|Making rash purchasing decisions can lead the hare over |
a financial cliff.
Are you a tortoise or a hare when it comes to buying things?
I have never understood the rush for bunnies buying things. Why all this frenzied, panicked, and often unnecessary purchasing that frequently leads to feelings of guilt and regret afterwards?
Better to slow down to the speed of the tortoise and think carefully about what we are buying, and why we are buying it. With a cautious approach, time can be on your side when it comes to buying anything.
People with something to sell you will also try to use time, or the artificially imposed lack of it, to their advantage. Why?
Research shows that we are willing to spend more money when we are overpowered by emotions. Any of the following appeals will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen an advertisement:
- "Only one left."
- "[Product] is going fast."
- "Limited time offer."
- "Time is running out."
Slow Down - Ask These Questions Before Buying
Any time I identify something I think I need, I wait. During this opportunity to think more clearly I ask a few key questions:
- Do I really need this? No, really. Most prospective purchases stop at this first stage.
- If I need it, do I need it right now? Perhaps waiting will be advantageous.
- Can I borrow, rent, or trade rather than purchase? You need the hole, not the drill.
- Does it make sense to buy used? You pay more for new and often it does not matter.
- Have I found the best deal? Often you can find things for free! Check out Craigslist, Kijiji, etc.
- Can I afford it? If I don't have cash, I do not buy until I do. Credit is a killer.
- Can the planet afford it? Every one of our purchases has unintentional consequences that have effects on the environment and on the people around us.
It may take the tortoise a long while to do the research required to make an informed, non-emotional purchase, but in the end, the slow moving, thoughtful purchaser will not be plunging over any fiscal cliffs.