Advertisers definitely have our number, don’t they? We’re constantly bombarded with ads for everything from A to Z and back again. When it comes to deciding whether or not we “have to have it,” our willpower and common sense often take a backseat to the hype of the next big thing. Our need to feel like we’re keeping up with current trends can often lead us to make a purchase today that we’ll regret sooner or later. Before you decide you have to have the latest “it” item, like a wine refrigerator, take a few minutes to really evaluate your decision before you fork over your hard-earned money.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is if you can really afford this purchase. Not whether or not there’s room on your credit card for it. Not how “affordable” it is if you finance it. Can you really spend extra money on something that isn’t really essential? If the answer isn’t a resounding “Yes,” stop right there. A non-essential purchase that hurts our bottom line is sure to be something we regret.
If you decide you can afford it, the next question to ask yourself is “How often am I really going to use it?” Is it really worth spending a chunk of change on that fancy set of cookware that practically cleans itself and can handle being run over by a car if you don’t actually cook all that often? Or leave your pots and pans in the driveway? Is that gorgeous dress coat at your favorite store really worth the money if you know you’ll only wear it once or twice a year? Unless you have plenty of money to burn, save it for items that you’ll actually use often enough to make them worth the price you pay.
Before splurging on the highest-end gadget on the market, you need to ask yourself what, if any, truly viable and less costly alternatives exist. We’ve all seen those fancy blenders that cost more than some folks make in a week, right? Guess what? There are quite a few equally capable blenders that cost upwards of 90% less. Spending max bucks when you could spend fewer bucks on something equally good just doesn’t make financial sense. Along that same line, do you really need to spend money on all the bells and whistles, or will all those bells and whistles just be features that you paid for but never use?
Another thing to ask yourself when you think there’s something new that you just can’t live without it this–”How have I been living without it all this time?” If your honest answer is that you’ve been getting by just fine, chances are that you can keep on living without it.
In short, you should buy “it” if you can honestly say that it will truly make your life easier or otherwise better because it meets a need, streamlines a process, or otherwise provides enough benefits to be of real value in your life. If the only time you think you have to have it is when you see it, then you’re probably better off waiting for the next big thing.