I’ve always been an impulsive person. In some instances, this can be a great thing, but when it comes to spending, it can be an issue. I recently went on a spending freeze to help reset some of these spending tendencies (you can read more about the specifics of the spending freeze in this blog post). While I’m avoiding certain stores and websites I know can be triggers for me when it comes to spending, the urge to purchase still arises.
That’s where the set of questions I’m sharing today comes in handy. Generally speaking, the three questions below apply to purchases that are outside of the standard necessities of life like food and basic toiletries. They’ve helped me curb unnecessary purchases and be more intentional about what I’m buying. I hope you find them helpful too!
3 Questions I Ask That Help Me Spend Less Money
1. Will this make my life easier in the future?
For me, this question helps me hone in on purchases that will save me time and energy, while also not adding extra clutter or maintenance in the process. If the given item I’m considering doesn’t fit the bill, I try to avoid purchasing it.
2. Is it in my budget?
This may seem like a simple question, but it’s a point that can often be brushed under the rug when we’re face to face with something we really want. In my experience, it can sometimes be easy to can get caught up in what you think you’re missing out on in the moment by not making a purchase. Yet I find if I honor this question, choosing something in my budget creates less stress in the long run. Saying no to something that’s not in your budget is totally okay.
I find it helpful to consider whether the product I’m eyeing is a full body yes. If it’s not, I can usually skip it.
3. Is this something I love or am I just rushing into finding something I like?
Not asking myself this question has been the crux of most of my negative spending cycles. There are so many products I like. But when it comes to finding something I truly love—especially pieces that will stand the test of time—the shopping process often requires more patience and resisting the urge to find something immediately. I find it helpful to consider whether the product I’m eyeing is a full body yes. If it’s not, I can usually skip it.
As an example, a couple of items I did recently purchase on the spending freeze were durable drinking glasses, wine glasses, and plates. All of these items will be suitable for use on our outdoor patios. We’ve been using our standard glasses and dinnerware outdoors for the past couple of years and have broken several things in the process. This purchase wasn’t a need necessarily. However, the items were things I loved that would make life easier and get plenty of use, while still being in my budget for the month.