Finance Friday: 7 Questions to ask before you go shopping

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Who doesn’t love getting a good deal? I know, that I really enjoy getting a bargain, but this week, which is my second week participating in the financial fast, I had to learn how to say no to most “deals.” The financial fast limits your purchasing to only essential items such as food and medicine. So it was extremely hard to browse the internet or connect with others on facebook, because temptations were everywhere screaming, “Buy me, this deal may never return!”

In the book “The Power of Prosperity“, Michelle recommends that people refrain from looking at circulars, online shopping deals, and from going to the mall. This was a huge challenge for me, because I often try to share deals with my readers, but this week I really tried to cut back when I read Michelle’s book, especially the part that asks, “Are you a miser?”(pg. 45). Michelle mentions that some people shop in excess to hoard goods because they feel that they never have enough. The World English dictionary defines a miser as “a person who hoards money or possessions, often living miserably.” It seems that there is a movement encouraging people to become misers. For example, the movement encourages people to buy goods that appear free just because they are, forget about other people that may need them, grab their limit, even buy more storage containers or park outside of their garages so that they will have extra room to store these items.

Last week, I organized my linen closet, which was too full of toiletries and other great buys to actually fit any linen inside of it. Going to the store using coupons to get a good deal gave me an adrenaline rush that I justified, in the name of saving my family some money, whether we truly needed the items or not. I loved going to the store because it was a chance to get out of the house, it was something easy that I could do with my kids and it saved us money. Sure, I give some extras away, but all the time that I spend trying to get the deals, I now had time to reflect, “Is it really worth it?” This week I realized how important it is for me to balance my shopping, my needs, and my time. Although, I do not see myself as a miser, I do see that consumption (even if they are fantastic deals) is a problem; especially when, I could be doing something more beneficial.

Here are 7 questions we should ask to help us say no to some deals, that are not worth our time.

  1. Is this an item we need?
  2. Is this a product that my family uses?
  3. When do I plan to use it?
  4. Will this product expire before we can use it?
  5. Do we have space for this item?
  6. Is this deal worth the amount of time and effort I have put into it?
  7. How many of these items do we reasonably need?
  8. Can we live without it?

These questions will help guide us to a more balance and organized approach to our shopping.

Question for you

Do you ever find that there are certain things that you hoard or buy way too much of because you are afraid that you will one day run out of it?

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  • Great questions! I find that…the less I go shopping the less I spend. 🙂

  • I LOVE the idea of doing a financial fast! Well, actually, I probably wouldn’t be too happy about it if I were actually doing it, but it really is a good idea. I’ve done many food fasts, but it never crossed my mind to to a financial fast! I think I’m gonna try it.

    And as for my buying too much of this because i think i might run out…yeah I’m pretty bad about that when it comes to the kitchen. Right now I have 5 bread pans and I ALWAYS have at least 3 I never use. I keep thinking that I might need them some day and never give them away. I think I need to just suck it up and get rid of at least 2 of them, LOL!

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