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When you’re trying your hardest to be frugal it seems like you’re tested more than ever before. Something breaks, you find something on sale you’ve been searching for forever, or you just get bored and spend too much time shopping and get sidetracked from your financial goals.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you purchase ANYTHING:
Will I use it more than once?
If the answer to this is no, why aren’t you looking to borrow it from someone else? Good examples are tools for home repairs or projects, cupcake/cake/roaster pans, and suitcases if you don’t travel often.
If you know you’ll probably never use it again or it will be a very long time before you might, try to borrow or rent whatever you need. Don’t waste money on something because you might use it again in the future, or you think it makes more sense to buy your own because it’s only a certain amount of money.
Believe me –
I watched my dad waste money using those same excuses throughout my entire childhood while bills went unpaid.
Hopefully your situation isn’t so dire, but why spend the extra money when there’s a cheaper option?
Bonus to this solution – you don’t have to find a place to store it!
Do I have anything that I can repurpose?
You can repurpose so many things to avoid spending money!
Don’t believe me?
Just consult Pinterest.
You’ll (almost) never actually have to buy organizers, decorations, storage solutions, or cleaning supplies.
Where will I store it?
Forgetting to answer this one question is the number one reason our homes end up cluttered. Every single thing in your home was put there at some point by you or a member of your family.
A place for everything and everything in it’s place.
Not following this simple rule is just asking for a cluttered home.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Is this a want? Or a need?
Oh how often we get these two confused. You don’t NEED new clothes. You might really want that new dress or sweater, but do you need it? Do you really need a new pair of shoes?
Is it a need – find the cheapest solution possible.
Is it a want – ask yourself what you want more. That new outfit, car, furniture, pet – or financial freedom. It really is that simple. Lacking financial freedom is usually just a series of bad decisions. Take this opportunity to make the right one for your family.
Do you need it now?
Can you save up for this instead of buying it now? Are you going to charge it and make payments or just pay for it up front? This is one I’m totally guilty of. We were going to paint our kitchen, and ended up buying paint long before we were actually going to paint. The kitchen STILL isn’t painted. I could still have that extra money in my bank account. Instead, I have a few gallons of paint in my kitchen just staring at me reminding me how little time I actually have to work on our house.
Can you find it used?
Used stuff is the best! Especially if you’re looking for tools or kids items. You can almost always find them in great condition without paying full price – or anywhere near it.
Is There a Dollar Store Solution?
I know, I know, you’re probably not going to find quality items at the dollar store. The thing is, there are so many solutions I’ve found at my local Dollar Tree that have saved our family so much money. It’s absolutely worth a look.
For example, when we wanted a dresser for our boys’ clothes, I ended up implementing a no-fold solution using plastic shelves in their closet with Dollar Tree bins on each. For just $10 per kid, I was able to completely organize their closets.
Could I have gone and found a cheap dresser? Yep. In fact, we ended up doing that a few months later.
Wanna know what ended up happening?
The cheap dressers we bought at Ikea ended up holding far less clothes, so back to our Dollar Tree solution we went and now their dressers don’t serve a purpose. We’re probably going to sell them on our local Buy, Sell, Trade page on Facebook.
Whatever your issue, check out your local dollar store for a solution first – and if you have one – I highly recommend Dollar Tree! I’m kind of a Dollar Tree addict, in case you can’t tell.
Are you only buying it because it’s on sale?
Oh my, if only I had all of the money back I’ve spent in clearance aisles, I’d be a rich girl. From clothes, to food, to arts and crafts supplies, I’ve hoarded it all. If you slap a clearance sticker on something, I feel like I have to buy it.
If you don’t actually need it, do not buy it when you’re trying to live frugally.
By living frugally now, you are giving yourself the opportunity to shop for fun in the future if you still want to.
Now is the time to path the way to a brighter, more stress-free future of financial freedom. Don’t let a simple clearance sticker or sale sign derail your progress!
There you have it. The questions I ask myself before buying anything. Picture me, standing in the aisle at the store, talking out loud to myself. That’s basically what happens. Luckily, now I have tiny people I can pretend I’m debating my dilemma with.
What questions do you ask yourself before making a purchase? What advice would you give to other people who are trying to cut costs? Let me know in the comments!
Other posts you might like:
How to Save Money by Paying All of Your Bills Every Week