Friday, 14 July 2017

Need vs. Want When Budgeting

We’ve all done it.

We’ve all walked past that little trinket, that lovely something, and decided that we need to have it in our life. The allure takes hold and we buy before we give ourselves a chance to think about our well-planned budgets. I touched on this trap a bit when I wrote the post Everyone Makes (Financial) Mistakes, but today I’m going to delve in a little deeper and talk about how we can avoid making these mistakes in the first place, saving us from some serious buyer’s remorse in the long run.

First, step away from the shiny thing! It is best to remove yourself from the situation. For example, my biggest weaknesses at the moment are probably either wine or journals. I have a very hard time saying no to either of them and as such, have grown a fair collection over the past couple of decades (for the journals, not the wine… it would be challenging to start that collection at 11). If possible, I walk away from whatever I am lusting after and leave the store. When you're not standing and staring at your potential prize, it’s a lot easier to think about it rationally.

These two instruments were good investments.

If that doesn’t work, talk it out. Husband and I have gotten pretty good at talking out our purchases and are not all that bad at helping one another see reason. Now, we both have our blind spots; for me, it’s a good bottle of wine that I plan to keep for a “special occasion” (Note: at this rate, it’s going to be the same special occasion that your grandmother deems worthy of her good china). For Husband, it’s musical instruments. He has a bad habit of bringing home “strays” that just need a little bit of love… and a complete overhaul costing many hundreds of dollars. Again, talking to someone can make you see reason.

Part of my Ontario Collection. I probably won't be drinking them anytime soon.

Finally, look at your budget! You have worked so hard to stay inside your spending limits and you have done a magnificent job up to this point – is that one thing worth throwing off all of your planning and saving? Nine times out of 10, it isn’t.


I can say, with confidence,  that some of these were impulse buys. Also, this isn't even close to all of the instruments.



It’s hard to walk away sometimes. We’ve all been caught more than once going to the cash with a  little extra something in hand, having convinced ourselves we need it in our lives, but taking a step back from that “must-have” item can save us all a lot in the long run.
What are your weaknesses? How do you resist temptation? Tell me in that comments below!

~A

14 comments:

  1. I like books. I have a list that I try to stick to--which doesn't always work. Resisting temptation involves not going into bookstores (new or used), and not clicking 'add to cart' online. Sometimes even works :)

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  2. *makes grabby hands at books*

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  3. I would like to think we're pretty good with these things but good purchases as in wanting to eat out is our weakness!

    Jessica & James | www.foodandbaker.co.uk / www.foodandbakertravels.co.uk

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    1. I respect that completely. I am a bit of a foodie and indulged yesterday in a double stout chocolate oat ice cream from a little gourmet ice cream shop in town...

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  4. My weaknesses are beauty products. I always think I "need" it! I've started resisting temptation by getting samples ;-) xx

    www.littleluxuriesbylynsey.com

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    1. I remember doing that once, getting it home and realizing it wasn't hypoallergenic. Useless to me and I couldn't return it. $30 down the drain.

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  5. Can I just say how envious I am of that overflow of wine?

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    1. Can I just emphasise you know where to find It? ... but yeah, it's awesome.

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  6. I can't agree more with you. I need to work on my planning and think more about the need!

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    1. Husband and I had a need vs want moment today. The struggle is real and ongoing. I will be doing a planning post in the near future, so keep an eye out!

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  7. Your husband and I apparently have something in common, although it is not just instruments in general for me, it is saxophones specifically! It is hard sometimes to walk away when you can see the potential!
    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca/

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    1. You two would get along. I'm an instrumentalist but he is a semi professional musician and award-winning composer; he is a bit more hardcore than I am. I don't mind his love for instruments - it's when he buys the fifth clarinet that I start to get irritated (3 Bb, an Albert system clarinet and one alto)... And the repairs!!!!

      It is totally challenging to walk away sometimes. I had to walk away from a pro piccolo that was 70% off once. Damn near killed me. In the end, I know it was the right choice but it still stings sometimes.

      Looking forward to your next post!

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  8. was in the same situation today and talking out definitely helps. often time i just ask a simple question: can i live without it? the answer all the time is no ! www.crayonized.com

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    1. It sucks, right!? I am good at justifying it in my own mind and then buying it. For me, I almost have to remove myself from the situation. I can be stubborn as sin and I know that if I Can, I will have the shiny thing.

      The struggle is real, my friend.

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