Control Impulse Spending By Asking How A Purchase Improves Your Life

Control Impulse Spending By Asking How A Purchase Improves Your Life

There’s nothing wrong with spending money — that’s what it’s for, after all. It’s easy to spend mindlessly, though. To get into the habit of spending with a purpose, ask yourself this question before you fork over the cash: how will the purchase improve your life?

Photo by frankieleon

As personal finance writer Trent Hamm points out, this is a really simple question to encourage spending according to your priorities. Hamm writes:

In other words, if you were to exchange an amount of money equal to the price of that item, does your life end up better than if you kept that money in your pocket?

It’s a question I use all the time when it comes to the non-essential purchases in my life, things from meals eaten at restaurants, gadgets, beverages, entertainment items, and so on, and using that question seriously is a valuable part of my financial arsenal…Needs almost make the question seem silly. Important wants make the question seem worthwhile but you begin to see how this item actually is important to you. Trivial wants — which is what most wants really are — begin to look terrible.

Of course, not all purchases are going to have a clear answer. A pack of gum isn’t necessarily going to make your life better, but you probably don’t want to spend too much time deliberating over a $3 purchase. When you’re truly wavering on and unsure about an item, though, this question puts you in the right frame of mind for more conscious spending. Check out the full post at the link below.

Does This Purchase Make My Life Better? [The Simple Dollar]

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.