a quick fix for emergencies, putting items that are not needed or necessary on credit will only affect you down the line. You need to remember your other monthly outgoings, too, to ensure you have the money to pay for them.
So, the next time you go to make a purchase, give it some extra thought and see if you can actually afford the purchase.
Will you still want this item 24 hours later?
A good way to stop yourself from impulsively buying is to delay making the purchase. Instead of hitting checkout, leave it in the basket for 24 hours which will allow you some extra time to decide if you really want to make the purchase or not.
Most people make many small everyday purchases in the spur of the moment, but these can all add up. If you are putting these on credit, you’ll end up paying interest on items that you may not have actually wanted if you had given it some extra thought.
Is the purchase something you want or need?
Some purchases are essential. For example, if you use a laptop for work and it breaks, you will need to purchase a new one to carry out your job. But then some purchases are more of a want than a need, like if you want a new jacket or the latest video game.
When you are thinking of buying something, consider if it’s something you want or need. If it’s something you need to get by each day, this is more of a priority than a purchase that you don’t necessarily need but rather want.
If you are struggling with money, these ‘want’ purchases are something that you have to learn to go without until you can afford to buy them.
Can you find items cheaper elsewhere?
If there is an item you absolutely need, have you tried looking around to see if you can get it cheaper elsewhere? It’s always useful to shop around to ensure you are getting the best deal or price possible. If you can get it somewhere cheaper, why overpay?
By reigning in your impulsive buying and holding off making the purchase, it will allow you time to look around and see if you can get it for less, therefore saving you money overall.
Taking the time to ask those simple questions can help stop you from making those impulsive purchases and allow you to be more mindful of how you are spending your money.
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