Shop Smart: 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Purchase

Written by Carly Hallman

A survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International determined that 75 percent of 1000 participants have made an impulse purchase. Of these impulse buyers, 16 percent said that they spent $500 or more and 10 percent spent $1,000 or more. These purchases were triggered by excitement(49 percent), boredom(30 percent), sadness(22 percent), anger(9 percent) or intoxication(9 percent). As reflected by these numbers, impulse purchases can be costly and detrimental! With the help of adorable animals, this infographic is intended to help you make sensible and informed decisions when spending money.

Shop Smart: 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Purchase - Titlemax.com - Infographic

Would you like to embed this infographic on your site?

Shop Smart: 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Purchase

When left unchecked, impulsive purchases can sabotage our best efforts to save money and establish financial stability. This guide provides 10 key questions to ask yourself when considering a purchase, big or small. By honestly assessing the questions, you can prevent buyers’ remorse and build your savings.

Question Text
Do I have something already that serves the purpose? It is important to consider the purpose that your potential purchase would serve. If you are pressed financially but are yearning for a snazzy new pair of shoes, do you really need them? There is likely a suitable alternative sitting in your closet. You can also explore “life hacks” that can transform everyday items into versatile tools. For example, rather than splurging on ornament containers, try an empty egg carton!
Have I searched online for discounts or better alternatives? The Internet is a bustling bazaar of discounts and shopportunities! All it takes is a bit of patience and research. You are likely to discover more affordable offers for the very same product you coveted in person. Cross-reference prices with sites like Amazon.com, Overstock.com, and eBay.com. Tools like CamelCamelCamel.com will track price drops on Amazon products.
Do I absolutely need this now? Could I delay buying it? Ask yourself if it is possible to delay making this purchase. If you can comfortably delay it for a month, do so. A more economical solution may sprout up during that time, or your desire to have it may simmer down. If you could delay it for a year or more, do you really need it at all? Try to avoid buying items unless the need is immediate, such as to replace a failing item or nab an incredible bargain (after doing your research, of course!).
Have I asked my social network about it, both online and offline? It can be tough to make a level-headed decision in a vacuum. Tap into your social network for insights, opinions, and first-hand experiences. Plus, you may discover discounts and special buying programs through word of mouth. Best-case scenario, someone happens to have what you’re looking for to sell you or offer to you for free!
Have I checked it out on trusted review sites? Research, research, research! Never make a purchase without consulting trusted review sites. This can help you make an informed decision or steer you in a more ideal direction. While some reviews can be fake, there are resources that can help you learn how to determine their authenticity.
Does this purchase align with my values? Are you a vegan? Are you against animal testing? Perhaps you prefer products that are locally sourced or that donate a portion of profits to charity. Whatever the case, quick research can help you determine which products you will actually feel good about purchasing and which you should avoid.
Have I checked for any potential recalls? There are many government resources to check to see if the item you are buying (especially secondhand) has been recalled or deemed defective. In the U.S., try sites like Recalls.gov, SaferCar.gov, FDA.gov, and SaferProducts.gov.
Can I rent or borrow it from someone? If you need a unique item just once, tap into your social network or look into rental programs. Borrowing or renting is an excellent way to cut costs and get the job done. Establish a good rapport with friends and neighbors by being willing to lend to them when they need it, too!
Am I hungry, tired, or sad? Retail therapy can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Buying to relieve stress can backfire because the dent in your wallet may only cause more anxiety. Research shows that purchases driven by emotion or hunger tend to make the buyer feel even worse afterward. Your best bet is to reserve shopping for when you are well-rested and fed.
Could I make or fix it myself? While very few of us are capable of making our own cars, there is plenty we can create or fix ourselves. Explore DIY resources at the local library or online. YouTube is abundant with DIY videos; you can learn anything from making your own laundry soap to building a deck or changing the oil in your car!

You might also like...