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Consider Your Purchases August 16, 2006

Posted by weare1 in commentary, frugality.

ttiwlogo1.gifI recommend you revise your traditional buying patterns and consider a new way of looking at your purchases. I have made it a practice of formally making a list of all “big-ticket” (>$50) items I’m considering buying. I use the web site thethingsIwant.com to facilitate my lists online. The benefits I’ve seen from doing this have been many.

1) listing items forces you to think about them

  • do I like item A more then item B
  • which items are the best value
  • which items are the most important to me
  • do I really need this item
  • will I still want this item in the future

2) listing items injects a pause in the process, this pause has given me the opportunity to:

  • obtain items for lower prices because of pause
  • see newer items that perform same functions better and/or cheaper
  • reconsider items value and my “need” value
  • prioritize
  • helps stop impulse purchases you’ll regret later

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had things listed I was going to buy that upon reconsideration decided I really didn’t need. Everything gets cheaper over time, waiting to buy things is a good thing. Just a small shift in the way you make buying decisions can help you save a lot of money, and often get you better products, especially in the consumer electronics space. When confronted with my prioritized list, I’m surprised by how many items I thought I needed now, but really needed later.

If you’re a really savvy list-maker you’ll link your items to Froogle or Pricegrabber type links (rather then Amazon type), and watch your items’ prices change over time. You can even list non-product type expenses, like that trip to Hawaii. You can use them to compare two (or more) variations, should I take that trip to Hawaii, or Thailand, or should I get that fancy new digital camera instead?

ttiwlink.gifI love using my list-maker’s bookmarklet, which lets me “tag” any thing I come across surfing that I would like to consider purchasing. Quick, simple, free, and easy. Do it now.

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