Should I Buy It ?

Is this a

or a

A need is something that although you can live without, you feel it is necessary

A want id something that you desire to have, but life would certainly go on without it

Do you already have something similar?

This question helps you consider whether this upgrade is entirely necessary. Sometimes, we are mentally persuaded to make an on the spot purchase for something that will likely just be used once and then stored away. Consider whether you already have something that is comparable and that works. Over time you may find that self discipline when making purchases is more satisfying.

Am I going to tell your Spouse/Partner about this purchase?

We are firm in the belief that all purchases should be discussed with anyone you share finances with. These conversations MAY BE DIFFICULT at times. We may feel that some purchases are better not disclosed. Unfortunately, many have made the mistake of attempting to hide their spending habits. Often, they are found out. But even if not found it, there is a secrecy that is not healthy. So, be healthy. Have the difficult conversation before you make the purchase. Your relationship will improve as you openly and honestly discuss all purchases with your partner or spouse.

Can I borrow it from someone?

Some people just hate borrowing stuff from a family member or neighbor. We have become an increasingly sheltered society. We don’t like to go to our neighbors houses. We prefer to have it all on our own. Consider whether we can be a little more neighborly and share what we have, so that others may want to do the same in return.

Is this a Credit Card Purchase?

Your #1 goal should be to get out of consumer debt. You likely got into consumer debt by making purchases that didn’t have to be made. Sorry to be stubborn on this issue, but you should probably spend any loose change at paying down debt and award yourself when you are debt free.

Have I asked my Friends/Family about it?

If you are planning on making a large purchase, it is often wise to send out a text/tweet/facebook message before you pull the trigger. Often, someone in your social network will have recommendations for a cheaper option, a discount or will persuade you from the purchase. When making a large purchase (or small) it is nice to run it by someone else first.

Is this a soul or body improving purchase?

Tools are required to improve our souls and lives. If you are into yoga, you will need a yoga mat and equipment. If you are into meditation, you will need instructions. If you play sports, you may need a ball. If you are a runner, you need shoes and clothes. These are the types of purchases that increase our overall health and wellness and align us with the centers of our spirituality. We always recommend these purchases. As they increase our energy and often decrease our need for consumption.

Can I delay the purchase?

If you can delay a purchase for a month or two, it might be wise to do so. The longer you delay, the longer the lifespan of your current product. Sometimes when we delay, the desire to purchase goes away entirely. Try to stay away from emotional or trigger purchases.

Have I looked for a lower cost alternative?

Just because it is on Amazon, doesn’t mean it is the best price. Some prices are actually inflated on Amazon. Amazon doesn’t set the prices, individual sellers in the market place do. All you have to do is GOOGLE the item you want to purchase. You will see immediately if Amazon is the best price.

Is this purchase within my budget?

If you are making a purchase that is outside of your budget, you should sit down and reconsider whether the benefit outweighs the cost. It is more prudent, financially, to budget in for this purchase in next months budget. Than you have a cool down period to re-think what you are about to buy.

Can I get this product used?

Although used is not always better, some products are almost as good in used condition (golf clubs, vehicles, books). Check on ebay and your local thrift stores and Craigslist. Ask friends, neighbors or family if they have a used version of the product you are interested in. Often times a used product is just as reliable as a new one and you can get it for Half the Price or better.

Have I googled for discounts or coupons?

A lot of websites have free coupons online all the time. You can easily save 20% or more by doing one search.

Is this Toy or other Product that will end up at the Bottom of Storage Box?

Consider all of the items in your house that you never use. Never use means less than once a year. There are tons of these products. They are everywhere. If your purchase will be used once and then will wind up in the Goodwill sack, reconsider what you are about to do.

Moderation on Kids Toys:

We are really down on toys. Not that toys are bad, just that the over consumption of toys for kids is getting out of hand. A gift or two at Christmas and for a birthday are nice memories that can bring families together. Spontaneous purchases of toys that we buy in hopes that are kids will use them, is just not a good idea.

Are you stressed out or depressed?

Some people make emotional purchase to try to fill voids in their life. Maybe you are stressing out about relationships, jobs or life in general. If this is the case, we recommend taking a walk, talking to a counselor, communicating with a trusted friend. WE DO NOT recommend making purchases in this state of mind. This is where spending becomes addictive and negative.

Is this a selfish purchase?

Purchasing things for yourself is good. But when we become selfish about our consumption and forget about others, this is where we spending can become negative. So have you considered a friend in need? Have you looked at donating to a charity?

Is this a gift for someone else?

On a Balance, sometimes giving a nice gift that will improve a relationship is more important than the cost (within reason). So we allow you to remove some spending inhibition when you are doing it for someone else. Especially when this is an anniversary or birthday present.

Are you a cheapskate?

Nobody likes a cheapskate. So shake off your conditioned response to spending money and open your wallet a little.

Are you buying a book or educational material?

If yes, go for it.

Will buying this make you happy in the long run?

Think of the things you have purchased in your life. Out of these things, which of them do you still derive satisfaction from?

Will this purchase encourage outdoor/recreational activity?

Spending money on things that get you outside may boost your overall happiness and success. We recommend frisbees, hiking boots, camping gear, bicycles, anything that will keep you active and your mind fresh.

How Bad do you Really want to Buy this?

Think Before you Buy

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Best Ratchet Tie Downs

NameSummaryBuy on Amazon
Super Smithee

I'm going with the Super Smithee's for #1 Ratchet Tie Downs.

In reviewing this category on Amazon, I have found that EVERY Single ratchet company has untrustworthy reviews. You really have to comb through them to find the organic reviews.

I'm already familiar with Super Smithee bungee cords that I like. They are heavy duty and strong.

I like the price of these and the carrying case. I think, based on my research that these are the straps that I would go with if I had to buy again.

Appx $18.00

I think this is a nice ratchet set. I just don't like how a lot of their 5 star reviews come with the qualification "I received this product in exchange for a review"

For this alone, I would avoid these. Sad, because they have potential, maybe a little thin.

Appx $33.00
Rocket Straps

One important criticism with these ratchets. It is that the S plastic end doesn't close enough on the end and it sometimes slips out of the holding joint.

Straps have ripped for other reviews.

Appx $23.00

These are the straps that I ended up buying. I have thoroughly enjoyed them. Yes, it takes some getting used to. Threading the fabric and how to release the ratchet. But, these have held up under pretty heavy duty loads and I haven't had any problem with slack.

Wish they came with a carrying case. Wish they had a plastic trigger release. Wish they were a little more intuitive. But. Whatever. I like them.

Appx $17.00
Vault Cargo

Genius to create a Plastic release trigger. Finger saver.

These are heavy duty, easy to store away, maintains tightness.

Yet, I am having a hard time being too lavish in my praise of these because of all of the biased reviews associated with this product. I think these might be difficult to release and have other issues that just don't show up because they are trampled on by the NON-organic reviews

Appx $22.00
Mann Ratchet

Really HIGH on my list of Great Ratchet tie downs.

I think I actually might prefer these in a way to the Super Smithee or Everest straps. Only thing missing for me is the carrying case. I hate having loose items in my truck.

But these appear to be built well and long lasting. Good price.

Appx $15.00

My Observation of Ratchet Tie Down Reviews on Amazon

Let me say that in reviewing the reviews of ratchet tie downs, I have come to the conclusion that I really can’t trust any of them.  This category especially is fraught with “I received this product for my unbiased review.”  Statistics show that these reviews are anything but unbiased.  So, I really had to dig deep to come up with a product recommendation for Ratchet Tie Downs.  It is not the EVEREST Ratchet Tie Downs that I own (And that I actually like a lot).


SUPER SMITHEE Ratchet Straps



What I am looking for in Ratchet Tie Downs:

1).  Ease of Use:  There is nothing more humiliating for an alpha male than to be loading up the cargo in his truck with his friends and clumsily trying to work the ratchet tie downs.  It is emasculating.  So, when I bought my ratchet tie downs for my truck, I made sure to get some that were easy to use: I’m not going to lie, the Everest ratchet tie downs took me a while to get used to.  I even now sometimes have to remind myself how to use them.  *In Everest defense – I am not the best with my hands.  Not mechanically minded.

Easiest to use ratchet tie downs everest ratchet tie down review

2).  Heavy Duty:  If you are going to be strapping something down, you can’t afford to have the ratchets slacken or lose strength, fray or break.  I think a lot of these options are heavy duty enough to work.  Here is my order of heavy duty straps:

a). Super Smithee:  Reviews seem to be trustworthy that these are heavy duty and will not slack, flap or frey


b). Mann Ratchet: Again a heavy duty ratchet:


c).  Everest:  I have owned my Everest Straps for almost 4 years.  I have carried heavy loads often.  I have never had a problem with these in the strength department:


*WARNING: Please understand that I am reviewing small ratchet sets.  If you are a construction worker or professional appliance mover you are going to want the really heavy duty ratchet sets.  Something like these KEEPER Straps: (Which I have used and highly recommend for big jobs).


Here are photos of my Everest Straps in use 4 years after I bought them.  Again, I have never had an issue with their strength or durability.

best ratchet straps

best ratchet straps

Drove for miles with this couch in my back.  The line was as tight when I arrived at my destination as when I left.

3).  Price:  All of these ratchet sets are reasonably priced.  I would say that the Super Smithee’s are the highest priced out of all of them.  You get TWO for about $18 (but it does come with a carrying case).  You will spend about $15 to $20 on a decent set of ratchets.

4).  Finger Saving:  I will say that I am impressed with the Vault Cargo Management Ratchet that came up with a Plastic Trigger release that saves your finger from minor pain:
truck ratchet reviews

*Note: These Vault Management Ratchets appear to be the highest volume seller on Amazon at the time I wrote this review.  I just don’t feel comfortable with all of the Biased reviews written about this set.  Yet, I like them.  I think they would work well.


5).  Properly Shaped S:  Ok.  This may be difficult to explain.  But you want a ratchet set that secures and locks in place with the Plastic S.  This piece:

Everest Ratchet Review

The Everest Tie Down set is properly designed.  It fits and doesn’t slip:

Everest Ratchet Review

Now there is a review on the ROCKET STRAPS ratchet that says that the S doesn’t come down far enough and slips out. I would consider this a deal breaker.

6).  Carrying Case:  Not all of the Ratchets come with a carrying case.  This is a pain.  I have to wad up my Everest Ratchets and put them under my truck seats.  They get tangled and cause a mess.  I wouldn’t buy again without a carrying case of some sort.

7).  Easy to Release:  Some of these have better designed release mechanisms.  It can get difficult when you ratchet your cargo and arrive to your destination than you can’t release the tension.  I think there are problems with the Vault Management ratchet release mechanism.  Maybe not problems.  But it is more difficult than the others.  The Everest tie downs are also not a piece of cake to release.

everest tie down reviews


I was in review distress when I created this article about Ratchet Tie Downs.  There are just TOO MANY BIASED REVIEWS in this category on amazon.  I think that I have come to a conclusion that I will live with.  Although I have actually loved my Everest Ratchet set and I would recommend it highly.  I am going to go with the Super Smithee Tie Downs as my favorite:


SUPER SMITHEE Ratchet Straps



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