Advertisers would have us believe that we need a lot of things that we really only want, and that brand names are always better. This simple purchasing flowchart walks you through your purchasing decision-making process to help you make the smart choice.
Over at personal finance weblog Get Rich Slowly, guest writer April Dykman explains how she curbs unnecessary spending with the flowchart you see here. It’s a simple process that hinges on cost (“Can I afford it?”), need (“Is it something I need or lack?”), and quality (“Is there a less expensive/high quality option?”), and if you were to stick to this flowchart for all your purchases, chances are you’d make considerably fewer regrettable impulse buys.
Of course there’s certainly something to be said about the occasional splurge—that is, sometimes getting something that you merely want isn’t always bad—but this very simple flowchart will at least prompt you to give those spur-of-the-moment purchases a little more thought.
If the flowchart doesn’t seem like quite the right fit for you—or you just need that much more help to keep your impulse buy instinct at bay—try supplementing the “Should I buy it?” flowchart with the stranger test or the 30-day list.
Should You Buy It? A Flowchart for Evaluating Potential Purchases [Get Rich Slowly]