Two Questions That Will Stop Impulse Buying

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Two Questions That Will Stop Impulse Buying

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Even after years of working to build sound financial habits you may find yourself going against everything you've learned and make a mistake. That exact scenario played out for me recently in the form of new speakers for my computer.

The speakers attached to our home computer just didn't work right. 

Sometimes sound would only come out of one speaker, and sometimes neither would work. I could temporarily get them to cooperate if I jiggled the cord connecting the speakers together just enough. My wife saw me struggling with them one evening, and offered to add some funds for new speakers into our budget as her wedding anniversary present to me.

Being a huge computer and music geek, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited.

I walked into Best Buy, inspected and tried out every set of speakers they had on display. After few minutes I had narrowed my decision down to two options, one being twice as expensive as the other. The less expensive speakers fell under the "They'll do the job" category, while the other was more of the "These speakers ROCK!"  variety.

Everything I learned about value, and being wise with my money disappeared from my consciousness for the ten minutes it took me to pick up a box of the expensive speakers, and get through the checkout lane. 

At home, I unpacked the speakers and hooked them up. I tested them out with a few YouTube videos and demonstrated them for my son who agreed they were indeed, "Awesome."  I spent about an hour listening to my favorite songs through iTunes, going to bed very happy with my purchase.

Over the next week, however, I noticed something.    

Between writing, email, surfing the internet and a whole basket of other activities, I use my computer a lot. But I noticed that I hardly EVER use the speakers. So infrequently that I'm kicking myself for not buying the less expensive speakers, or just plugging in headphones I already own when sound was required.

I had broken my number one rule of making a purchase.

Before buying anything I ask myself two questions:

  • Can we afford this?
  • Will this item bring the appropriate amount of value and enjoyment to my life in relation to the cost?

The In this case, the answer became very clear. The answer to the first question was, "Yes." But that's not enough. Buying something just because I can afford it doesn't make it a good purchase. 

My new computer speakers sound great, but will be rarely used.  

Have you recently made a purchase you regret?

Related Links:

Everyone Makes Mistakes

Think Before You Buy, Then Think Again!

The Budget; Let's Keep it Real


Travis Pizel, debt management plan customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. He is also a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family in Minnesota. You can also read more from Travis on the Enemy of Debt blog, where he is a featured blogger. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

To connect with Travis on Google+ click the

You can follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

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