Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Resisting the Temptation of Sales, Special Deals and Inexpensive Items

Huge SALE sign in store window
Photo by Gerard Stolk, found on Flickr, licensed through Creative Commons

I heard a radio ad for Kohl's earlier this week. There's a new rewards program (apparently being tested in Texas and California) where you get one point for every dollar you spend; 100 points gets you a $5 off coupon for future purchases. "I almost feel guilty for not shopping," the woman in the ad said — or something close to that.

And that's part of what leads to clutter. The items on sale that seem so tempting. The 5% discount that Kohl's is giving you — but only if you buy even more.

If there's something you need or truly want, and it's on sale, that's great! People who buy next year's holiday cards on Dec. 26 are saving money. But buying something you wouldn't normally buy just because the price seems good is often a mistake.

Want some help in avoiding those purchases? Here are some thoughts to consider:

Farnoosh Brock wrote an interesting post about going to Istanbul planning to do "some serious heavy-duty shopping" and buying much less than she expected to — even though she loves material things. She provides these three questions to ask before you buy:
1. In what way will my life be better off if I buy this thing?

2. What is one good reason I should not buy this thing?

3. Do I really desire this thing enough to buy it and own it forever?
Mandy writes about her past experiences going to the second-hand store:
You know what buying things simply because they look cool leads to? A bunch of CRAP. Was it cheap crap? Yes ma’am. But crap nonetheless.
Dustin Senos shares this advice, from his parents:
Don’t buy something unless you’ve wanted it three times.
And finally, Trent from The Simple Dollar has his 10-second rule:
Whenever I’m considering making a purchase of any kind, I simply stop for ten seconds and ask myself whether this is really a worthwhile purchase. Do I actually need this item? Does it cause any sort of fulfillment in my life that isn’t already achieved by the things I currently own? Could I not put the cost of this item to better use?


Louise said...

A technique that works for me is to carry the item around the store for a while. That often gets the desire to own it out of my system. It was mine for 10 minutes and that was enough!

Unknown said...

I've started taking photos of the areas of my home where I want/need things. I have found this to be incredibly helpful for staying focused and not purchasing things that aren't "just right" for the space I'm shopping for. It also helps on the items I return after buying and feeling "iffy" about.

I do the same with outfits/clothing. I photograph everything (jacket, top, pants) and make a note of what I don't own (low heel, dress shoe in neutral color) And that too keeps me focused.

Finally, I also photograph the bottoms of all my lipsticks + make up so I can enlarge and read the colors. When I'm running near-empty, I just pull up the photo and purchase exactly what I'm running out of (want/need)

JustGail said...

I like the idea of taking photos of where you need things. It sort of goes hand-in-hand with taking photos of areas that need clearing out.

One thing that's worked for me in the past is to fill out the order form and wait. Often seeing the total price in black and white stops the order. Sometimes just the act of filling it out is enough.

Jeri Dansky said...

Louise, Geralin and JustGail: Thank you all for your great suggestions!