Before making a large purchase, you may want to consider the following questions:
1). Need vs Want
A need is something that although you can live without, you feel it is necessary.
A want is something that you desire to have, but life would certainly go on without it.
2). 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.
3). 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.
4). 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.
5). 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.
6). 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.
7). 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.
8). Can I delay the purchase? (*Very Important Question Here)
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.
9). 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.
10). 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.
11). 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.
12). 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.
13). 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.
14). 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.
15). 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?
16). 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.
17). Are you a cheapskate?
Nobody likes a cheapskate. So shake off your conditioned response to spending money and open your wallet a little.
18). Are you buying a book or educational material?
If yes, go for it.
19). 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?
20). 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.
21). How Bad do you Really want to Buy this?
Dadshopper.com has created a proprietary algorithm to determine whether you should or should not buy this product. Of course what we say means nothing. The mere fact that you have enough awareness to ask these questions before making a large purchase means you are on the right track to moderation in consumption.