But whilst I am passionate about educating people to be wiser in the way that they use money, so that they have more of it. Sometimes I feel caught up in this internal conflict of interest, which can eat away at me.
Of course everyone needs to shop and buy things for themselves and other people, it is how we feed ourselves, clothe ourselves and essentially survive. However whilst I am sharing ideas and tips as to how to save money whilst shopping, I want to make sure that I stay authentic and true to my message of when you do shop, only buy what you love, value, use and appreciate. So that you get maximum appreciation and gain from what you choose to spend your precious hard earned cash on.
Here are my top 5 questions to ask yourself before adding to your shopping basket:
- Is now the best time to buy this item? – Sometimes you can hold on a little longer before buying it…and often when I have held off, I have completely forgotten that I “needed” that item and saved myself time and money. However when there are items that you genuinely need, it is worth timing that purchase with the sales. This is particularly valuable with items such as white goods, sheets and towels and toys….try and buy these around sale time.
- How am I going to pay for this? We can easily get caught up in the love bubble high of when we see something that we absolutely have to have…however taking a moment to breathe and ask ourselves how we are going to pay for this item can bring us back down to earth again. Going further into this thought by asking yourself “What am I going to miss out on by purchasing this item?” and “Can I really afford this item?”, “Will buying this item put me into a feeling of pressure around my cashflow?”. Be honest with yourself and give yourself a pat on the back if you realise it isn’t worth it. Exercising self control is a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets.
- How would I feel if I found something else that I loved more? – Sometimes when I find myself liking an item that I want to buy, asking this question helps me realise that I don’t really love that item, so I shouldn’t buy it. I hate the feeling of regret, especially when I have used up my allocated budget to buy something nice only to shortly discover there is something even better that I really love but now can’t buy.
- Do I really need to buy this? – Sometime I borrow a dress from a friend rather than buying a new one. Another option is to rent a dress. I know for myself I can catch myself telling (well trying to convince myself) that I need a new dress to wear to a wedding/event/party etc…and the harsh reality is that I don’t need a new dress. So consider other options.
- Are the bells and whistles worth it? Particularly with big purchases like cars…all the optional add ons can make the cost of buying a car so much higher and send us into financial pressure. Look at each item and it’s cost and ask yourself would you use and value that feature.
At the end of the day, I want you to shop consciously…enjoy life, buy nice things for yourself but do it responsibly and from a place of caring and love.
Canna Campbell is the founder and director of SASS Financial Services, a boutique financial planning firm. She is Channel 9’s exclusive ‘money expert’, founder of financial media platform SugarMamma.TV and best selling author of The $1000 Project and Mindful Money.