In today’s NJroute22.com VLOG – we will provide an easy to use video guide you can use when considering buying almost anything! Below are five mindsets that could make your decision-making a bit easier.
1. Do I need it? Can I live without it?
The most fundamental mindset everyone can use is: “Do I need it?”
If you don’t, then the answer is simple. Don’t buy it!
But what if it is an absolute necessity (power, food, etc.)? Then think of the ramifications if you don’t make the purchase transaction!
2. Do I have “extra” money? A reliable income stream?
Can that money be saved for something more important in the future? Would the purchase be considered “hasty?”
Would you regret it at some point in the future? “If I only didn’t waste that $800 on that (phone, drone, shoes, etc.), I’d have money for (insert necessity here).”
Ideally – it would be best if you had a year or more saved up for your monthly required expenses (food, fuel, electricity, rent, property taxes, etc.) Then, maybe you can start thinking about recreational purchases.
3. But I want it! I’m going to buy it!
Okay, you’ve ignored sensible approaches to spending money, fine.
But why do you want it? Is it for sheer entertainment or pleasure? Or will it free up time for other things? Can it help me make extra money later on?
If it can potentially help future income – your purchase might be warranted. Otherwise, you most likely can still live without it.
4. Wow – so many choices! Which one to buy?
Okay – so you’re going to buy it. But there are tons of “choices!” Cheap stuff, medium stuff, “high-end” stuff.
How to pick which one? Do you have a budget? Can you stay within your budget? Or will you get caught up in the hype?
- Economy – understanding it may not last. There are many other better ones.
- Middle of the road – everything looks similar!
- Premium – Gosh, there are many “top of the line” models!
The problem with most consumer goods – is that they make the various levels by design. They know that subconsciously, most people will always want the next level up, and as they’ve reasoned with themselves to spend the extra money, they keep leveling up – until they’ve spent the most on the highest-end model! Crazy!
Then a year or two later, the product you painstakingly chose, even if it was the “best” at the time – is total crap once again. Rinse, repeat. The revolving door of consumerism.
The key is to be content – even if you didn’t get the best one. (Or better yet – opt-out entirely!)
Don’t forget, the iPhone 4 was once the best. Let that sink in for a minute.
5. Reviews drive me crazy!
Reviews are another realm that people get caught up in – can you trust them all? Many if not most contain fake reviews. The same goes for “review” websites – which we’ve seen a prolific rise in sites that just list the most popular (with affiliate links). Crappy reviews that anyone with half a brain would realize were not genuine.
What about “hands-on?” Can you physically inspect before buying? That may be the single best way to “kick the tires” personally. See? There’s still a use for brick & mortar stores. (But liberal return policies and places like Amazon are good too.)
FOMO – do you need the latest version if you have an existing one? How long can you wait? Why does it cause internal pain and suffering to know there is something much better out there?
Bonus: Fun things to do: redistribute money
If you can prevent any purchases – a good thing to play around with is taking that money “out of circulation.” Stuff it in a coffee-can, or open up a savings account.
For instance, if you’ve calculated that you pay $150 a month at the coffee shop. Stop right away. Put $100 of that in a jar for a “rainy day.” Use $20 for instant coffee and cream for the month. The $30 is extra pocket money. You’d have $1200 saved up by the end of the year. Imagine the possibilities!
Apply that “replacement” system to other things you can eliminate from your monthly expenditures.
Being frugal and saving money can be addictive – if don’t correctly, and doesn’t turn into an obsession.