In todays blog post I share 16 questions to ask yourself before making a purchase. By asking yourself just a few of these questions before making a purchase you’re really going to save yourself a lot of money.
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16 Questions To Ask Yourself BEFORE Making A Purchase
We’re living through unprecedented times and now more than ever it’s important to make sure we’re keeping on top of our finances and not spending all of our money on a monthly basis. Job loss and redundancies are at an all-time high and it’s more important now than ever to make more conscious spending choices to ensure that our money is working just as hard as we are.
With this being said, in today’s blog post I want to share with you 16 questions to ask yourself before making a purchase. By asking yourself just a few of these questions before making a purchase you’re really going to save yourself a lot of money.
Question 1 – Is This A Need Or Is It A Want?
It’s important to distinguish between the two, as a lot of things that are wants we convince ourselves that they are needs. For example, your car has died and you need to replace it. You use your car to drive to work so you tell yourself you need a new car.
What you need is a means of getting to work. This doesn’t have to be a brand new car on finance which you’ll be paying £300 a month for, for the next 3 years. Maybe instead consider buying a used car so you’re not spending an arm and a leg each month on car payments. Moreover, do you actually need a car? Maybe perhaps you can travel to work by train or, better yet, do your bit to save the planet and cycle to work.
Distinguishing between needs and wants will save you a lot of money in the long run on a transaction by transaction basis.
Question 2 – Can I Borrow This Item?
So you’ve decided that you want to do a DIY project in your garden after being inspired by a post you saw on Pinterest. For the project, you will need a power tool which you’ve researched and found out costs £200. This is a one-off project and you probably won’t use this power tool again. Before jumping on Amazon Prime and ordering the power tool with next day delivery, ask yourself, can I borrow this item from a friend or family member?
If you know you’re only going to use the item once or less than a handful of times in a year, then can you really justify the spend?
Question 3 – Is This Something I Can Do Myself?
Before spending your hard-earned money on a product or service, ask yourself, can I do this myself and is there a cheaper way to achieve this same result? There is no need to call a handyman to come and help you change a light bulb, a quick YouTube search will give you the instructions needed to do it yourself in minutes. I know that’s a very basic example as most people can do this themselves, but there may be other instances that you can ask yourself this question and save yourself some cash.
Question 4 – Is This The Best Price For The Item?
Always shop around before making a purchase, don’t just go with the most convenient item. Make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. I’ve been guilty of this on more Christmas’ than I care to admit. I’ve waited until Christmas is only a few days away and consequently paid a premium for my procrastination. With the rise of websites like Go Compare and Compare The Market, there are many ways for you to check that you’re getting the best price for your money.
Honey is an amazing browser extension that you add to Chrome and it scans the internet for discount codes and applies them to your purchase at checkout to make sure you’re getting the best price available on the internet. Download the extension here and save money while you shop.
Question 5 – Can I Negotiate A Better Price?
This is a great question to ask yourself any time you have a contract up for renewal. From internet subscription to mobile phone contract, it’s worth asking for a discount or to see what ad on’s they can throw in to ensure that you’re getting the most value for your money.
My mum was the queen of negotiating growing up. She’d ask for a discount everywhere she went, from the hairdressers to the meat market, she would always ask, “what’s your best price?”, or “what can you do for me?” doing this consistently over the years saved her a lot of money.
Question 6 – Can I Buy This Item Used?
A few months ago I bought a new laptop because my old one had stopped working. I had a £400 budget to replace it and bought one from PC world that was the best specification for what I could afford. It was only after the purchase that one of my followers on Instagram told me of a store called CEX where you could get second hand refurbished laptops at a fraction of the price you would pay for a brand new one. For £400 I could have got a laptop with a much higher spec, or better yet, one similar to the one I bought for a quarter of the price.
Don’t make the same mistake I did, where you can, look for second-hand alternatives for what you want to buy.
Question 7 – Have You Looked For A Cheaper Lower Cost Alternative Solution?
Do you need to buy that exact item, or is there a cheaper alternative you can buy that will serve the same purpose?
Question 8 – Do I Need To Buy It Now?
Yes, you want to buy the item, but is now the best time to make the purchase? If buying this item will stop you from reaching another important financial goal, then it may be worth putting off the purchase until a later date. You may even find that by putting it off for a few weeks, you no longer want to buy it by the time that purchase date comes around.
16 Questions To Ask Yourself BEFORE Making A Purchase Continued
Question 9 – Is It In The Budget?
There is power and freedom in a budget. Before proceeding with the purchase, ask yourself, is it within the budget? Can I afford to make this purchase? It’s one thing creating a plan for your money, it’s another thing sticking to it. It’s important to consult the budget to ensure you’re not overspending on things that are not important.
Question 10 – Can I Afford To Buy It Twice?
If you can’t afford to buy it twice, you can’t afford to buy it. It’s one thing being able to afford to buy an item once, but can you afford to buy it twice? If making this purchase means you have no money left in your account to buy anything else, then it’s worth giving that purchase a second thought before committing to it.
Question 11 – Do I Already Have An Item That’s Very Similar To This?
If you’re a shopaholic like me, this is the point at which you cover your face, cringe and put the item down. No you don’t need another pair of black heels – 10 is more than enough. I’ve been so guilty of this in the past, hoarding so many versions of the same item and still buying more at every given opportunity.
Question 12 – Why Do I Need To Buy This?
Question your motive before making a purchase, and you may surprise yourself at how many bad purchase decisions you make without questioning yourself. Buying all those clothes on ASOS to make yourself feel better while we’re in the midst of a pandemic, on lockdown, and have nowhere to go, really doesn’t make sense if you think about it. The problem is, often, we don’t think about it, we just do, without asking ourselves why. It may make you feel better in the moment, but once that thrill of the transaction subsides, that credit card bill is waiting for you at the end of the month to pay.
Question 13 – Is This An Impulse Purchase?
We do a lot of things in autopilot without giving them a second thought. On the way home from work, you pick up a magazine and snacks as you pass the corner shop on your road, but do you actually need another magazine? It’s 2021, and that content is readily available online for free. Don’t just buy things in the moment just because, really take the time to catch yourself before spending money unnecessarily.
Question 14 – How Many Hours Of My Life Is This Item Going To Cost Me?
This is a really important question to ask yourself. When you put things in perspective like this, it makes you really think twice before making a purchase. A pair of boots costing £120 doesn’t seem as bad as saying, this pair of boots cost 12 hours of my life. Now that will make you think twice before buying those boots.
Question 15 – Does This Align With My Values And Goals?
This is an important question to ask yourself when spending money. Oftentimes, we spend money from day to day without even giving our values and goals a second thought. Asking yourself this question will put a lot of transactions into perspective. You say you want to pay off all your debts within the next 12 months but Amazon is delivering parcels to your house every other day, this tells me that your spending isn’t well aligned with your values or goals.
Question 16 – Will I Regret Not Making This Purchase?
This will tell you how important the transaction really is to you. If you know that you’ll be beating yourself up every day for a month because you didn’t make the purchase, then it may be worth going ahead with it. But if on the other hand, you know you wouldn’t even give it a second thought, then that tells you how unimportant the transaction is and you may be better off just saving your money.
These are just 16 questions that you should ask yourself before making a purchase. Let me know in the comments section below if these are questions you often ask yourself. Also, share any other important questions that you think I should have included in the list.
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