You are considering investing in that large purchase you’ve been interested in for a while. You are not totally sold on the item, yet something inside you wants it. You spend weeks or maybe even months debating whether or not to buy the item. You are not sure if moving forward is in your best interest. If you are hesitant over the matter, ask yourself these questions before taking the final step.
Can you pay for the item in cash? My husband taught me something very valuable. If I didn’t have cash to pay for the item, chances were I can’t afford it — at least not now. Save on the side until you have the money in full. When you gather enough money, proceeded with the purchase. By doing this, you have a chance to really consider if you actually want the item and if the item is worth the asking price. Plus, you won't have to pay any credit card interest or finance fees.
Are you financially capable of making the bill payments if you plan on using a credit card or a loan? You may say yes. However, situations can transpire between the day of purchase and the bill due date, which may oblige you to use a portion of the money you reserved for the bill payment. You may be satisfied with making minimum payments, but will you ever catch up? At one point, I use to make minimum payments. But with all the fees involved, it took me years to finally clean out my credit cards.
Did you research the item? Finding and reading reviews are a great way to become informed. Reviews usually help when you are torn between wanting to buy something or not. It helped me when I contemplated making a couple of purchases. I never made them because the products had poor reviews. I found similar products with better reviews and the items have lasted for years. At the end of the day, you are going to make the decision that makes you content. Nevertheless, the reviews will give you a sense of direction.
Is the item a necessity? If so, it’s not a bad idea to navigate other websites for the same or a similar item at an affordable price. You probably come out winning — you get the product you want for a cheaper price.
Will the item benefit you months from now? Sometimes a certain item — a designer bag, an antique car or a famous painting — catches your attention. You immediately want that item without considering financial consequences. Or, you may not have financial issues, but you realize a few months from now you wasted money on something you no longer need. Maybe that item is in the basement or packed away in a closet. I know this by hard. I purchased a pair of expensive leather boots, which I never wore. I just had to have them. In my opinion, that was a waste of hard-earned money.
There’s nothing wrong with making large purchases. I’m confident we all have done so at one point in our lives. However, as long as the item is what you truly want and is in your budget, then by all means proceed. Remember, purchasing wisely can very well save you from financial hardships in the future.
Mayra Bitsko is a freelance writer, the author of A Second Chance and The Past Beckons and holds a master’s degree in business administration-accounting. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.