Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tip Tuesday: What to Buy When You Have Several Wants

I like to keep my personal finances on a pretty strict budget. Not as tight as to where I can't deviate even a dollar from what I've planned, but I like to keep my spending in my "personal" category on the low side.

My personal category encompass all those non-necessity wants. Each month I think about what it is I am wanting and try to space out large personal spending so that any given month is not to heavy in the personal category. But often times I have more wants than disposable income. I don't feel like I want for a lot of things, but I try to keep money spent on these things to a minimum as I try to use as much money as I can to save and get out of debt. So whereas I COULD spend more money each month on things I want, I choose not to because I value that safety net and progress on my student loans more than stuff.

Here comes my tip-choosing which "want" to buy when you have multiple ones. This is the thought process I go through. 

1. How will this item add value to my life? Will it add value on a daily basis or will it be something that I just enjoy every once in a while?
2. Can I get on without it? If I've been getting on without it before I can think about if I can continue that way. If the answer is yes, I can put off purchasing it for a different month, or not purchase it at all. 
3. How much do you want to give in to your every whim? Take it as an opportunity to teach yourself that you can't always get everything you want. 

Overall you really can take this as an exercise in wanting less to begin with. As I try to move farther from materialism I learn to let go of things that I sometimes want and notice that my life is not any better with certain things in it. More clothes are not going to make me happier or healthier.