Summary – I may need this later
Do you know anyone in your life that buys an item just because he may need it later. For example buying 2 dozen of chairs just in case he may organize a small function at his house in the future. The fact is that he is not planning to organize the function any time soon but that has not stopped him from purchasing.
The same person will also stock up his entire garage with all kinds of gardening tools just in case he feels like gardening. We all know he will never start gardening. Sooner or later, the house will start to be filled with junk that may already be useless but they are still being kept safe in case they can be repaired later on.
I’m sure you must know at least one person with the same attitude towards buying things. As a matter of fact, every one of us do have some degree of that attitude when it comes to buying things. We often call it planning ahead, and we like to make it easier for us by buying in bulk rather than wasting time going to the store multiple times. There’s not much we can do about it. The only thing we can do is to control the intensity of the attitude. We can control it so that it will always remain a “planning ahead” instead of an obsession.
These tips may help to do exactly that.
1) Plan only one month ahead.
Only buy the chairs if you are planning to organize a small gathering THIS month. Never purchase anything that you will not be using in this month. That also goes to all the food in the fridge. If you are not going to eat it in this month, avoid buying it.
2) Start saving money for immediate use
One of the most popular reasons people buy things that they don’t really need is because they have the money now and they are afraid that by the time the items are really needed, they will be short of cash then. Hence, they cannot afford the items
Make sense, but instead of buying this in such a way, why not we save that money in a special account especially to be spent. This account is never meant for long term investment or saving. It is to be spent. You will have a lot more money to buy things and along the way, you are actually reducing the amount of unnecessary shopping.
That’s like killing two birds with only one stones (Not that I approve the killing of birds though)
3) Keep track of THE items
What are THE items? They are basically those items that appeared from nowhere with amazing deal that may make you want to surrender your entire saving if the sale person just asked.
When I was younger, I was window shopping when suddenly I saw the entire collection of FRIENDS (The Sitcom) sold at a very cheap price. I mean really cheap and I was convinced that if I didn’t buy it then, I would never stumble another similar offer ever again. I had enough money to buy it but it will cause me a few month of starvation. I chosed to walk away and a few months later, when I really had saved the money to spend on the DVDs, I forgot where exactly the shop was and it was very frustrating.
This is the second most popular reason why we buy things that we don’t need. We are afraid that the offer will be over by the time we really need it or that we totally forget where and what items to purchase.
You can try this. Everytime you decline an offer you can’t resist, take down all the details of the offer such as shop location, seller name, price, etc. By the time you are able to purchase it, you will know exactly where to get it. And if the discount is no more, believe me it will only get better.
4) Remember you are not an immortal
This is a rather pessimistic technique, but it works like a charm. You are not an immortal, You will die someday. What’s the point of collecting things that you will not be able to use it. Even though you want to give it to your children as heritage, who can guarantee that they will not sell the items or worse dump the items as rubbish.
Don’t you think it is better now to buy only what you use?
5) Shopping Approval Form
This is an idea I use to prevent buying unnecessary items. Create your personal buying approval form that asks the following questions
- Did you plan to buy it?
- When exactle are you going to use it?
- Can the items be used by others?
- Have you settle all your other financial commitment?
- Have you shopped around for better deals?
If there is at any time one “NO” answer, you should walk away from buying it.
– I wonder –
Do you know anyone with such habit (buying but not using)? If yes, what did he/she buy?
————- Personal Note —————
I once bought a DVD player with the noble intention to catch up on my favorite movies. In just a few months, I subscribe to the movie channel HBO, Cinemax and Star Movies. And I only use the DVD player about once a month.
I know DVD player can become handy. But what the use of a handy items when you are only using it once a month.
Photo Credit – Twoblueday