Come on who doesn’t love a great deal? I always get a bit of a thrill when I am out looking for something and find there is a great discount or even clearance price on it. Somehow, it makes the purchase all the more fun.
But the truth is, that great deal is only a great deal if you actually need the item. I have been more then a little guilty of purchasing items because they were such a great deal, I’m talking a 90% marked down. At the time, I would convince my self that I know I could do something with it, even though I was not sure what.
The harsh reality is, more often than not, that item just sat in a drawer or in a box somewhere, never used. So instead of scoring some great 90% savings, all I did was waste money on a needless item that I had no clear idea what I would use it for. Worse than that, I wasted time and created unnecessary clutter and stress for myself.
It took me some time to realize that spending isn’t saving if you don’t really need it. As I sought to simplify my life, I learned that I was doing a lot more than wasting money. I was wasting valuable time in carrying for items I did not need and that I was creating unnecessary clutter and stress in my life.
Here are five keys that helped me stop buying things I did not need and decide when to pass up that great deal.
1. You Wouldn’t Buy the Item If it Was Full Price
If you are purchasing something just because it is on sale, even if you get some use out of the item, chances are you will not really be happy with your purchase and will quickly become dissatisfied with the item. You should only ever purchase items that you truly love and have a true use for. Don’t purchase something just to save a couple bucks, in the long run you end up wasting those dollars you saved. A $50 dress marked down to $10 that you don’t wear, is $10 wasted, not $40 saved.
2. You Don’t Really Need the Item
If you are purchasing an item just because it is a great deal, are you really getting a great deal. A great deal means getting the most out of your money. Spending hard earned money for something you don’t really need is never a great deal. Not only are you wasting you hard earned money on something you have no need for, you are going to incur wasted time and space in storing the item until you can figure out a need. This my friend, is a lose, lose. If you don’t need it, save your money and your time and pass up that “great deal”
3. You Don’t Have Room For It
A friend offers you her grandmother’s antique desk for $20. The desk has a solid construction and you are sure it is worth quite a bit more money then $20.00. The problem is, you have no room in your house to put it. You buy the desk and decide to store it in the garage because one day you will have the room. Chances are 10 years later you are still going to be storing that desk. You will have spent a whole lot more than $20 in your time and energy storing and moving that desk around. The desk does nothing more then sit around, unused, creating clutter. If you have no room for it, do not buy it.
4. It’s Close, but Not Close Enough
One of the worst purchases I ever made was to purchase a $250 camera for $125. At the time, it was a very nice camera. So why was it such a bad deal? Because I really wanted a different camera that was more then double the cost of the $250 camera. I thought purchasing the camera was a good idea because it was such a great deal. I really thought the less expensive camera would work until I could afford the camera I really want.
The camera was nice enough to make me forget about the camera I really wanted for awhile. But before long, I realized that this camera just didn’t have the features of the camera that I really wanted. I was never really satisfied because it was not what I really wanted and I regretted the purchase. Once I got the camera I really did want, I regretted the original purchase all the more. The other camera never got used and just created unnecessary clutter.
I have learned that it’s is better to pay full price for exactly what I want instead of half-price for almost what I want. In the long run, it’s worth it.
5. You Are Purchasing the Item as a Form of Entertainment or to Relieve Stress.
I am a big bargain seeker. I do my best to get the best possible deal on the items I need. But when I first started looking at ways to live more frugally, I was not necessarily spending less. I loved learning about frugal shopping, and it almost became a game, a form of entertainment to see how much I could save. As a result, I would purchase things that I did not need and justify those purchases based on the fact that I was getting such a great deal.
One day, a friend who had a daughter a few years younger then mine, mentioned her daughter had outgrown most of her clothes. I offered her the clothes my daughter had outgrown. When I went into the garage to locate the boxes of the outgrown clothing, I was literally ashamed at the shear amount of boxes of clothing that I had purchased. Many of the items still with the price tags on them showing the incredible sales, I had gotten. Of course this meant my daughter had never even worn the items. I had gotten into the habit of purchasing items just because they were on sale and I was having tremendous fun getting all those great deals.
Needless to say, I was also wasting a lot of money. There are so many better and less expensive ways to have fun and reduce stress. Do not purchase items as a form of entertainment or to relieve stress in your life. When you do this, you actually end up creating more stress in your life.
Spending isn’t saving if you are purchasing something that you wouldn’t normally buy, do not need, have room for, is not what you really want or as a form of entertainment or stress relief. The simple truth is these things only act to increase your stress. Start simplifying your life today by passing up that “great deal”
What would you add to the list as a reason to pass up a great deal?
Now, live simply, live fully and make today your Favorite day!!