Are you planning on making a big purchase? What constitutes a big purchase? Some people will argue that a big purchase is something like a car or house, while others would say a new TV or household appliance.
Really, you are the one to determine what is considered a big purchase. In our family, anything over $100 is considered a big purchase.
Without further ado, here are the questions you should ask yourself and the things you should do before making that big purchase.
1. Wait 24 hours
Try not to make impulse purchases, especially with large purchases. Most people that purchase large ticket items on a whim, typically end up with buyer’s remorse and then later decided they didn’t want/need that item after all. While you are waiting 24 hours, go onto the next steps.
2. Can you pay cash for it?
Ideally, any purchase you make, you should make in cash so as to not incur debt. Obviously for most people, saving up to buy a new car or home outright could take years (although it is feasible and can be done). However, saving up to buy other big-ticket items such as TVs, home appliances, etc… is feasible for most people. So if it is not a need right now item, then hold off until you can save the money up to pay cash for it.
3. Do you NEED the item right now?
This is a big one. Do you NEED the item right now, or do you just want it? Can you continue to live comfortably without the item? In other words, if you already have a working TV in the house and you just want another one in order to put it in another room; this would be an item you want, not need. Really you don’t NEED a TV unless you have teenagers then you definitely need one lol.
4. Can you find the item cheaper?
Have you checked around different retailers to see if you can find the item cheaper? Make sure to also check online retailers as well.
5. Have you considered buying used?
While it’s always nice to have new and shiny toys, buying used might be the way to go and could save you A LOT of money as well. Check local Facebook sales groups, newspaper classifieds, yard sales, and craigslist.
6. Would renting or borrowing the item be an option?
If you need an item and do not plan to use it often, check into renting or borrowing the item. It can save you money and you won’t have to find a place to store it out of the way so it can collect dust. Check with friends, family, and neighbors!
7. What is the warranty?
When you are making a big purchase, the last thing you want is for it to become a pile of trash because it has broken. Check out the warranty. If it doesn’t have a warranty or the warranty is short, try looking at a different brand and its warranty. If you are set on that brand, ask yourself if you would be able to easily replace it or repair it if it breaks.
8. Is there something you could spend this money on instead?
What other item(s) could you spend the money on instead? Do you have a credit card balance it could go towards or an overdue bill? What about an emergency savings fund? Look at the bigger picture, especially if this is a want, not a need.
9. Do you want it because the Joneses have it?
Keeping up with the Joneses is so last year! It is all about living the minimalist lifestyle now, which is completely an awesome thing! In all seriousness, this goes back to number 8. Would your money be spent better off somewhere else? How is that retirement fund looking?