Shopping Smarter for Better Budget Control

If you are trying to stick to a tight budget or simply cutting down unnecessary expenses, what you do choose to spend your money on is important. The average person makes countless unnecessary purchases in their lifetimes, which can take a toll on their finances in the long run.

To remedy this, it’s important to consider a few key questions every time you are tempted to splash out! Think about these 7 things the next time you want to make a purchase to make sure that it’s the right one for you.

#1: Does it have a purpose?

We often buy things because they look useful, or because they are on special, with the intention of maybe using them at a later stage. To be more frugal about your spending, remind yourself to make sure that everything you buy has a specific, tangible purpose at the time of purchase.

Don’t be tempted to splash out at clearance sales simply because the items on offer are cheap or appealing; unless you have a specific purpose for the thing you want, don’t buy it!

#2: How long will it last?

Items that are built to last really are better investments in the long run, although they are usually more expensive upfront.

However, you will spend much more money regularly replacing badly made products than you will by simply buying something of a higher quality right off the bat. If an item you want is intended for long-term use, think carefully about quality before you make the purchase.

#3: How much will you use it?

No matter what you buy, you will need to consider how much use you will actually be getting out of it over time. Things that will only be used once, such as outfits for single special occasions, are a waste of money compared to investing in something that you can use repeatedly for the same purpose.

Look at an item you want to buy and think ahead to how often you will wear or make use of it. If the answer is only once or twice, you are better off going for something that you can get more use out of – or just not spending the cash to begin with.

#4: Will it clutter up your home?

An organized, clutter-free home has proven scientific benefits for your mental and overall well being. To achieve this, frugal folks tend to only buy things that will truly be used often, and avoid pointless ornaments, knick-knacks and duplicate items.

Marie Kondo’s decluttering method is a fantastic way to clear these unnecessary items from your home, but when it comes to purchases, make sure that whatever you buy will be helpful instead of hindering.

#5: Do YOU really want it?

Do you want this item, or is a friend, relative or magazine telling you that you simply must have it?

Peer pressure can make us spend money on things we do not need or even necessarily want, so it’s important to consider where your compulsion to buy an item is stemming from.

#6: Do you need to buy it today?

If you need the item today and it fits the bill, there’s nothing wrong with buying out. However, if you can hold off on buying something you don’t need, go home and think about it instead.

Most of the time, if it wasn’t important you will either forget about it or find a better deal elsewhere. If you really do still want it a few days later (or even the next day), fit it into your budget, save up for it, or if you have the cash on hand, go for it!

#7: Is a better option available?

Smart shopping is a crucial skill to learn. Instead of investing in expensive DVDs and Blu-Rays that take up space in your home, buy a Netflix subscription. Instead of splashing out on books that you may never read, get yourself a library card or download free ebooks from Kindle.

Instead of driving to a casino, play some online pokies NZ. Technology has provided thousands of ways to cut your budget, so take advantage wherever you can.