Before making any purchases, do you even stop and think if you should really buy the products? This post provides the readers some questions that a purchaser needs to consider before purchasing products. This post contains affiliate links/ads. See disclosure policy.
We all have our own definitions of needs and wants. We exactly know what we need from what we want but not all the time. With so many products in the market, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the needs from the wants.
So, when you see a product that you like but can’t tell whether it’s a need or want, what considerations should you be aware of?
Things to Consider Before Making Any Purchases
In reality, even those people who are great at making smart, financial decisions can make impulsive, unnecessary purchases. It’s never bad and doesn’t hurt to sit down and take note of these considerations before making any purchasing decisions.
Can you pay in cash?
It is so easy to get sucked into buying products especially when they are on sale or there are terms in your credit cards (e.g. no interest for months) that you can’t seem to forego.
The first thing you should ask yourself is if you can pay cash right away to purchase your desired products. If your answer is no, then, it’s best to stay away from purchasing them.
Remember, this is not an absolute rule. There are purchases that just need to go on credit and/or loans (e.g. house).
Very often a product is evaluated based on the premise that the monthly payments on credit cards are small enough that you can make such payments. You may not want to use your credit cards because you may end up burying yourself in a mountain of debt. Why? Because if you just make partial monthly payments, then, you are looking at paying interests on top of interest and principal amounts.
If you can’t afford to pay in cash or pay the balance in full when it’s due, then, you should think twice before making any purchases.
Do you have it in your budget?
In all things you do that are finance-related in nature, you always need to start a working budget. Without a budget, you won't know where you are overspending or underspending and everything in between. This also goes to say to ask yourself if what you want to buy is built in your budget.
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Is it a need or a want?
Sometimes, it is difficult to determine if something is a need or a want especially when emotions get into the mix. When in doubt, always take a deep breath, sit down, and assess the matter at hand.
Ask yourself if you can live without that product. You can always ask your friends and family for their opinions especially when you are trying to buy a big purchase (e.g. car and house). You can also ask yourself if there are alternatives to that product, alternatives that cost less but can provide the same level of benefits.
Is it worth the additional interest and other fees?
The next question before making any purchases is to ask yourself is if the product worth the additional interests and other fees? Sometimes, if you need a product and don’t have the money readily available to purchase that, then, it may be worth to get loans and to pay using your credit cards.
You just need to be aware of the interests and fees associated with not paying the balances in full. Even if you have money, you may consider not paying in full because you can use it somewhere else and earn more than what you pay in interest.
For example, you made a $20,000 car loan at 2% interest a year but you have $20,000 in disposable income. You may consider investing the money in the stock market and potentially get higher than 2% in return. The point is, it may be better to pay additional interest and fees if there are better ways to use your money.
What will you sacrifice in return?
For sure, increase in spending doesn’t mean increase in income. So, the next question is what will you sacrifice in exchange for buying products? If you are on a budget and you are faithfully following it, then, you should ask yourself what you will cut down or out to pay for those purchases.
If you can’t think of anything to cut down, ask yourself if you are fine with saving less every month. In short, it is best to ask yourself if you are more than willing to sacrifice something that you need in exchange for those products. Never fail to ask this question before making any purchases.
Can I find it somewhere?
One of the questions you need to ask yourself before making any purchases is whether you can find the products somewhere else at cheaper prices. With so many stores out in the market, online and brick-and-mortar shops, you are bound to find the products at cheaper prices.
If you don’t mind used products, you can always go to Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other thrift shops. You can also go to consignment shops to see if they have the products you need. The lesson here is to do thorough research first before making any purchases.
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Do you need it now?
Ask yourself if you need the products right away. If your answer is no, then, it’s best to wait until the products are sold at deep discounts and/or until you find coupons for them. You may not want to rush on buying products when you really don’t need them right away.
For coupons, you can always wait for the Sunday newspaper inserts, buy coupons online, and get coupons through Coupons.com, retailer websites, and store websites. For lowest prices, you can always go to Camel Camel Camel to get information on when the prices of products on Amazon.com are down.
Always ask yourself if you need the products right away before making any purchases. By doing this, you’ll be saving a lot of money in the process.
Can I make it myself?
Sometimes, all you need is your imagination and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) skills to make something out of something. Some products are just out of the DIY realm but not all.
One of the reasons that people buy products is that buying is more convenient than building them. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that products, with some exceptions, can’t be built for less. There are websites that you can visit to find ways on how to build products. One of the popular ones is Pinterest.
There are benefits to creating your own products as well. You can control the ingredients and the chemicals you will use in making those products. You can design and modify them to fit your needs and disregard other product features that you don’t find use for.
It is really easier to just buy products without putting too much thought into it. But when you’re on a budget, trying to save, and assessing the reasonableness and benefits of purchasing products, it is always best to sit down and ask yourself some questions. It never hurts to answer the questions listed above because they may help you in making any purchasing decisions.
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