5 things to think about before you swipe

Shifting your mindset is important if you want to gain control of the money in your life. This control will make saving money easier.  If you have an issue with discipline or impulsive shopping, these are some things you can work through before hitting the register at Target lol.  Yes, I know about that Target “struggle” 🙂

Here’s a financial decision-making thought process I encourage my coaching clients to go through when the urge to buy is strong.  The most important thing you must do is to STOP and think.  When you increase the amount of time between picking up the item and checking out your logical brain kicks in over your emotional (“I deserve…”) brain.  Usually, when we have these urges it’s our subconscious mind pushing us to fill some need or void that won’t be filled by buying things. So before walking to that register here’s a thought process to work through that help you gain control over your money and will save you money!

Just please don’t block the aisle lol

Pause and take a moment (while you’re shopping or right before you go to checkout) and work through this 5 step process and answer honestly.

1st Step:

Ask yourself: Is this a want or a need?

Needs = Food (groceries), Shelter (rent / mortgage/ utilities), Transportation (Gas / Metro Card), Clothing (necessities, not nice to haves)

Wants = anything that doesn’t fall into the “needs” categories

2nd Step:

Ask yourself:  If this is a need, WHY do I NEED it?  And HOW have I been getting along without it until now?

This question will show you what you THINK is a need vs. what is ACTUALLY a need.


3rd Step:

Ask yourself:  If this is a WANT, why do I want it?  What VOID may it be filling in my life that I can’t fill without buying this?

The response to this question might surprise you!  The void you find will not be filled by buying something.


4th Step:

Ask yourself: Do I have something like this which is similar or as useful?  Do I have to get rid of something to make room for this new thing?

In the declutter group I am in the rule is “1 in, 2 out!” Also decluttering your home helps you to see what you already own and helps to reduce duplicates which will also save you money.


5th Step:

Ask yourself: How long do I have to work to pay for it?  Is it worth an hour’s pay?  Is it worth a day’s pay? If you work with clients, ask yourself: Is this worth a session’s pay?

Thinking about this puts your purchase into the context of work and how much longer will you have to work to pay for this or to pay this off on your card.  I am sure you want the money you earn from work to go to very fulfilling things in life like travel (which fulfills the soul), purchasing a home, or saving for retirement!

Go through this process a few times.  It will suck but it’s necessary.  After doing this process you will either decide that buying the item is worth it and do so or put it back and walk out of the store.

When I go through this process I often realize I just want to see something new in my home. Growing up we hardly had new things.  So I might just imagine it in my home and then put the item back and refocus on my current money goals.  This gives me something to look forward to and clears up those feelings of lack in the back of my mind.  The mind is such a fickle thing and it needs to be constantly reminded (not suppressed) that everything is ok because it naturally slips back into what it “knows”.

Do you have a purchasing process or financial decision-making process?  Let me know in the comments below!

If you are interested in having a small print out of this process to put in your wallet with your debit card (which I highly recommend) click the image below to download it today!

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About the Author

Brittany Marie is a Transformational Growth Coach for women who want to make their dreams a reality and use it to live their purpose and impact the world! She does this by providing coaching, 1:1 intensives, group masterminds, blog posts, and workshops! When she isn't doing all of this she is spending time with the love of her life or relaxing with her knitting :-D To get in contact with her please go to the "reach out to me" in the menu bar or in the footer.

Leave a Reply 5 comments

Enda Sheppard - January 19, 2017 Reply

Very attractive lay-out and design on your website. Very informative too. Good luck with it!

Breena Blake - January 20, 2017 Reply

These are great tips! I need to kick my bad spending habits in the butt this year!

AJ Money Matters - January 27, 2017 Reply

Yes! Such great questions to ask yourself when purchasing. I find that if I see something I like, I’ll think about it for a day or so and if I still really want it I’ll usually go back and buy it. 99% I never go back.
Amanda 🙂

Meagan @ Okay Now Breathe - June 21, 2017 Reply

Great post! I think the tip that helps put the most in perspective is “How long do I have to work to be able to afford this?” That type of thinking has always helped me live a more frugal lifestyle. Plus, I usually wait at lease 24 hours before I purchase a want item.

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