In today’s world where we are constantly surrounded by gazillions of products and services to purchase, it is undoubtedly easy for us to fall into the trap of overspending. But burning our cash on unnecessary things isn’t a smart financial move for us millennials.
Related: Plan before you spend
Many of us have story like this – buying things (especially on the higher price side) thinking it was totally worth the money and end up regretting the decision. I was no exception. In the beginning of my career where I got paid quite handsomely compared to my peers, I went and splurged on a beauty treatment package that cost me about RM5,000 (I did it on installment of course; or else I would have already starved myself to heaven).
It was on my day off when I decided to go and pay a visit to this well-known beauty center. They were having some kind of promotions at that time which seemed like an incredible deal; and I was eager to get rid of my dark eye circle and some spots on my face which I feel insecure about. The beauty consultant talked me into getting this super glamourous treatment package which I ended up regretting every bit of bucks that I paid – the result wasn’t what was promised.
Obviously there were a lot of other real life examples where I felt guilty after paying for things that is either collecting dust at my home or sitting in my trash bin after one use. But after much trial and error, I found one simple way I use every time my mind is debating on whether or not I should get that certain thing.
Ask yourself “Is this a good investment?” every time you are about to buy something.
One simple but powerful way to use – for me at least. I use this on almost everything that I want to buy, from clothing items like dresses and sport shoes to household items like standing fan and cooking pan.
One recent product that I spent my money on is a standing fan. To be honest I have only been using AC ever since I moved in to this tiny apartment where there was no sight of fan. Buying a fan didn’t even cross my mind until I decided to find ways to save more on my utility bills. And I did when I found one on sale. This is no doubt an investment, because buying a fan would actually save me more money in the long run. I am still happy about my decision to this day especially when there is a significant cut on my electricity bill (though I might sometimes whine about the lack of coolness that AC can provide but fan can’t).
In my opinion, unnecessary purchases = bad investment. These purchases do not provide value whatsoever and will only drain your bank account.
A good buy / investment item is something that:
a) you need, not want; You need food to survive, but you don’t have to have ice-cream to stay alive.
b) aligns with your goals and objectives; If your goal is to be your field’s expert, go ahead and enrol yourself in that online course.
c) provides value; Think about how often you use your laptop, the more often you use it, the more values it provides.
d) makes your life easier, not harder. You don’t want to waste your money on that killer heels that give you blisters at the end of the day.
No matter what kind of decision-making moments you come across when you are about to spend your money, take a minute and ask yourself “Is this a good investment?”. Whether you’re buying that tea-set chinaware you think will make your dining area look fancier or putting that self-development audiobook into your shopping cart, you want to make sure you are buying something that gives you real value and benefits you especially in the long run.
Taking this one simple step before handing over your money will help you battle your spending temptations and quit racking up unnecessary buys. Try this from now on and let me know if it works for you!