So you’ve stepped into a shoe store, where a pair of stunning heels caught your eye – you grab them and run to the till to swipe your car, right? Don’t do that just yet…
Spending impulsively and without a sense of a bigger financial picture can lead to over-indebtedness. Eunice Sibiya, head of consumer education at FNB, suggests you ask yourself these three questions before making any purchase:
1.Have I planned for this?
No matter how perfectly you budget, it is very easy to blow it through just a few unplanned impulsive purchases. It feels great at the time, but will quickly derail you financially, and if you make a habit of splurging it can quickly escalate extending your debt responsibilities. Avoid going to the mall, where you might buy items that are not in your budget – especially if you’re prone to the whim purchases.
2. Do I have it already?
Avoid buying things you already have. It is usually the smaller items, such as a type of spice you can’t recall if you have at home or something that has been misplaced, such as sunglasses. The only way to combat building up double or even triple sets of items you have at home is to be disciplined. Make a list of everything that you currently have at home and keep this in your handbag.
3. Could I have something better if I don’t purchase this?
Spending money on a cappuccino or a pair of jeans may seem like a small thing, but if you stop and really examine your spending, these small items could contribute to something far greater. You don’t usually consider a deposit for a home or money towards studying in smaller everyday purchases, but that is exactly what they are.