Five Signs You Don’t Need That

Everybody occasionally buys things they don’t need, from DVDs to luxury cars.   There are signs that what you’re buy may not be an actual necessity.

Here are five signs you should put that back:

  1. You’re buying that sweater or video game for the endorphin hit, you’re shopping for the addictive high not to fill an actual need.  It’s a habit that’s as hard to break as smoking, if not harder.  You can’t, after all, stop shopping altogether.
  2. You already have one.  Or 10.   A relative can’t turn down a sale and she buys for life.   She regularly buys 3 of whatever useful gadget is available on the shopping channel.    Her house has turned into a sad story of compulsive hoarding.
  3. The rationalizations for your purchase include “It’s cool”  or “My friends all have one.”  If you are buying something just for the bragging rights, it has become an ego purchase, which is something to avoid.   The insidious part of an ego purchase is that you have to keep topping your last purchase and the last purchase of your social circle, or the purchases lose value.  It’s a vicious circle.
  4. It doesn’t have a “place”.  Where are you going to put it?  Is it going to go in the corner, or is there a drawer or shelf it can live on.  If there’s no play to consider “away”, you’re just buying clutter.  If you must have it, go home and toss, sell, or donate 2 things to make room. If possible, do that before you actually by the new toy.   If it’s important, you’ll come back for it.
  5. You didn’t know you needed it 10 minutes ago.  If you actually need it, it’s on your list, right?  Impulse purchases have been the biggest budget-killer in my house.  That’s why we use Alice for the household goods.  If we don’t see the it, we can’t throw it in the cart at the last minute.    We no longer shop with the debit card, so we have to watch what we buy.  It’s embarrassing to have to undo a purchase at the checkout because I didn’t bring enough cash.

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  • 2 comments

    Comments

    1. Thanks for the reality check. I weigh my unnecessary item against something I KNOW I need. That helps me because I am SO impulsive. I’ll ask myself if my money is used better for the immediate gratification, or going towards the thing I am saving up to purchase.

    2. I’ve been trying to stick to a list at the grocery store again. I used to be so good at avoiding impulse buys, but lately, I seem to have gone mad! At least I can keep my spending in check in other areas 🙂

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