Depending on what you’re buying, here are some questions to consider before you dish out some serious cash.
1. Why am I really buying this?
The first question you want to ask yourself, especially for a big purchase, is why do you need to buy this? Is this item something you want or something you need?
If you don’t absolutely need it, then it's worth considering if you need to buy it then and there. For some, writing down a list of pros and cons can help them sort through whether the purchase is a need or just a want.
If this purchase is a gift for someone else, it’s worth considering whether it's something that person will use and appreciate.
2. Can I find a lower cost option or alternative?
Have you done your research? There’s a chance you might find a good quality used version being sold for less on social media or an online marketplace if you do a little digging. Alternatively, you could consider borrowing it from someone else?
For some purchases like electronics and household goods, if you don’t need them right now, it may be worth waiting for them to go on sale – especially towards the end of the year as most large retailers have sales over the holidays.
3. Does it come with a warranty or after purchase support?
For purchases that you expect to last a long time, you might want to take into consideration whether the item has a warranty and if there is after sales support available.
Have you considered if something goes wrong, or what’s involved if you need support setting up or installing the item? Are these services already included in the cost?
These are important questions to consider and might set one retailer apart from another.
4. What will I get out of this purchase?
Try to think about what you’re really getting out of the purchase.
Is it personal satisfaction?
Is it seeing your loved one light up with happiness?
Is it an investment for your future and something that will last you a long time?
Or will you need to fork out more dollars down the line for replacement parts?
These are all questions to ask yourself before making the purchase.
If you’re struggling to answer, you can consider that a telling sign it might not be the best decision.
5. What other things could I put this money towards?
Our rational self can also kick-in when we think about what future goals this money could be put towards.
The next time you’re making a big purchase, whether it's for yourself or a gift for a loved one, this checklist is a good starting point to help you make smarter, more informed, and rational decisions.
Disclaimer: This article contains general information only, and is not general advice or personal advice. Wisr Services does not recommend any product or service discussed in this article. You must get your own financial, taxation, or legal advice, and understand any risks before considering whether a product or service discussed in this article may be appropriate for you. We have taken reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but the information is subject to change. We may not update the article to reflect any change.