Can you be sure that all the things that you have in your home have a purpose? Did you never buy anything that you had no need for? I am sure none of us can say to both these questions. If you can, then you will have to give me some tips about this magic trick you seem to pull.

Frugally navigating through our lives needs us to be vigilant of the offers, sales, and discounts constantly thrown our way. Dodging new purchases in a consumer-driven culture is difficult, but not impossible. Here are some questions that you need to ask yourself before every purchase so that you can minimize spending money on things you do not need.


1. Is Your Purchase Essential?

Knowing the difference between want and need is essential for labeling your purchases. When you know what you truly need and what you can do without, it makes it easier to reduce spending on things that you don’t actually need.

There are things that are truly essential needs, for instance, all the basic necessities like water, air, food, shelter, clothing (sometimes). Then comes the basics of living in a society like community, basic hygiene, transportation, and health insurance. And that’s the basic need induced expense you have to make.

Everything else can be categorized as “want” or “want that we think we need”. And labeling it as such can get begin to remove emotion/endorphins at the moment of impulse and start to usher in rational thinking. It’s a start.

2. Can You Afford It?

If you have to use your credit card or go into debt to purchase something, then the answer is that you can’t actually afford it. Since I was a kid, my dad taught me that buying anything only brought joy when it didn’t create additional issues for you, if it is doing that, then you are better off without that thing.

Knowing what you can afford with cash or without hitting the max limit on your card is essential to not make rash decisions, especially ones that involve a huge amount of investment.

3. How Many Hours Do You Need to Work to Pay for It?

Before making a purchase, calculate how many hours will you need to work to pay it off. When you think about spending money on things as hours you spend earning the money, it becomes enlightening. You will start becoming more cautious about where you spend your money and do you always buy sensible things.

This should be the line of thought especially when you are making a big purchase, that will require payments in installments. Make sure that whatever you are purchasing is worth it, and you are willing to spend hours on end trying to pay it off.

4. Will You Want It in a Month?

Delaying your purchases is a great way to see if you really need or want the item, or was it going to be another impulse buy. If you aren’t as excited later, then it becomes easier to not buy the said item.

Sometimes sales and discounts seem like a good deal, but most of the time, we end up buying things we do not need. This can be avoided by waiting, if it is a time-based sale, then wait till the end to click buy.

Final Thoughts

Some big purchases are essential, some aren’t. Determining which is which plays a huge role in holding back or going ahead with the purchase. The next time you are making a purchase, big or small, remember to ask yourself these questions so that you can save yourself from buying things that you will eventually regret having spent money on.