10 things to consider before shopping

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In the era of online shopping, it is far too easy to spend money when you shouldn't be spending money. As a result, people of every financial level are overspending on products that they don't need or don't even want. While there is nothing wrong with shopping, for fun or for utility, it can be helpful to know how to think through your next purchase. Today, we are going to walk you through a couple of different concepts that you should consider before making your next shopping venture. We will be addressing both online and offline shopping during our discussion.

10 Tips to Build Successful Shopping Habits

If you use the internet even semi-regularly, you know how easy it is to fall in love with shiny new product. Whether you are hit by an advertisement on your social media feed or you see a YouTube video for a brand-new game or appliance, ads are always on your peripheral vision. As a result, online shoppers tend to splurge on items that they don't need before really even weighing the benefits of making their purchase. In order to stop these kinds of purchases, we've put together a competent list of concepts that you need to consider before pulling the lever on your next purchase.

1) Understand Your Value - How much do you get paid per hour at your job? You don't have to tell us, of course, but we want you to use that number as a barometer for the value of your potential purchase. How many hours of your life do you need to dedicate in order to pay off that shiny new television? How many hours do you have to put in at your job in order to pay for your new computer purchase? When you quantify value by comparing it to hours worked, you get a clearer picture of what your purchase actually cost. In the world of credit cards, dollar figures aren't always the easiest way to reach people. In comparison, everybody knows what an hour at work feels like.

2) The 5 Year Rule - One of the most unique ways to judge the value of a potential purchase is to weigh it with the '5-year rule'. In five years, will this purchase still matter to me? In five years, will I be happy to have made this purchase? Taking a more sophisticated view of your buying habits can lead to revelations about yourself and your habits. When you put a potential purchase up against the 5-year rule, you end up realizing how unnecessary some of your purchases really are.

3) Shop Quality Companies - If you really want to watch how you spend your money, make sure that you stick to shopping at quality businesses. Many companies will hire Secret Shopping ScoutMI workers in order to covertly analyze the quality of a store. These secret shoppers will outline all the good and bad things going on inside of a building or at a shopping website. If you want to refer to a secret shopper's analysis of a business before you supply them with your patronage, you can find out a lot about where your money is going.

4) Purpose of the Purchase - Are you looking to make a purchase because you are bored? Are you buying games because you saw a ten-second commercial on TV? Is this purchase going to benefit your mind, body, or health? Does this purchase impact your quality of life in any way? Really take a long and hard look at your next purchase before pulling the trigger on the item. Once you step back and analyze the purpose of your purchase, you'll come to realize that, hey, maybe this isn't what I need right now. On the other hand, if your analysis yields proof that the purchase will help you, then go for it!

5) Item Longevity - How long will this next purchase last? Are you splurging on a product that will quickly go out of date or out of style? Are you overspending on junk food that you don't really need? Item longevity isn't always the most accurate way to analyze a shopping venture, but it can be beneficial in certain instances.

6) Shop For Options - The first place you see an item for sale typically isn't going to be the cheapest place. If you are shopping online, you might as well take a gander in order to see if you can find a discount through a different business. There is nothing wrong with comparison shopping or digging around for online coupons or promo codes. Make the most of the information that is available to you and knock a few bucks off of the price tag.

7) Wait a Day - The best way to inhibit the potential for a splurge purchase is to follow the 24-hour rule. If you are ready to make a purchase today, you should still be confident when you make the purchase tomorrow. By waiting 24 hours, you can make sure that you ACTUALLY want what you are purchasing. If the whole day goes by and you still want the product, go ahead and give it a purchase.

8) Cash or Credit - Is this big purchase going to go right on your credit card? Will you be able to pay the purchase off before interest begins to spike? These are big financial decisions. If you can afford to pay in cash, go ahead and do so.

9) Priority Purchase - Is this product a priority purchase? Will buying this item cause me to miss out on something more important? If you have to choose between video games and groceries next week, we trust that you'll know which decision to make.

10) Did You Earn This - If you are looking to purchase a luxury/entertainment item, ask yourself if you deserve the purchase. Have you been saving money while staying ahead of your bills? Did you just complete a monumental task? If so, go ahead and reward yourself!