If you’re being honest with yourself, it seems pretty obvious that credit cards often make it easy to spend without really thinking about what you’re doing. It’s so easy to just swipe your credit card and go on your way.
However, this practice may quickly lead to some serious financial problems. Conscious spending requires that you stop and think about what you are spending. While it is a little easier to spend consciously when you are using cash, or even a debit card, it is important to remember to take a step back before you use your credit card on a purchase.
Conscious Spending: Answer These Questions
Before you pull out the credit card for a purchase, you should make sure that your spending is keeping in line with your financial goals. Ask yourself these questions — and be sure to answer them honestly:
- Do I need this? Figure out whether or not you actually need the item. If you don’t need it, then you might consider putting it back.
- Why do I want this? Of course, there is nothing wrong with buying something you want, even if you don’t need it. However, before you spend the money, ask why you want it. Do you want it because someone else has one? Or is it something that you truly want and will enjoy? Avoid making purchases to look good, or keep up with someone else. Instead, focus on buying things that you really want.
- How often will I use this? Consider the true use you are going to get out of the item. Will you use it once and then place it on the shelf? Be honest about how often you are likely to use something. If you know you won’t use it much, but need it for something specific, consider borrowing it, or renting it.
- Where will I put it? One of the drawbacks to buying more stuff is that it is difficult to know where to put it. Do you have a place for it? If your home is becoming cluttered, maybe you should reconsider buying anything new until you have got rid of some of your other items.
Honestly answering these questions can help you evaluate whether or not you really should be spending money on something. You don’t have to always be pinching pennies and living frugally, but you should think about your spending.
Simply buying to buy can result in a build up of material items, and it can also lead to difficulty in reaching your financial goals. If you take the time to evaluate your purchases, you will find that the results are more satisfying, and that you waste less money on the less important things.